How to Interview for a Different Position Than You Applied For

There are several reasons why you might find yourself interviewing for a different position than the one you applied for initially. It may be that a new position opened up in the time between your application and interview. Maybe during your conversation, a hiring manager decides you are a better fit for a different job, or perhaps you're so excited about a company that you're willing to consider almost anything the company has to offer. Whatever the reason, prepare yourself for options by spending time before the interview to evaluate your skills, experience, and short- and long-term goals.

When Another Job Opens Up

For example, say you're doing some research on the company in preparation for your interview. You're visiting its website, and you see a job opening that interests you – and it's not the one you applied for. Whether you should talk about it in the interview depends on where you are in the hiring process, cautions employment website ZipRecruiter.

If it's your initial interview, you can bring up the other job. You might say, "I saw that a position for social media manager just became available. Social media was one of my responsibilities at my last job, so I wonder if we can talk about that position as well." However, if you're further along in the hiring process, asking about another job can lead a hiring manager to question your commitment. She might wonder if you'd quit soon after you are hired to take a social media position with another company. You won't get the social media manager job, and you won't even get the job you applied for.

The Best Fit

An employer wants to fill a position with the best candidate. When discussing your qualifications, a recruiter might see that your skills and experience can be better applied in another way. It can be exciting when you're offered a job at a higher level or with more money than you initially thought, but what about a lower-level position? A hiring manager might say, "We're looking for a sales manager who has more management experience, but we'd like to offer you the position of assistant sales manager."

It's natural to feel disappointed when you're not offered the job you want but look at the positive side. The employer was impressed enough with your credentials to offer you another position in the organization. They want to hire you, just not in the capacity you had hoped for. CNBC stresses the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the company, even if you decide not to take the position offered because it is not what you want.

'I'll Take Anything'

It's one thing to be enthusiastic about a company, but being too eager can make you seem desperate. An employer won't hire you because you want or need the job. Employers are looking for the best candidates. No matter your qualifications, employers seek focused and committed individuals.

Just because you're interested in multiple positions doesn't mean that you're qualified for all of them. Look realistically at your education, skills and experience. If you're interested in a job that you don't have the qualifications for, find out what you need to do to be considered for such a position in the future. It might mean going back to school. You might have to take a job for less money than you'd like to gain the experience and make the professional contacts you need to advance.