Wise to find out reason for being passed over?
March 11, 2010 9:11 AM   Subscribe

I suspect I am being passed over for a position. Should I attempt to find out why?

I recently freelanced at a company, and after the project ended, contacted a recruiter in my field who advertised a very similar position. She told me she could not place me because this was one of the companies I already worked for. I have a strong suspicion it was the last co I worked for. Should I call my old supervisor and find out if the issue was the salary I asked for or some other reason?

If it turns out it wasn't salary related I would really like to know so i don't do it in the future!
posted by swooz to Work & Money (5 answers total)
First I would ask the recruiter to see if this was the company's decision or her's. If the company doesn't want you back, I would definitely find out why. Worst-case scenario is that they still don't want to hire you, best-case is that you find out how to get hired in the future.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:14 AM on March 11, 2010

Yeah, I would call your former supervisor and ask. I've run into similar issues. The recruiter may not want to place you because she wouldn't get money out of the deal.
posted by lunalaguna at 9:27 AM on March 11, 2010

She might mean that she can't place you because she wouldn't get the commission because the company is already aware of you.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:13 AM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yes, you should ask. Three possible outcomes:

1) Your former supervisor is so outraged at the mere question that he/she hangs up on you in disgust. End result: you still get passed over.
2) Your former supervisor discusses it with you and there was some sort of salary issue that you're able to work out. End result: you might get offered the position, or at least keep your bridges un-burned.
3) Your former supervisor discusses it with you and it was a personality or work ethic or other issue. End result: you probably won't get offered the position, but at least you learned something for next time.

You can't be double-passed-over, and as long as you're not a jerk on the phone, you can only do your cause good. And the best candidates I've ever interviewed were the ones who asked why I wasn't hiring them, and didn't argue about it, but rather were simply trying to learn so they could do a little better on their next interview. This is the same situation.
posted by Plutor at 11:45 AM on March 11, 2010

I'd send a brief, cheery, professional email to your former supervisor, reiterating your enjoyment of the project and sneaking in a mild query about the position. It's hard to get mad if you approach the situation in a professional manner. The former supervisor would probably be double-impressed by your proactive approach, or at the very least, neutral on it.
posted by mornie_alantie at 5:37 PM on March 11, 2010

« Older My bathtub is speckled with orange!   |   How can I stop this recurring cold? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.