I have a high-level administrative position within a university. I’d like to interview
for a position at another university. The person that I’m interviewing with is a
friend and colleague of my boss. Should I ask for an informational interview
or a confidential interview?
The Career Doctor responds:
You are definitely in a delicate position but I don’t think it’s impossible. You
have to assume that the person at the other university would be professional
enough to keep your search confidential — which is what you need to request.
You could ask for an informational interview but I think that would just be
confusing — or is it your hope that under the pretense of the informational
interview you will appear so brilliant that the person will ask you to apply
for the position at his/her university? That strategy could be kind of an
interesting way to backdoor into the position… but what if you are not
asked to apply?
I personally think you should just apply directly for the position making
it clear in your cover letter that you are not actively seeking other
positions and that you request that the process be kept confidential.