Is It Acceptable To Ask A Recruiter If The Job Is Going To Be Filled Internally?

phone interview internal job position filledYou hear about a job and get invited to an interview, but you've been to a couple where they ended up hiring internally and you don't want to waste your time. What can you do, is it acceptable to ask a recruiter if the job is going to be filled internally?

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

Asking is fine, however...

  • A corporate recruiter (company employee) may or may not know and anyway is under no obligation to tell you. Facts are that most companies try to promote from within. Then sometimes, even if there is a good internal candidate, a management directive can tell HR to look outside as a matter of CYA.

  • A third party (retained) recruiter may or may not know and will be paid either way; so whether this type of recruiter would tell you would be a matter of personal judgment on the part of that recruiter.

  • A third party (contingency) recruiter will always try to define this matter so that s/he doesn't spin wheels on an assignment that presents limited opportunity for ever getting paid.

So you can ask, but whatever you are told there is limited likelihood that you will ever know the truth, but stick around because otherwise you'll miss the point and lord knows how many job offers.

Your greatest need and biggest weakness

The point is that this job change isn't the first and almost certainly will not be the last you will make, yet I'll wager that your greatest professional weakness is an inability to turn interviews into offers. Yet the single most important professional skill you or anyone can ever develop is that very ability to turn a job interview into a job offer.

How to turn weakness into strength

Seize on every possible opportunity to go to job interviews, you will gain experience and build this critical professional survival skill into a real skill. Don't fool yourself that you go to an interview to decide if you want the job, because you have nothing to consider until an offer is put on the table.

You should go to every job you can with the single intent of getting the job offer, and the determination to steadily improve your responses to the tough questions the interviewers pitch. Nothing else is relevant.

The worst that could happen is that you get an offer you don't want, and as they say in New York, "such a problem you should have." So bottom line, you will never really know if an interview you go to will ultimately be filled internally, and it really doesn't matter. The great thing is, that you are in the game, and you learn more and get better every time you swing for the ball.

Next: 'Why Have You Been Out Of Work For So Long?'

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Stories from Personal Branding Blog

Martin Yate


Martin Yate, CPC, author of Knock 'em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, is a New York Times and international bestseller of job search and career management books. He is the author of 11 job search and career management books published throughout the English speaking world and in over 50 foreign language editions. Over thirty years in career management, including stints as an international technology headhunter, head of HR for a publicly traded company and Director of Training and Development for an international employment services organization.

Within the profession he has a global reputation as the thought leader on job search and career management issues. He has lectured on four continents and has maintained a coaching practice since 1991.

The current recession is the 5th he has helped people navigate over the last 30 years.

For more information please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Search Jobs

In Partnership With

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 27 - Aug 3

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.


Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.