can I ask for a second chance at an interview after getting rejected?

A reader writes:

I recently applied for a job and went in for an interview. I was very excited about the position and spent a lot of time preparing answers to common interview questions and thinking of examples from my previous work experience that I thought might be applicable.

I was very nervous and the second I walked out of my interview, I knew that I wasn’t going to get the job. Nothing horrendous happened, I really just missed the mark with how I represented myself despite having all of the right qualifications and work experience. They emailed me the following week to let me know they were moving on with other applicants. I responded with an email thanking the interviewer for her time and asking her to keep me in mind for future positions.

Unfortunately, I can’t get past the feeling that my bad interview was the reason I didn’t get a job that I feel is a perfect fit for me. I checked today and the position is still posted on the company’s website, which leads to my question. Would it be okay for me to email the interviewer and ask for another chance to show them that I’m a good fit for their organization? If that’s not a truly horrible idea, what kind of language would show the interviewer that I am passionate about the job but still respectful of her time and decisions.

I wouldn’t. It’s pretty unlikely that they’re going to be willing to schedule another interview after having rejecting you so recently. In their eyes, they’ve gotten the information they needed to make a decision, and they’re unlikely to want to spend additional time with a candidate who they’ve determined isn’t the right match. It’s possible that their rejection was based on the weaknesses you saw in your interview and that you believe you can correct, but it’s also possible that it was about something totally different — including just having stronger candidates in the mix.

Asking them to reconsider is too likely to come across as thinking you know better than they do what they’re looking for, which is … well, out of touch with the reality of the situation.

I know it sucks to feel like you flubbed an interview for a job you’d actually be good for, but I’d chalk this up to a learning experience and move on. I’m sorry!

{ 91 comments… read them below }

  1. The Other Dawn

    ” In their eyes, they’ve gotten the information they needed to make a decision”

    I think that’s the key. The information might be that you didn’t have exactly the qualifications that they’re looking for, or that your experience isn’t quite right, or just that you don’t do well under pressure. Whatever it is, they feel they had enough information to make the decision.

    Just move on and hope to do better next time.

    1. Jen RO

      My boss has definitely rejected candidates for seeming too shy. The job involves a lot of talking to other departments who are not exactly eager to help ours, so if a candidate didn’t appear confident in the interview, how could we count of him/her to be more confident on the job? Especially considering we were hiring people with no previous experience in this role… So, in some cases, bombing the interview *is* relevant information.

      1. Tish

        Well, let’s not be too quick to assume that your boss is right. This person may have a nervousness/aversion that is *only* associated with interviews. He/she may do well with pressure outside of that. So, your boss may very well be mistaken. I contend that interviews are really not the best way of assessing a person’s aptitude for a certain job.

  2. harryv

    The feeling really sucks. I’m going through this right now except I thought we had a great interview. It was over the phone so I couldn’t see the interviewers facial reflections. The interviewer also indicated that the next step would be with the VP over video conference. After emailing the in house recruiter when the next interviewer would be, I was told they told me I was not shortlisted. The position is still posted online arrgghhh.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      For what it’s worth, I do phone interviews with people all the time who I suspect think the interview was a great one and then I still end up rejecting them. It’s not because they’re not smart, competent, talented people — in most cases, they are. It’s because the role in question is just a very tricky one, I’m looking for a combination of tough-to-find skills and experience, and it’s the kind of thing where it’s tough to tell from the outside if you might be that person.

      I think this is more common than people realize; getting rejected doesn’t mean they didn’t think you were talented, smart, interesting, etc. — it just means the fit isn’t the strongest compared with others they’re talking with or measured against very specific stuff they need. And it’s really hard to see that stuff clearly from the outside.

      1. LBK

        The dating analogy feels applicable here – someone not being into you doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad person or you did something wrong, it just means you’re not the right match (although some people have an even harder time accepting that in the dating world!).

        1. Stranger than fiction

          And similar to the dating world perhaps you think it’s a perfect match on paper, but the chemistry just wasn’t there.

          1. MsM

            Or sometimes they’re not even clear on what they really want, regardless of what they say they’re looking for. Which could explain why the posting’s still up.

