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I am trying to compose a sentence, and I am currently stuck for the right word. I am trying to say:

In a job interview, the audience would be the employer and the ---------

That is the word I am looking for. I cannot put "employee" as he has not been employed yet. Is there a single word for someone looking for a job? "Job-seeker?"

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It's, um, linguistics –  Thursagen Aug 15 '11 at 10:34
3  
"Unemployed" ;-) –  KitFox Aug 15 '11 at 13:00
    
Thursagen, in what way does it's "linguistics" make "audience" correct in this case? I'm intrigued. –  temptar Aug 15 '11 at 14:22
    
It's kind of metalanguage. It's a technical term for the person/persons receiving the act of communication –  Thursagen Aug 15 '11 at 23:05
    
Maybe the word "audience" has some specialized meaning among linguists, but for general use, the word is inappropriate here. An "audience" is a person or persons who are listening to an event, not the participants. "In a job interview, the PARTICIPANTS are the employer and the applicant." If there is an audience at a job interview, that would mean people watching without participating in the interview. Normally "audience" is used for people watching a play or movie or listening to a concert, that sort of thing. –  Jay Dec 15 '11 at 14:56
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3 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Are you looking for applicant?

Another synonym is candidate (but with a broader meaning).

The Merriam-Webster definition is:

ap·pli·cant - noun \ˈa-pli-kənt\
  •   Definition
        Applicant: one who applies <a job applicant>
  •   Examples
        We interviewed 30 qualified applicants for the job.
        have numerous applicants for the job
  • First Known Use
        1776

N.B.: 1776? What kind of job could that have been?

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Exccellent! Thank you very much –  Thursagen Aug 15 '11 at 10:39
    
I think that jobs existed before 1776, even if that usage of the word 'job' did not. –  z7sg Ѫ Aug 15 '11 at 10:53
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@z7sg Ѫ, My mistake. I was hinting at the American Revolution but G. Washington actually took office in 1789, 13 years and a few battles after the Declaration of Independence. So that applicants hadn't probably stepped forward in 1776. –  Alain Pannetier Φ Aug 15 '11 at 11:53
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The person could be a candidate or an interviewee. He/ she could also be referred to as a prospective employee.

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"Prospective employee" sounds good. Could you compress it into one word? –  Thursagen Aug 15 '11 at 10:31
1  
@Thursagen: Not all concepts have single words that accurately describe the concept in every language. –  oosterwal Aug 15 '11 at 12:55
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I would lean towards interviewee in this case.

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