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You guys know I have been applying for a lot of jobs lately, only to be turned down every single time. A position opened up at the place I still work (very part-time). I knew that the person was leaving, but we were told we needed to go through the internal application process if we wanted to apply for any job. The person who would do the hiring was on vacation, so I couldn't talk to her anyway. The position appeared on the website and I filled out the application. Once she returned, she was eager to interview me. Well, I thought I had a fighting chance. I really did.
Turns out that someone else got the job. It didn't take much for me to figure out she had already been given the job weeks ago and they were just going through the formality of interviewing other people. How do I know? She is in the same area as me and she disappeared of the schedule a few weeks ago. I asked her and she acted like she was going to a different area. I didn't think much of it at the time because they hadn't posted the job position yet.
I feel devastated. I applied for this job thinking I had a chance. I did everything right. Turns out I didn't because she already had the job. But how could she have gone through the internal process if they didn't post the job until later?
I feel like such an idiot. Apparently it was a matter of who approached the manager first. Not the who was the best candidate from the pool.
It's possible that she approached the manager first and was also the best candidate. I have been an interviewer. I have interviewed people for jobs that are already all but guaranteed to someone else. This is not always because of personal connections and friendships. Sometimes you just really know who you want to fill a position.
The interview process can still be very valuable. It lets management know who is looking for more responsibility. It puts the employees in a different light and renews interest in analyzing their work and behavior. Imagine if management knew they wanted her and had just skipped the interviews. They would not know that you are motivated for advancement. You would have nothing.
Situations like this do suck. Interviews are difficult, and employers recognize that it is not easy to motivate oneself to go through the process. In my experience, most people actively seeking advancement will get it eventually. I would drop even the notion of a thought that what they did is illegal. It is hard and it does suck, but I would try to drop any bitterness or anger. Employers respect those who understand the difficulty and drama of internal hiring. Whether you realize it or not, you have gained something by going through this process.