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A friend of mine was recently invited to apply with her CV to graduate role A in the country 1 at company XYZ, via one of their recruitment staff on linkedIn. The application period expires at the end of the week (tomorrow).

After emailing her CV, the recruiter replied 'thanks for applying to the graduate role B in country 2, your CV looks great, can you answer some questions and would you be available next week for a phone interview.'

The location for role B is not viable, and the role itself is in a different job category that is not of interest. The questions include motivation for the job category and the suitability of the location. If the questions were answered for role B it would essentially be turning down the job.

Given the short time span before the interview and that the desired graduate position A will only be available for applications until tomorrow, how would you recommend to proceed?

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If you have a phone number, call right away. If it's only e-mail, then sent one right away and mark it as urgent. Friendly but firmly ask for clarification.

"Hi, thanks so much for your interest and I'm excited about this opportunity. I was applying for role A in country 1, but you refer to role B in country 2 in your e-mail. The questions refer to role A again. Could you please clarify what role you think is most suitable and which I should apply for?"

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    Given the indication that the location is not OK for role B, she should not leave it to the recruiter to pick the role. I would replace the last sentence with "I am applying for role A. Is my application being considered for that role?". – Patricia Shanahan Feb 17 '17 at 1:12
  • Thanks, if you can incorporate Patricias comment i'll accept your answer. I'll also try to clarify the question so it's more clear that role B is not ok. – Azrantha Feb 17 '17 at 8:26
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    @Azrantha: I wouldn't add this here. The purpose of the e-mail is to make quick contact. It's likely a simple mistake bu the recruiter who is working on 10+ roles at the same time. You don't want to "rub it in". If the answer is "sorry, I mixed this up. It's role A" you are back in business with a minimum amount of drama. If it's "no, we really want you for role B" than you can still decide how to engage in that conversation, "no" is a stupid answer. "I really like role B too, but country 2 is currently not viable for me. How can we proceed here?" is much better. – Hilmar Feb 17 '17 at 14:56
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I can see two options here:

  • You have a fast way to contact them and clarify yourself (phone number, IM id etc.). You clarify that you applied for role A and are not interested by role B, and see how they react.
  • for any reason, you cannot correct the misunderstanding. I would take the phone interview for role B as a training session. You mentionned your friend is not interested in this role, so she has nothing to loose doing the interview. She will be able to finally say "The phone interview did not convince me to go further in the recruitment process" or "I am not interested in the role B". She can even record herself and do an analysis on how the interview went, etc. This may be very useful for future phone interviews. At her own risk, she can end the phone interview asking how the HR person feels about her profile for the role A (and this can be a good motivator to not screw up a phone interview for a role she doesn't even want).

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