I want the word that means "a means of getting a job over reliable candidates", but I'm going to explain it here again in an example.

The example: If X and Y applied to a job, and X happened to have a relative that works in the company they applied to it, while Y knows no one in that company, but he has very high qualifications over X. However, X got the job nonetheless since he had a _____.

X could have got the job by other means like he knows the manager there, for example. Thus, it is not only relatives related.

I thought of "means" and "intermediate" but the results I got didn't confirm my thoughts.



  • 1
    I think you were looking for means, not mean, but it takes some doing to get to the relevant definitions on web-based dictionary pages. In this case intermediate is not at all synonymous. See merriam-webster, under the 'Noun' section, sub-definition 2: "means plural in form but singular or plural in construction : something useful or helpful to a desired end."
    – Hellion
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 14:37
  • I have searched for their meanings on web dictionaries. I just didn't add that part in my question as their meanings were nothing like what I intend. My choice for those two words was based on a literal translation from my native language. However, you are right about "means", I should have searched more deeply. Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 15:54

6 Answers 6


You could say that X had an in:

in noun
2: influence, pull
• enjoyed some sort of in with the commandant
Henriette Roosenburg
definition from m-w.com

  • 1
    This is definitely the best current answer that encompasses means other than "I know someone at the company", such as bribing the interviewer. Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 17:44

According to The Free Dictionary, definition #6, you can use the word connection:

  1. A person, especially one of influence or importance, with whom one is associated, as by kinship or common interests: used her connections to land a job.


X used their connections to land the job.

  • 1
    Sometimes satirically termed "Vitamin C".
    – K.A.Monica
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 0:25

X got the job due to nepotism.

"Nepotism" indicates favoritism due to a familial relationship. If some other relationship is involved

X got the job due to favoritism.


One possibility is "the inside track."

inside track noun

an advantageous competitive position

Example: "The owner's son has the inside track for the job."

From Merriam-Webster.com

The advantage of having the inside track doesn't necessarily need to be a connection or relationship to a particular person. It could also be better qualifications, familiarity with an institution or system, or something else that puts a person in a better position than someone they're competing with. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the meaning comes from horse racing, where the horse on the inside part of a curved track has to travel a shorter distance on each lap than the horses further away from the center.


It's not a single word, but "friend at court" suggests that the relative at the company, while not a decision maker themselves, promoted them over the more qualified candidate.


X got the job nonetheless since he had a leg up on Y.


X got the job nonetheless since he had the favor of the employers (political influence)


X got the job nonetheless due to politics

(Politics is here used in opposition to merits).

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