Re-apply to a previously declined job?
October 10, 2008 8:59 PM   Subscribe

[Job Advice Filter] I applied and interviewed for an out-of-state job 8 months ago. Eventually I was offered the position, but I declined due to life circumstances that arose at the time. That same position is still open, and I'm interested. How should I proceed?

8 months ago I applied and interviewed for an IT position at a medium-sized state university that is located 800 miles from my current home. The university is located in a town/area I very much like. The town is small and the university is very likely the largest employer. As you might imagine, decent paying jobs in IT are hard to find there.

Several weeks to a month after the interview, the job was offered to me. Upon the time of offer, circumstances in my life had changed and I was not in a position to move and accept the job - so I declined it.

Recently I discovered that this very same position is still open and the university is accepting applications for it. I am now able to move and am motivated to do so.

How would you proceed in this situation?

Just a few additional notes:

- I have the hiring manager's contact information. I have met him once (at the interview).
- The hiring manager called me with the job offer, then sent an offer email. I replied to his email to decline the job. I never heard back anything from the hiring manager after that.
- The university in question handled all expenses (their choice) for the interview (plane/hotel/car) - a decent outlay of money - and after needing to decline the position I felt bad about that and now I worry that might make them feel negatively about me.
-The job is not my dream come true, but I can definitely live with it for as long as needed. The salary is decent given the area's size and cost of living. It would allow me to live and establish myself in an area I really enjoy.
posted by karizma to Work & Money (7 answers total)
They paid your expenses, offered you the job, and you declined it? They probably aren't going to want to invite you to apply for the same job again. I wouldn't bother, personally.
posted by grouse at 9:08 PM on October 10, 2008

I would call the hiring manager and explain the reason for turning it down in the first place and offer to come re-interview on your own dime this time.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:20 PM on October 10, 2008

I agree with JohnnyGunn. You have nothing to lose and you may get the job.
posted by lee at 9:30 PM on October 10, 2008

You were the best qualified contact last time. Seems to me that if you show that you had a reasonable explanation for turning them down and that you are sincere about wanting the job and would take it if offered, you should be fine.

If it is a large university, you will need to go through HR and submit an official application but a more informal contact with the hiring manager would be appropriate.

Look at this way. There was a recent posting about someone who was turned down for a job and got offered the position when the first person turned it down. The advice to him was basically to ignore the fact that he was second choice, since he was the first choice now. The hiring manager is in the same position. As long as he feels confident that you are seriously interested and would take the job if offered, he should be delighted to know that you are now available.
posted by metahawk at 10:30 PM on October 10, 2008

You have nothing to lose here. You will, however, have the burden of having flaked out on them, so you need to be sure to demonstrate that you had a very good reason at the time and these short weeks (20? in hiring process terms it's nothing) later that reason has changed. Again.
posted by dhartung at 1:59 AM on October 11, 2008

I am a recruitment advertiser. I am not your recruitment advertiser. Trust me, if they're still advertising it, it's because they haven't found anyone else they'd rather give the job to. Press and online job advertising costs a lot of time and money.

Call them up, explain how your circumstances have changed and ask if they would consider a further interview (things may have changed, and just breezing back and saying 'So can I have the job now?' could come off as presumptious). Best case, they just say 'that's won't be necessary' and offer you the job. Slightly less best case you go in and do another interview and still get the job. Worst case they say no. Nothing to lose and the odds are stacked in your favour.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:20 AM on October 11, 2008

I'm in favour of calling the hiring manager up, explaining that you are still interested in the position and are now able to move. As long as you are honest about the whole situation, he should be ok.
The offer to re-interview shows you are serious and as Happy Dave says, the worst they can say is no.

Good luck.
posted by arcticseal at 7:09 AM on October 11, 2008

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