Interviewed for One Position Offered Another: Navigating Unexpected Opportunities


Career Consultant & Blog Writer

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Have you ever experienced the confusing scenario of being interviewed for one position offered another within the company? Being interviewed for one position and offered another can occur due to various reasons. It could be that the organization has identified a better fit for your skills and experience, or they may have identified an urgent need in a different area. Whatever the reason, it’s essential to approach this situation with an open mind and a willingness to explore new possibilities.

This unexpected twist can leave candidates perplexed and uncertain about their next steps. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this situation, analyze both the candidate’s and the employer’s perspectives, and provide guidance on how to navigate this challenging scenario.

Understanding the Situation: Interviewed for One Position and Offered Another

The situation of being interviewed for one position and then being offered another can occur due to various factors. Understanding these factors is crucial to comprehending why such situations arise and how to handle them effectively.

#1. Miscommunication during the Interview Process

One significant factor contributing to this situation is miscommunication during the interview process. It is possible that the job description and the requirements were not clearly communicated to the candidate initially. As a result, the candidate may have been under the impression that they were being considered for a specific role, only to discover later that a different position was offered.

#2. Reevaluation of Candidate Suitability

Another factor is the reevaluation of the candidate’s suitability for the initially applied position. As the hiring process unfolds, employers may reassess the candidate’s qualifications and skills. Based on this evaluation, they might determine that the candidate could be a better fit for a different role within the organization.

#3. Internal Organizational Changes

Internal organizational changes can also contribute to candidates being offered a different position. These changes may include restructuring, realigning responsibilities, or newly identified talent gaps within the company. As a result, the employer may see an opportunity to utilize the candidate’s skills and expertise in a different capacity.

#4. The Candidate’s Perspective

From the candidate’s point of view, being interviewed for one position and receiving an offer for another can be both exciting and perplexing.

Initially, candidates may feel thrilled about the possibility of landing a job that aligns with their career goals and aspirations. They invest time and effort in preparing for the specific position, researching the company, and envisioning themselves in that role. However, when an offer for a different position arrives, it can lead to disappointment and confusion.

#5. The Employer’s Perspective

From the employer’s perspective, offering a different position after interviewing a candidate requires careful consideration and strategic decision-making.

  • Firstly, during the interview process, employers assess the candidate’s skills, qualifications, and overall fit within the company. As they evaluate multiple candidates and their potential contributions, they might identify an alternative position that better utilizes the candidate’s abilities or aligns with the company’s evolving needs.
  • Secondly, internal organizational factors, such as changes in project priorities or team structures, can prompt employers to reconsider the originally intended role of a candidate. These decisions are often made to optimize resources, enhance team dynamics, or address immediate business needs.

While the employer’s decision to offer a different position can be surprising to the candidate, it is important to recognize that it stems from a careful evaluation of various factors and a strategic assessment of the company’s requirements.

#6. The Importance of Effective Communication

To avoid potential misunderstandings and address the issue of being offered a different position after an interview, effective communication plays a crucial role.

Clear job descriptions and expectations should be established from the beginning of the hiring process. This includes providing candidates with accurate information about the position, its responsibilities, and any potential flexibility in considering them for other roles within the organization.

Additionally, regular updates and transparent communication during the interview process can help manage candidate expectations. Informing candidates about any changes in the hiring process or the possibility of being considered for alternative positions can mitigate surprises and ensure a more open dialogue.

Dealing with the Situation

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been interviewed for one position but offered another, there are several steps you can take to navigate this scenario effectively.

#1. Firstly, express your concerns and seek clarification from the employer. Schedule a conversation to discuss the reasons behind the change and how it aligns with your skills and career goals. This discussion will provide insights into the employer’s perspective and help you make an informed decision.

#2. Next, evaluate the viability of the new offer. Assess whether the offered position aligns with your skills, interests, and long-term career aspirations. Consider the potential for growth, learning opportunities, and overall job satisfaction in the new role.

#3. Simultaneously, reflect on your career goals and the opportunities presented. Determine if accepting the new position could still contribute to your professional advancement, even if it deviates from your initial expectations.

Potential Outcomes

After careful consideration, there are several potential outcomes when faced with being offered a different position:

  • Accepting the new offer and embracing the opportunity: If the new position aligns well with your skills, interests, and long-term goals, accepting the offer can open doors to new experiences and professional growth within the company.
  • Negotiating for a different position or compensation: If the offered position isn’t the right fit or doesn’t meet your expectations, engage in a constructive conversation with the employer. Explore the possibility of negotiating for a different role that aligns better with your qualifications and aspirations, or discuss adjustments in compensation to reflect the new position’s responsibilities.
  • Declining the offer and exploring other opportunities: If the offered position does not align with your career goals or if you feel it’s not the right move for you, it is within your right to politely decline the offer. This decision allows you to explore other opportunities that align more closely with your aspirations.


Being interviewed for one position and offered another can be a perplexing situation for candidates. By understanding the factors contributing to this scenario, considering both the candidate’s and the employer’s perspectives, and emphasizing effective communication, individuals can navigate this situation with clarity and make informed decisions about their career path.

Remember, every situation is unique, and it’s essential to assess the new offer in light of your skills, aspirations, and long-term goals. Whether you choose to accept the new position, negotiate for a different role or compensation, or explore other opportunities, prioritize your professional growth and satisfaction.

Effective communication throughout the hiring process can help avoid miscommunications and manage expectations. By fostering open and transparent dialogue, both candidates and employers can work towards mutual understanding and alignment.

FAQs with Answers about Being Interviewed for One Position Offered Another

Had an interview, and the interviewer referred me to another person for a different position. What should I do?

If the interviewer refers you to another person for a different position within the company, take it as an opportunity to explore new possibilities. Reach out to the referred person and express your appreciation for the referral. Mention that you’re excited about the potential opportunity and would like to learn more about the new position. Prepare for the next conversation or interview by researching the role and aligning your skills and experiences with its requirements. Be open-minded and showcase your flexibility and adaptability to excel in the new position.

How do you tell a company you’re interviewing with about another offer?

If you have another offer while interviewing with a company, it’s professional to inform them in a timely manner. Reach out to the main point of contact, such as the recruiter or hiring manager, and express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview with them. Let them know that you have received another offer and wanted to share this information to ensure open communication. Reiterate your interest in their company and the position you’re interviewing for. Ask about the next steps in their hiring process and if they have a timeline for a decision.

What to say in an interview when you have another job offer?

When you have another job offer, it’s important to be transparent and honest with the interviewer. You can mention that you have received another offer but avoid disclosing specific details unless asked. Express your genuine interest in the position you’re interviewing for and convey your excitement about the opportunity to work with the company. If appropriate, you can communicate that you’re currently evaluating your options and would appreciate any insights or additional information they can provide to help you make an informed decision.

What to do if you interviewed for one position but HR offered another?

If HR offers you a different position than the one you interviewed for, take some time to carefully consider the new offer. Assess whether the new position aligns with your career goals and interests. If you’re genuinely interested, express your gratitude for the offer and request additional information about the new role. Ask questions to understand the responsibilities, growth potential, and how it fits into the company’s long-term plans. If you’re not interested, politely communicate your decision, thanking them for the opportunity and explaining your reasons for declining.

What steps can I take to avoid this situation in future interviews?

To minimize the chances of this situation occurring, ensure clear communication from the beginning. Seek clarification on the job description, responsibilities, and any potential changes during the hiring process.

Is it common to be offered a different position after an interview?

It can happen in certain circumstances, such as when the employer reassesses candidate suitability or internal organizational changes occur. While not extremely common, it’s important to be prepared for such situations.