I have recently come back into the job market. I'm an Engineer with focus in a rather niche area of Electronics Engineering.

I applied for a position A, online, at an organization XYZ a few days ago. I didn't get a response for quite a while. This is normal. In my experience a lot of organizations don't call the candidates that didn't make the shortlist to let them know, and I thought that was what happened here.

A few days later, I visited a job fair and happened to meet an HR Manager from the same organization XYZ. I had a nice chat with them and handed them a copy of my resume. Less than a week later, I was contacted by a person Q from XYZ regarding a different position B. We talked and set a date for the interview for the position B.

The very next day, a person P from XYZ approached me regarding the position A I had originally applied for, online. I have yet to respond to them. But I'm planning on doing it.

I have a situation where P and Q don't know that I'm in touch with the other regarding different positions.

  • Both A and B are in slightly different areas and I have equal affinity towards both of them. I can't choose between them.
  • Compensation for neither of these has been discussed. So I cannot compare based on that, either.
  • At this point in time, I'm no more confident about getting either of these as compared to the other as they're both in the initial phase of the process. Had one been further along, I would have picked that one.

Now, the question isn't which one I should pick - because that would be a ridiculous question to ask with the information I've provided. The question is, should I tell either of P and Q about B or A?

I'm afraid that if I pick one and tell the other one that I'm trying for another position in their organization, I may not get the first position in the end, and by the time that happens, the second position may be filled, too.

If I let both of them know about the other one, again, I may get neither of them because both of them may think: "Hmm... The other person is already pursuing my candidate. I best look at the other candidates available to me."

If I don't let any of them know, they're bound to find out quite soon (because both of them will eventually go through the HR department at XYZ) and I feel that comes across as dodgy behaviour, instead of ambition. (I myself am not sure if it's just ambition or genuine, immoral attitude.)

What would be the best approach for me to take among the above mentioned three... Is there a more suitable approach other than the above three, that I should be considering here?

  • How do you know that P and Q don't know about each other and the jobs you've applied for? Most CVs will go through a central HR and will often inform other teams if the applicant has applied to other jobs in the company. Remember, never assume
    – Draken
    Apr 27, 2017 at 9:35
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  • I would disagree with the duplicates @PagMax as the timings are different, both are a similar situation, but due to the current location of the OP's application for the interviews, I feel this is not a duplicate question
    – Draken
    Apr 27, 2017 at 9:41
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    You can tell them, or not tell them. It doesn't matter at all. Plus, they won't blame you either way. Now if one or both of them had been third party recruiters, then that would be a different story entirely. But in this case, it doesn't matter. By the way, I used to work in HR over 20 years ago for a large laboratory, and yes, in our case, our Resumix database would have picked up on the duplicate job application, and it wouldn't have been a problem at all. And in this day and age, I would imagine that newer software would pick up on that fact unless you used a different address for each. Apr 27, 2017 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't go out of my way to mention either position to the other hiring manager, but I also wouldn't deny it if either of them asked.

It's reasonable to assume people in the same company will talk to one another, especially if they're both doing similar tasks (ie: hiring new staff.) If you try to deny the question or appear evasive, that would probably cast you in an unfavourable light, as it might appear suspicious. So yeah, don't bring it up yourself unless you want to, but don't hide anything if they bring it up first.

There's nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you're qualified for both positions. May the best team win!

  • 1
    The key here is not to choose one now, go after both!
    – Pete B.
    Apr 27, 2017 at 19:56

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