For my work I’m in independent contractor who splits my work about 50/50 between working directly with clients and with organizations like agencies. Around a year ago one of my agency employers let me know about “jobby-job” opportunity with a large government organization and encouraged me to apply.
I wasn’t actively looking for a traditional job at the time but decided I would apply anyway because I thought it could be a nice change of pace for me as well as a way to get access to cheaper healthcare. I applied, interviewed, made it to the final round and lost. No hard feelings, when the people hiring let me know I wasn’t selected I thanked them for their time and let them know I’d love to come in as an independent contractor should they ever need one (since they’d been very complimentary regarding my work and I suspected I lost out on the position for other reasons).
Fast forward a year and the person who is now in the position I interviewed for contacts me to do contract work. I initially assumed he’d gotten my name from the hiring committee and was thrilled to work with them. Now it’s come to light he found me independently and is probably not aware I interviewed against him. No big deal, no need to mention it. Only now there’s an in-office meeting being scheduled for me to meet the higher-ups, which means I will almost definitely see the people I interviewed with.
Some details changed to keep all this anon.