I'm looking for a word similar to nepotism or cronyism.

Here is an example: A man applies for a job through a friend, and gets an interview. The man is then judged completely on his actual ability to do the work, and not favored because of the relationship.

The reason why neither of the above work, is because there is no advantage gained by the association, apart from the opportunity to display actual merit for the job one applies for. What would the word be for this use of friendship either through family or not?

  • 5
    It's nice to have connections.
    – Ricky
    Feb 1, 2016 at 11:48
  • Did he get the interview when he otherwise would not have? If an unfair advantage is provided, however slight, then it is nepotism or cronyism. If not, it's not. As simple as that. Of course there are degrees of culpability, but the offence has nonetheless been committed. There is no separate word for it.
    – Charl E
    Feb 1, 2016 at 12:01
  • Agree with @Ricky as your context seems to describe a fair interview process. Your "contacts" or "connections" have helped you secure a job.
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 1, 2016 at 12:06
  • Again, another reason why it isn't Neptotism is that the friend isn't the one with power: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nepotism
    – Benjamin
    Feb 1, 2016 at 12:28

1 Answer 1


In England we'd call this a foot in the door.

It means that you were given help getting in to somewhere but that's it, and once inside it's up to you to prove yourself.

The phrase is recognised in most dictionaries, although therein it's often defined as an initial, small opportunity that has the potential to lead to bigger and better things. However, in England, we'd often use this term to describe a helping boost from a friend on the inside, e.g. "Frank got me a foot in the door by getting me an interview with the boss."


  • We say the same thing in the US.
    – Joe L.
    Feb 1, 2016 at 21:59
  • @JoeL. That's interesting, thanks. To my ear, it sounds very British, but given that door-to-door salespeople are ubiquitous I'm not surprised.
    – Charon
    Feb 1, 2016 at 22:20

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