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I recently applied to small company which I got a referal from a previous company I just applied to few weeks ago (they don't have openings as well). I sent an email attaching my resume and the General Manager of the company told me:"

"We don't have any immediate openings at the moment in our communications department however would be good to meet as something could potentially come along soon. Let's schedule a meeting next week and my secretary will coordinate with you"

Does the General Manager just being nice to me for the sake of being referred by his friend (General Manager also of the company of whom I received referral)? Or perhaps is it true that they might have future openings? If so, is it right to ask the timeline how long is that "soon" could be?

Thanks!

closed as primarily opinion-based by Philip Kendall, David K, gnat, Masked Man, Michael Grubey Jan 5 '17 at 5:32

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    General Managers tend to be busy, if he is asking to meet there's a good chance some position is opening up soon. – Snowlockk Jan 4 '17 at 12:30
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Does the General Manager just being nice to me for the sake of being referred by his friend (General Manager also of the company of who I gave referral)? Or perhaps is it true that they might have future openings?

Most likely it's the former, but certainly both can be true. Companies will always have openings at some point in the future.

When a good friend refers someone to me, I usually make some time out of courtesy. And occasionally, I talk with someone who would indeed make a good employee down the road, a job opens up later on, I contact the person I met and it all works out well.

The problem with "future openings" is that everything has to line up correctly - an appropriate opening at an appropriate time, and a still-looking-for-a-job candidate that fits the needs and wants the offer. It happens, but not too often. Still, I got a good job that way once. It's just a form of networking.

If so, is it right to ask the timeline how long is that "soon" could be?

I wouldn't. It's a bit awkward (if not presumptuous and pushy). But more because the General Manager probably doesn't know and wouldn't want to get your hopes up without certainty.

Just talk. Try to come across as a great potential employee. And let things fall where they may.

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    said otherwise : build your network, you never know when it will be useful. I did get my current job through a guy I met 9 years before on a computer games betatest. Ah, and train your interview skills in the same time. – gazzz0x2z Jan 4 '17 at 16:17
  • Wow thanks,I guess you never know what a good network can take you in the future! – user201379 Jan 4 '17 at 20:55
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As the old saying goes: your face is the best resume you'll ever provide.

The fact that they want to meet you means that they at least put some value on investing time in you. Whether they have something in mind or not (and they might!), they will remember your face when a fitting position opens up and you'll likely be chanced over someone who is just represented on paper.

I've personally had it happen that I came in to talk about one position (programmer) and in the end was offered a completely different one (UI designer). A conversation like this allows them to get a feel for you and maybe slot you in somewhere where they didn't expect you'd fit initially.

  • Agree on the above. I think they're more interested because a person was actually referred a General Manager of other company. In your experience, was it like a casual conversation or the employer asked you some formal interview questions? – user201379 Jan 4 '17 at 21:05
  • In my case it was quite interview-like. – Weckar E. Jan 5 '17 at 6:36
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I got my current job when interviewing for a department with no openings. They liked me so they created a temp to hire position for me within the week.

Treat this as seriously as you would any other job interview. Asking when a position will open in can be touchy as there may be several undecided factors involved. You are safer asking "I know nothing is certain at this point but what is the best case scenario time frame for something to open up?" This will give you some insight into their hiring practices and if there are any barriers to be overcome. It's not uncommon for new positions to open up after the annual budget is approved.

  • But usually in this kind of situation, do they ask you real interview questions? Or just a casual talk of what's your background, how did you know the person I got a referral from, etc.? – user201379 Jan 4 '17 at 20:45
  • What makes you think those aren't real interview questions? Almost as important as figuring out if someone is qualified is figuring out if they are a good fit. This casual talk can easily show the interviewer if you are the type of person they want in their company. Once that's decided meeting minimum requirements is often enough. – Myles Jan 5 '17 at 19:32

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