      2. BRR

        My comparison as my husband, the academic, job hunted was that they’re grading everything on a curve. An assignment might be good enough for an A (him being able to do the job) but graded on a curve it’s not an A.

      3. nep

        All of this is so important to keep in mind — especially ‘it’s not because they’re not smart, competent, talented people’. When rejected for a position, it can often feel as if it’s because the interviewers/selection committee somehow ‘missed’ that one is smart, skilled, competent, talented; as Alison so well points out here, it often does not mean that at all — they went another way for other reasons.

      4. Artemesia

        This is such an important insight. I used to hire for a set of tricky positions too where we were looking for some very specific mixes of education and experience. To make matters worse, for political reasons our ad for the positions was broader and vaguer than it should have been. We summarily rejected half the applicants from consideration because they didn’t come close to having the right background and many of those were probably scratching their head because they were exceptionally well qualified and experienced people, just not for these jobs. (e.g. as an illustrative example, we listed facility with chocolate, licorice and caramel teapot design and work in sales, production and marketing but we actually were only really after caramel pot designers with a marketing background. It drove me nuts that we essentially misled people but I couldn’t do anything about it.) Then with those who were plausible candidates we would identify a final 10 and do phone screens; invariably some of those would just interview poorly or prove not to have the knowledge we expected but some would be good interviews but not quite spot on with what we were looking for and our finalists would have the unique blend we needed. Being wonderful doesn’t mean you would be the right fit for the particular position.

        1. Steve G

          What do you mean “political reasons?” I’m asking because I’m actively job hunting and have gotten lots of rejections from roles that were very similar to my last one, and I’m not getting it………

            1. Steve G

              But what kind of “office politics” make you write a job description/ad that is not accurate? What kind of situation can you have where it is wrong to just say what you want, unless its something sketchy?

              1. NYC Redhead

                My company is famous for doing this. For us, we have pre-written job descriptions that are very difficult to get changed and can’t be done quickly. So when you need to hire someone, it is easier to use the standard language to get it posted and then weed out candidates, rather than fighting internal forces to rewrite and have to wait several weeks to get a position posted. I know it is not the best way to go about it, but there you go.

                1. TrainerGirl

                  +1000

                  I worked for a company that was notorious for having about 10 job descriptions, and using the same one for vastly different jobs. I got a call from a recruiter there after I left, and couldn’t figure out why they were interested until I spoke to the manager and found out that the actual job was nothing like the posting. But they wanted to hire someone at that level/salary, so they had to use an inaccurate job description. Dumb, but true.

              2. Traveler

                There will be standard job descriptions that are “approved” by the higher body. It is necessarily what the hiring manager wants, but it targets a wide enough net that they will hopefully get someone(s) that fit what they want. If you work somewhere where the position/description/pay scale all have to be “approved” by a group of people, trying to go back and get a new position/description in the rotation is a major time/energy/resource suck.

                1. Steve G

                  Oh OK….so there is a concept of pre-approved job descriptions at bigger companies…..got it…..sounds frustrating though!

              3. MaryMary

                Or disagreements between the hiring manager and her boss and other stakeholders. I posted once before that one of my coworkers is adamant about hiring people with college degrees for roles that don’t really require one. Our job description says “degree preferred,” but it’s very difficult to get him to sign off on a candidate who doesn’t have a bachelors, even if they were fully qualified in every other way. Substitute college degree with skill X or experience with Y or a certificate in Z, and it’s a common story in a lot of organizations.

              4. Artemesia

                In our case it was turf issues internally. Other units owned certain kinds of personnel and projects, but we actually has programs where we needed people of that sort. The only way we could hire was to make the ad broad enough that it didn’t appear to be appropriate only for that other unit. Stupid? Yes. But internal political of organizations can create looney situations.

                1. So Very Anonymous

                  I was thinking also of academic interviews where the search committee/department may be split on what they want, or may have to write the ad for a broader field than what they’d really like.

              5. Melissa

                I’m currently in academia, and I’ve heard stories, so I’m thinking of it from an academic perspective – but it probably maps onto other areas too.

