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On a temporary contract at one company, I spent 6 months in team A before moving to team B. I have applied for a permanent role in team A. The hiring manager has said that because of my previous time in their team, it is not necessary for me to interview, unless I request one.

I had a very good exit review from team A, so my lasting impression with the hiring manager is good. There are on-going interviews with external candidates for this role too.

Pros of me requesting an interview:

  • It seems more professional to have a formal interview, which may help me look serious about the role as I'm relatively junior at the company.

  • I don't want to appear complacent

Interviews aren't usually pleasant, so why would I go for one which I have been told I don't have to? Is there any reason why, from a hiring manager's perspective, it would be advantageous to have an interview with a candidate who has previously worked in their team?

Because the hiring manager already knows me, there may not be much to discuss, so I'm leaning towards saying I'm happy to not have an interview. What would be a good way to either:

  1. Say I'm happy to not have an interview, whilst still conveying that I'm serious about the role and that the manager knows me well enough already.
  2. Say I want an interview, despite the fact it could be just something short.
  • 1
    Another pro (for you): it's a chance to ask them questions about the position that may not have come up during your stint there (e.g. long term plans for the role, career growth type things). Assuming it hasn't been discussed already, that is. – user812786 Jun 6 '17 at 21:08
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At the moment they assume they know your answers to their questions because they've worked with you. An interview is your chance to give your actual answers. Only interview if you think your actual answers are better than their assumed answers.

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You should definitely interview. Even if it is a brief 5 minute chat it shows that you're very seriously applying for this role. It also gives you the chance to connect more with the hiring personnel which is just another bonus.

Sure there is a possibility of having a 'bad' interview, and avoiding it altogether seems like a good idea: but often "optional interviews" are not at all optional.

  • A very assertive answer, thanks! I think in this case it actually is optional, as they had already told HR I probably wouldn't need an interview before I enquired about the application's progress, my use of the word "request" was pretty deliberate. However, I think your other points are valid – workharder Jun 2 '17 at 13:58
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Do you have experiences from Team "B" that are valuable to you and make you more qualified to do your job with Team "A"?

If so, then you need to share that with them somehow, and an interview would be appropriate.

Is only it your experiences with Team "A", before, that garnered you impeccable exit evaluations/interviews, that will determine whether you get this role?

If so, then don't. The hiring manager said, specifically, that they are well aware of your body of work, first hand, and that it is not necessary unless you want to. Sounds like all things being equal, you don't really want to, but you worry that all things are not equal. If the hiring manager, being the main person who determines who they will hire, felt that not interviewing would put you at any sort of a disadvantage, he would not have told you, in no uncertain terms, that it is not necessary.

You worry, it seems, that the outside candidates will seem "fresh" in their impressions and that you might lose out. If that's your worry, I'd decline the interview, but state that you are perfectly willing to participate for one if any of the team members feels like they want a fresh interview impression to help them compare apples to apples.

Otherwise, if they tell you it's specifically not necessary, you request one, and have nothing new to add to what they already know about you, then you run the risk of basically wasting their time. That would possibly make a worse impression than that which already existed.

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The point of an interview is to qualify yourself vs. other applicants. If there are no other applicants - do you know??? - then it seems that they've opened up a seat for you and that going the route of a full interview can only serve to disqualify you at this point.

Why make stuff harder than it needs to be?

  • As I say in the question, There are on-going interviews with external candidates for this role too. The position has opened up because someone is leaving the company... – workharder Jun 6 '17 at 6:42
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    @workharder - Right now you are the front runner in their eyes(or they have already disqualified you but i doubt that is the case) they are interviewing because they have a process. Should they find someone that is a better fit, I would expect them to ask you to do an interview so they can properly evaluate the choice. Chances are nothing you say in an interview is going to help you. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 6 '17 at 17:46

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