Should I panic b/c I have to interview again for a job I’ve held for 3 yrs?

I have been working freelance at my current job for the past 3 years – the past 2 under my current boss.

When my boss gave me the news that they were making my position permanent, I was immediately elated – ‘fucking finally! Hoorah’, I thought.

My boss then proceeded to tell me that they were opening the position to internal applicants. ‘No big deal’, I thought. I’ve been freelance before and know how the game works: they have to open the position internally so it doesn’t seem like nepotism, etc. and then they usually just give the position to the current person that’s holding it.

BUT THEN he proceeds to tell me that it’s also open to EXTERNAL applicants as well. That’s when the fear and panic set in: am I being replaced? Fired? WTF is going on?

My boss sees the 500 different reactions on my face and before I could ask any questions, he says ‘don’t be so gloom and doom. This will be good for you.” But then I asked, what’s the probability of someone else not only competing for my job, but actually getting it? He couldn’t answer me. All he kept saying is that there is no better candidate than myself, he kept reassuring me that I was getting ahead of myself. He then proceeds to tell me that I would have to go through the whole process again – the HR phone interview, the 3 interviews that consist of him and 2 members from my team and another drug test. At this point I had to let it go and leave my body because I was in the midst of a major panic attack.

Cut to today, my fist step in the process where I have the HR phone interview. Everything is going well until the end, when she informs me that MY BOSS IS CONSIDERING ANOTHER PERSON ASIDE FROM ME!!

Aside from looking for a new job stat, WTF do I do now?! Do I ask him WTF is your problem? (slightly kidding).

Could this candidate be true or is it something to make it look more competitive? What are the odds that he hires someone over me who has been doing this job for 2 years, never got a bad review and was never told that there was an issue with my work?

Even though I was forewarned that it would be open to all applicants, I feel like I just got cheated on by my boss..

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