I obtained qualification Q that is demanded in several European countries. Several countries run programs to recruit Qs internationally and I did apply for jobs in multiple countries.

I did not keep secret that I applied in multiple countries. In country C I was told that having a pending application in another country means that I'm not committed to their recruitment program and I was told that my application would not be pxrogressed until I declare that I'm committed to their program.

Now come the interpersonal skills: based on the suggestive wording I assume that my contact person thinks that her nation C is superior to other European nations and she feels offended that I openly consider other countries rather than (pretend to) admire her country only. She invented administrative excuses why not to progress my application and her boss seems to be happy with these excuses. I'm able to satisfy her fussy administrative requirements.

What could I tell my contact person to make her progress my application? I prefer not to pretend that I admire her nation, because I don't like lying and pretending.

In fact there are many aspects of country C that I value and also many aspects that I don't like. I feel the same way about other countries as well. I also think that having multiple pending job applications is normal, and I plan to commit to the best offer.


1. is your assumption that your contact believes her nation is superior based on anything other than your interpretation of this single interaction?
It is based on suggestive phrasings in multiple emails. My assumption might be wrong, but even if I'm wrong I would like to get interpersonal.stackexchange answers for the situation I assume to be in. Whether I misjudge the situation is a question that could be asked independenty, but that's not my current interest.

2. what frequency and duration of contact would you have with this person once the application process is completed?
I have never met her, I will presumably never meet her. But she is in the position to delay or make my application process difficult.

3. what has led you to be so certain that the administrative issues your contact has raised are simply excuses she found convenient?
I had questions about the future job that I believe she should be able to easily answer. She ignored these questions and focused on certain forms.

4. Recruitment of Qs happens at national levels. I'm only considering 4 countries based on the languages I speak, so giving up on country C is not something I would want to do without careful consideration.

  • 2
    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes.
    – Em C
    Dec 20, 2018 at 0:14

2 Answers 2


From my own experience working with people of multiple nationalities. Usually the solution is to not care about such statements. Unfortunately for you, you are somewhat dependent from that person. And said person set a demand that is in collusion with your best interest.

The best thing, from my point of view, is to write an email. Talk about country C in superlatives and emboss what you like in it AND that you are committed to their program. BUT firmly state that you will not withdraw your application from other countries.

This is no different than applying to 4 different jobs at your country. One of them demanding you only talk with them is laughable. The promise that they will forward your application don't mean you will be considered as a candidate or you will get the job.

Put a stand on the fact that 3 are better than 1 and if that person want exclusiveness then she need to give you something for your loss of options. And the fact that loosing application in one country is better than loosing them in 3.

  • I very much appreciate that you write about the problem that I described, in contrast to those who are assuming that I have a different problem than what I described. Dec 20, 2018 at 18:55

First of all, I think it is somewhat of an assumption that this contact is a nationalist based on what may well be the policy of her employer. I have sat on interview panels for a large organisation and I can tell you a common issue is that some people, particularly the unemployed, use a "scattergun" approach to getting a job - that is sending out several, sometimes dozens of job applications at the same time. I have offered a job to someone only to have them tell me they have been offered a job elsewhere in the 24 hours since I interviewed them! I have also watched people mid-interview forget which job they are actually interviewing for. Interviews like this can be a huge waste of time and my employer, whilst not discriminating against the unemployed or people applying for several jobs at once, has put in place standard questions which aim to determine if the applicant actually wants a job with us. For example, we may ask what that person knows about our organisation (a cursory Google of your prospective employer is fairly basic stuff), and the classic "why do you want to work for this organisation?".

It seems a little bit unreasonable that this employer should have a policy of not progressing applications if you have applied to work elsewhere but consider what I just explained in the previous paragraph. For an employer in your own country, there could be time and energy wasted processing an application and interviewing you if you don't wholeheartedly want the job; but consider how much extra potential paperwork is involved employing someone from outside the country! Background checks may take longer. They may have additional administration involved employing someone from another country. I'm guessing, but there could be lots of reasons why they have such a policy. It may just be the way this particular person is putting that policy across to you that has made you feel it is personal.

Whether there is some personal element to this or not, this individual seems to hold your future employment prospects in their hands, so you need to be very careful. To be honest, you probably should not have been so transparent about your other applications. I don't see any reason why they were entitled to that information.

What you actually said she told you was that your application would not be progressed until you declare that you are committed to their program. That isn't quite so specifically telling them that you have withdrawn all other applications.

If you do want to work for this organisation then why not do just as she told you - state that you are fully committed to them?

Put that in writing, ideally to an email address that is not only read by the individual you have reservations about. Make sure it goes through the due process and there is an "audit trail" so that if you are correct about her and there is some personal element she cannot so easily prevent it from being processed.

You could perhaps write, with all the customary pleasantries and signoff:

Further to our discussion, I am happy to state that I am fully committed to your program and request that you continue to process my application.

If you are contacted again and asked to clarify this, perhaps asked specifically if you still have applications elsewhere, just stick to the script and tell them:

I have confirmed my interest in working for your organisation and my commitment to my application. If you were to offer me a position I would accept it and I would not be actively seeking alternative employment.

Hope this helps.

  • I wrote "My assumption might be wrong" in my question - in your answer you wrote "I think it is somewhat of an assumption". In any case you did not make a logical mistake. Dec 20, 2018 at 18:33
  • You asked a question to me: "If you do want to work for this organisation then why not do just as she told you - state that you are fully committed to them?" My answer is included in my question: "I plan to commit to the best offer" and "I don't like lying and pretending". Dec 20, 2018 at 18:45
  • "To be honest, you probably should not have been so transparent about your other applications. I don't see any reason why they were entitled to that information." Although I completely disagree with you, this is a very good point, +1! In the subculture I'm coming from people are quite transparent, so that's my standard. Maybe national culture C expects flattering white lies, rather than transparency. I'm sure you would correspond smoother with this administrator than I do given your view that one should have a reason to be entitled to information whereas I give and expect information freely. Dec 20, 2018 at 20:13

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