                One example could be when the department wants one thing and the dean/college wants something else. So in a department of psychologists, maybe they need another social psychologist, but the dean is really pressuring them to hire an industrial psychologist because he believes it’s the hot new field that will bring lots of students with $$$. The dean hovers over the process of writing the ad but is not involved in the search committee at all. SO the ad goes out saying something like “We are looking for either a social psychologist or an industrial psychologist blah blah blah” but really, none of the industrial psychologists are under serious consideration when the professors in the department look at applications.

              6. EmmBee

                I have an example of this: we were hiring someone for my team (communications). The person needed to have a lot of tech skills, since they’d be helping run the Intranet. For some reason the IT team in my company took a special interest in this role and thought THEY should own this position if it was 50% tech.

                We didn’t want them to own the position, because it’s a different kind of tech than what they’re responsible for, so we had to present the role as 50% comms and 50% tech, when it reality it’s more like 60-40 tech.

                So we declined to interview some really good applicants who didn’t have quite as much tech experience as we needed, even though we sort of de-emphasized the tech component in the job listing.

      5. Just Another Techie

        I’ve heard that a million times, and yet, it just never sunk in for me until I started conducting interviews myself. The last step of our hiring process is a full day of interviews with a slate of six interviewers (mix of HR, hiring manager, and technical leads) and those wrap up meetings with the interviewer panel have been really eye-opening.

        1. fposte

          It opens up a world of understanding to have experience on the other side of the process.

          1. esra

            So many yeses. I see a lot in the comments here that you should give people more chances, but after going through the hiring process, it’s just not worth the risk when you have solid candidates who don’t need second chances.

      6. AGirlCalledFriday

        This is so right. I’m currently waiting on the results of an interview. They asked me specifically to come in based on my background, they were impressed with my resume and we got along great – we spent like, 15 min talking about Game of Thrones, and then emailed back and forth after the interview about medieval history. But even though we had good rapport and I have the skills they need, there could be all kinds of reasons I don’t get this job. Maybe they decide not to hire someone like me at this time, maybe they find a stronger match, maybe they have a friend and hire them instead, maybe they can’t get the funding.

        So I tell myself as I anxiously wait to find out if I have the job or not…

        1. Melissa

          Ugh, this thread is exactly what I don’t needed to be reading a week out before an interview for a job I really want, lol.

      7. harryv

        I certainly understand this point but why mislead the candidate by indicating they would follow up on some points and actually indicate that I was going to interview with the VP? I had the interview on Friday and they got back to me on the following business day. I highly doubt they interviewed more candidates between then. I would much rather they say they would evaluate and I will get a response shortly.

        1. Adrian

          Had the same experience, infact i was told that the kind of questions to expect but still got a reject.
          To be fair tho, i had this gut feeling i wasn’t going to make it, now the job is still opened.
          there is no worse feeling.

  3. YandO

    I started interviewing in February of this year. I really did badly on interviews with one of the first companies I applied to. Nothing awful, but I simply did not know what I was doing. Now, 4 months later, my interviewing skills are a lot better.

    That company rejected me in March, but they said they will keep in mind. They seemed genuine about it, so when the same role opened up again last week ( they are expanding), I emailed the recruiter to see if they would interview me again. I have a phone screen with her today and they are scheduling a Skype interview with the team for next week.

    So, let’s say I rock this interview and they hire me.

    What changed between a few months ago and now? The same position. The same team. The same me.
    Just me with a dozen of interviews under my belt and better prepared answers. Does not make me a better employee though.

    Is interviewing process really that great at figuring out the right candidate? It seems to me that interviewing skills are not hard to learn and they don’t necessarily correlate with you ability to do your job well. I guess, that’s why employers should give out skill based tests…. but most of them still don’t.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      And keep in mind that plenty of you complain when they do use skills tests and exercises :)

      But yes, well-designed exercises should be a crucial piece of any hiring process.

      1. YandO

        As a candidate, skills based tests and exercises are time consuming and nerve wracking. But, if I was a hiring manager, I would not hire a single person without seeing what they can actually do on a tight deadline.

