Re-interviewing for a job I turned down 6 months ago. How much do I need to explain?
June 25, 2008 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Re-interviewing for a job. How much do I need to explain about why I turned them down 6 months ago?

I interviewed for and almost accepted a position about 6 months ago, but withdrew my name from consideration due to an unexpected family illness which prohibited me from making the time/responsibility commitments.

Now that things have settled down I am interviewing for the position again but don't know how much i need to explain/how much would be appropriate to share about why I couldn't accept before and why I haven't done anything except temp work since then.

Are they gonna think I'm them or that I'm flaky/irresponsible/etc...?
posted by doppleradar to Work & Money (6 answers total)
Personally, I think that was a very responsible move and a perfectly good reason for withdrawing your name. Family comes first. I would tell them exactly what you typed. No further explanation necessary. Family commitments caused you to withdraw but things have now settled down and you would like to try again. No biggie. Good luck!!
posted by pearlybob at 9:04 AM on June 25, 2008

Yep, this is exactly what you should say, and it's a perfectly acceptable reason to withdraw your name.

The flaky/irresponsible bar is set so much higher than a drama-free, professionally-handled withdraw. I've had an applicant withdraw herself from consideration by just not bothering to show up for a follow-up interview, no call, nothin'. And my colleague actually hired someone who "withdrew" by just not showing up on her first day of work, again, no notice.
posted by desuetude at 9:14 AM on June 25, 2008

If they're willing to interview you again despite the last time, that tells me you professionally expressed that your withdrawal for consideration.

If they ask you why you withdrew, just tell them that at the time a family illness or a family related event prevented you from starting the job. Tell them that the first 3-6 months are probably the most crucial and you knew that you may not be 100% given the circumstances at the time. Then show them that you want the job. People give you benefit of the doubt if other evidence provide a good reason.
posted by icollectpurses at 9:26 AM on June 25, 2008

I agree; sounds like you handled things very responsibly, and that you will need a bare minimum of explanation.

The only thing I would include, if I were you, is something indicating that the issue has been "resolved." Again, you don't really need to go into detail about the fact that Relative A has now passed away or Relative B is now in a stable treatment program being cared for by other people, but I'm sure that the employer would appreciate knowing that the issue is under control.

If you feel like you are able to interview at this point, given your past history with this company, you should have no problem expressing this in a concise, thoughtful manner.

Best of luck with both your potential job and your family :)
posted by Madamina at 10:20 AM on June 25, 2008

Also agreed.

Nobody likes to waste their time, so the fact that they're interviewing you again is proof that you handled yourself well last time.

If they ask, just be honest. And being discreet is not being dishonest -- if you want you can just say that you had to deal with a serious family emergency and leave it at that. If they pry, then THEY'RE being unprofessional and you should reconsider whether or not to work for them.
posted by randomstriker at 10:33 AM on June 25, 2008

As above, the real reason is perfect, sensible and responsible. Don't embellish or duck it. It won't hurt you.
posted by rokusan at 12:14 PM on June 25, 2008

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