Is It OK to Tell The Hiring Manager You Want a Different Job Than the One You Applied For?

This is a classic situation for less experienced job hunters who want to get their foot in the door but don’t want to job that they’re interviewing for.

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I'm Jeff Altman,The Big Game Hunter. I'm a coach who helps people with their career, with job search, with hiring more effectively, managing and leading, overall workplace-related issues.
Today's question is, "Is it acceptable to tell the hiring manager that you want a different job than the one that you applied for? I want to join this company but I applied for a vacant entry level job, which I'm overqualified for."
Well, let's imagine for a second you're the hiring manager here, and someone's sitting down in front of you, and you're trying to fill your job, not someone else's job. And someone walks in and says, "You know, I applied for this because I want to get into the firm, but I'm more qualified than this job. I'm not really interested in it. Could you help me get another job internally?) How do you think this person feels when someone's sitting there and saying that to them?
The answer is disappointed, angry, pissed off, because their time is wasted. They've blocked out a time in their schedule for someone who really isn't interested in what they have available. Why do you think they're going to help you? Seriously? Why do you think they're going to help you? All you've done is block out time on their calendar and wasted it.
So, is it a good idea? I wouldn't have applied if I were you. I would have tried to network to people within the organization who might introduce me to someone who could use someone like you. But you're there. I frankly, would make the hiring manager thrilled about you so that, number one, you've practiced interviewing, number two, you go to another firm for interviews. You just keep trying to find more interviews and then, when they get back, you go, "I've been thinking about it. And this job is a little more junior than I am (which they'll figure out in the course of the interview anyway), I really would be more interested in something at my level. Not at or on their interview, but in the follow up once they're interested. That's the way to do it.
I hope you found this helpful. I'm Jeff Altman. Visit my website,, where I have a ton there to help you in the blog. Also, if you're interested in one on one coaching, or because you have a couple of questions for me, you can schedule time for free discovery call or if you have a couple of questions. I'm not going to answer it on the call. I have a service where you can pay for 20 minutes of my time. I'd be very happy to answer your questions.
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Have a great day and take care!


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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