        I get it. I just wish I was on the other side of this equation already.

      2. Artemesia

        Absolutely. I would never hire without an appropriate skills test. When I was hiring professors, they would both present their research and teach one of our classes among other things — we of course looked at publications and such as well. When we were hiring support staff, we had them run SPSS tasks, or whatever they would be asked to do. I know that software developers have to create code on the spot sometimes over the phone and then in person as part of the process.

        1. Green

          Is that industry-specific? Because I would immediately step out of any process with a skills test beyond interview questions like “How would you approach X situation?”

          1. Traveler

            Its very normal to have professors come in, teach, present, even get interviewed by the grad students there. A change in professor changes a lot of dynamics, so it’s important that you’ve got the right one with the right personality.

          2. Ask a Manager Post author

            I can’t imagine hiring for any position without seeing the candidate in action in some way. It might not be a “test,” per se — it’s often an exercise or a simulation. You want to see people actually do the work you’re hiring for, or find ways that simulate it closely enough that you really know it’s the right match on both sides. It cuts down on hiring mistakes dramatically.

            1. Anna

              There is no way they could do that for the position I have. You can’t really simulate talking to elected officials, chambers of commerce, or young adults who know nothing about our program.

              1. Artemesia

                If I were hiring someone to give presentations to those groups, you can be darn sure I would simulate that in the hiring process. The world is full of people who can describe what they would do but not actually be able to do it. E.g. if I were hiring a counselor, I would want to observe them counseling someone; if I were interviewing someone who would be representing us to local politicians, or boards, or youth groups, I’d expect to give them information and have them prepare and present. How else would you know if they could do it? (unless they already had a strong professional reputation and some of your hiring team had seem them in real world action)

                1. Ask a Manager Post author

                  Yep! And really, think of all the letters we have here about coworkers who are terrible at their jobs, despite having high-level/responsible positions. You can’t just go on someone’s work history; too many people aren’t great at their jobs.

                  Especially if you want to hire great people, not just mediocre people, you have to see people in action.

              2. Melissa

                I once did an interview for a volunteer opportunity that involved shepherding high school students through a process. For the in-person they brought in actual high school students (who were already involved with the program) for us to practice on.

          3. De (Gernany)

            I side-eye any employer who does not give me (software developer) either a programming test or asks to see code I have written.

            1. BeenThere

              Yes it’s a huge flag to me that I have ignored to my own detriment when I previously
              I really needed the job. I left after one year.

          4. blushingflower

            For my current job they made me QC a document (basically compare two versions), manipulate data in an Excel document and write a description of how I would handle a situation, including the email I would write to affected customers.
            One of my first tour-guiding jobs, I was given a couple of paragraphs about a site and some time to read/memorize it. I then presented it to the interviewer (who was impressed by how much I had managed to memorize and repeat verbatim). Other tour guide jobs did not require that, but a) I had experience and b) doing well in an interview can be a good indication of your ability to speak clearly and confidently, which is a big part of that job.

          5. Calvin

            As a software engineer / web developer candidate, it’s standard and expected. People study for months for a shot with the big names like Google. I get a bad feeling when a place doesn’t ask for _enough_ code on the spot. I say this as someone unremarkable and young in the field.
            I just had an interview that managed to take 3+ hours, without working through a single algorithm or relevant feature. It was bizarre. It indicates they don’t know how to hire. You’re supposed to push until you’re out of time, or the candidate gets stuck, a few times. Otherwise you don’t know what they know.
            We’re like co-authors of an abstract, moving, constantly updated thing. I don’t want to bang my head on my keyboard every day fighting a mediocre, broken, lazy app. I need some level of confidence in my peers, superiors, and members of other teams. I want to join a team that can actually code.

            On skills:
            Would you give a stranger a license, hop in their backseat, and tell them to hit the highway, without knowing if they can drive?

            1. Adrian

              My experience at my last interview, didn’t get asked to write a single code or explain any concepts in data science.
              Just trick questions, i had a bad feeling about that place. and i still didn’t get through.
              Don’t know what they were exactly looking for.

          6. Annonymouse

            It depends on your job.

