Do I apply to a job I applied to once before and how?
April 9, 2010 9:20 PM   Subscribe

Do I apply for a job that I applied for once before, and how do I go about it?

There's this job I applied to once in the past (IT field), looked like a cool job, and they seemed to like me a lot. Got called in, did the interview, all signs pointed to possibly a second interview or maybe even an offer. Then I hear nothing. E-mail the guy I interviewed with, still nothing. So, I let it drop. I've seen the job reposted a couple of times, so they haven't hired anyone. This was about a year ago, now the job has come up again. I think I'm even more suited for it this time around due to strengthening some skillsets at my current employ, and getting my MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certification. Anything in the worldly job etiquette that says I can't or more importantly shouldn't apply again? Should I mention my previous interview? What's the protocol for something like this?

Anon due to fear of coworkers reading. Throwaway:
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes apply. Something like this happened to me. The first time I emailed in like normal. The second time I actually delivered a letter addressed to the HR person, in person, to the front desk. I was hired a week later.
posted by sanka at 9:31 PM on April 9, 2010

Yes, I applied for my job with my current organisation and didn't even get an interview, reapplied when they readvertised and got it at interview.
posted by biffa at 9:36 PM on April 9, 2010

I applied for my current job a few years before I was hired. Was interviewed, didn't get it, then later got it. I didn't mention the previous application, but the future-boss did during my interview process. He gave himself a lot of credit for waiting while I matured and learned new skills, and I played up the areas in which I had made measurable improvements, too. Voila!

(I applied for my previous job THREE times. First time: polite rejection letter. Second time: interview, then polite rejection. Third time: JOB.)
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:45 PM on April 9, 2010

You should definitely apply. I think having been a strong candidate before will make you even more attractive. It's not that they didn't like you before, there was just someone more qualified at the time. The fact that you are applying again now shows that you are really interested in their company.
posted by ishotjr at 10:19 PM on April 9, 2010

This is how I got my current job. I emailed the HR guy I had interviewed with the first time around rather than the generic jobs email address. My letter basically said "I interviewed a year ago, but HERE are all the things I've done in the last year that make me an even better candidate, and my interview a year ago made me even more excited to work for this company." I can't see how it would hurt to mention the previous application.
posted by doift at 12:12 AM on April 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

It's not the fact that you applied once and didn't get it that would make me hesitant to reapply - it's the fact that this company sounds flaky as hell. They never hired anyone despite advertising several times which, unless your skill-set is extremely rare or you live in a very small town, makes me think they're not even sure they want to hire someone for the post. Then they never got back to you even after you emailed them after your interview which shows a major lack of common courtesy. I'd think twice about even wanting to work there, but if you're sure you do, by all means reapply.
posted by hazyjane at 3:02 AM on April 10, 2010

Given the economy of the last year or so many jobs were posted and withdrawn due to budget or other reasons. Re-apply.
posted by Gungho at 8:15 AM on April 10, 2010

They never hired anyone despite advertising several times which, unless your skill-set is extremely rare or you live in a very small town, makes me think they're not even sure they want to hire someone for the post.

Or, to be honest, they might not have liked any of the candidates that applied the first few times. (I found this downright strange when they did it at a place I worked at, but yes, they did decide to not have the position at all one time rather than hire the people they interviewed, and another time they hired no one and re-listed because they wanted more options.) Or they had budget cuts.

I like dolft's suggestion if you reapply for this, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:52 AM on April 10, 2010

I've done this before. Similar situation to yours: I had gone through several steps and thought I was almost sure to get a job, but I didn't get it. I applied again and specifically mentioned the past interviews. This worked well enough to get me an interview again. I'd love to say I got the job; actually, I didn't get it the second time either, but that has nothing to do with re-applying -- the point is, they readily gave me another interview.

Not only are you allowed to re-apply, but re-applying is a specifically positive thing. It shows your interest in the company. And your logic is impeccable: they thought you were pretty good before (at least meeting certain threshold standards, or else they wouldn't have interviewed you), and now you're even better qualified. You've been thinking about things for a year and you're still interested in them. You know a lot about the company from when you talked with them before.

People are often uncertain of their own decision-making ability, so they feel comforted if they can see that other people made a decision in line with theirs. They won't just be looking at your application (which is presumably impressive in its own right); they'll be seeing that, "oh, my co-worker here in the recruiting department thought he was a pretty good candidate." That gives you an edge (assuming you didn't bomb that interview).

You're really asking the same question as the person who asked yesterday whether it would be too "weird" to message someone on Facebook to ask for a date. What was her alternative? Not contacting the guy and having zero chance of dating him. What's your alternative? Not applying to this place and having zero chance of working there. Even if they would think you're being weird, you have nothing to lose, and something to gain. And ... it's not weird. The idea that it's weird or improper is just an excuse for inaction. If she wants to go out with the guy, she should ask him out; if you want to work there, you should apply for the job. If you want something, go for it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:53 AM on April 10, 2010

Agreed that you should apply again, mention your previous interview, and to piggyback on dolft's suggestion, throw in the letter some stuff that you've noticed about the company's growth/progress/activity since you last applied in addition to mentioning how you're more qualified now than ever before for the position.

If you want to impress someone, flatter them. This is just as important with jobs as it is people; prospective employers want to know you have a personal stake in the industry and demonstrating current knowledge about the company itself will make you a standout from all the layoffs, recent grads and random applications they get that come through the queue.

When you apply, copy the original person on the application if it's by email and send it directly to the hiring manager. If possible, let the person know you'd like to use them as an internal reference beforehand and see if that person can sort of "flag" you in some way for HR so you beat out the keyword bots or temps they might have screening resumes.

This works. I've done it for other people applying at my company and vice-versa. One place I applied 3 times, interviewed twice and got offered jobs twice - they just couldn't afford me. So yeah, this is more common than you think.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:11 PM on April 10, 2010

"in the year since my last interview, I have..."

I used this line to re-apply three years in a row for a highly coveted spot on an 'eligible to hire' list for a unionized job in my field. All three times, I got an interview. Third time, I made the list and then they had no jobs :) But look at it from their point of view. What does it say about a candidate that they did not get in last year but have used the year since to improve their skills and upgrade their credentials? I think this is an admirable thing and most bosses would recognize that.
posted by JoannaC at 11:20 PM on April 10, 2010

« Older How long does food stay good in refrigerator?   |   Fallout 3 Add-On Conundrum Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.