            For instance I work at a sports club so when we hire people we have them simulate the work they’d be doing.

            For coaches we have them run an appropriate session for what we need (adults advanced, teens, children 4-7 etc).

            For admin/reception we have them either do a trial shift on the reception desk with another receptionist present or test their data entry/observation skills.

            And for social media people we look over their previous portfolio and ask for examples of what they’d do/what direction they’d take us in (we don’t use it unless we hire them of course – that would be dishonest.)

            It would be a huge strain on our small business to have untested people with lots of “can do” and “gumption” and no real skills or ability to pick up those skills quickly.

      3. Steve G

        I just don’t understand the point of the Excel ones before a phone screen even took place, and you know you did close to 100% on them, and then never hear a peep back. It’s like…what was the point of that exercise?

        1. Colette

          I think you’re looking at it as a pass/fail, when really it’s about how you did on that test + your experience + your skills vs. the other candidates. So if they had three people whose qualifications were a great match and you were #4, they might have all of you do the test. If one of the top three did poorly and you did great, they’d call you in. If all of you did great, they’d call the top three.

          1. YandO

            I think it is rude and inconsiderate to ask candidates to perform tasks before at least a phone conversation. I’ve already invested my time by submitting my resume and writing a cover letter. Now, it is your turn to give me an insight into the position/company, then I get to decide if I am willing to invest more time.

            1. Colette

              You could always turn down the chance to do the skills test.

              If you look at it a different way, a skills test you could do from home on your own time isn’t a bad thing to do before asking you to take time off work to come in for an interview.

            2. SystemsLady

              I think it really depends on the test.

              Making you design a full application or spreadsheet would certainly be unreasonable, but asking you to write a ten line program that shows basic competency and would not take very long to do isn’t all that rude in my eyes.

              Maybe it’s fair to ask them to look at resumes first, though.

            3. TootsNYC

              The jobs I hire for are all about a highly testable skill. If you don’t ace the test, you don’t have a prayer. When I’m smart, I test before any interview. Because why waste -both- of ours time on an interview, only to discover that your skills aren’t up to snuff?

              I’ve had times when I only interview to make sure the person who did best on the test is personable enough to deal with. They have the job–unless they’re absolutely awful in the interview (annoying, rude, phenomenally spacey). And of course, I interview to give them the chance to learn about me.

              I’ve already decided whether you’re in the right category. I don’t want to spend my time interviewing you if you can’t hack the skills test.

              And I have the upper hand–I have something you want. Sure, hopefully you have what I want, but employers are “one up” in the equation.

          2. SystemsLady

            Yes. It’s easy to underestimate just how many people apply claiming Excel expertise or 10 years of programming experience in language X, come in to an interview to take a skills test, and can’t even use COUNTIF or write FizzBuzz in a coherent fashion in language X.

            Tests prior to interviews usually are (or should be designed to be) short and are designed to weed out those types of applicants – in other words a high score is a requirement, not an impressive achievement.

            1. Melissa

              Yep, especially because people might have different knowledge of what Excel expertise even IS. I once interviewed for a part-time job that asked me if I knew how to use Microsoft Access. I said sure I did, because I’d used it as a database to keep track of college applications one year or something. At the time I had NO idea how involved Access could be!

              So you might get a person who thinks they really know Excel, and you ask them about a pivot table, and they’re like ‘what?’

      4. Melissa

        Generally, I like skills-based tests and exercises – I think they’re way better than wacko questions like “what kind of tree would you be”. They also give me some insight into the kind of thing that would be expected of me on the job.

        However…I’ve noticed that sometimes the skills-based tests either aren’t designed by people who actually know what the role is about OR by people who don’t put the thought into it necessary, because I’ve taken some good skills-based tests and exercises and some that were sort of poorly constructed. (And maybe part of the point was to see what you would do with minimal information.)

    2. Kyrielle

      Also could be “what changed” is the person they hired last time is not interviewing. At my old job we sometimes hired for one position but there were 2-4 candidates we wanted to hire after interviews. We went with the best one (as best we could tell, of course) but regretted not being able to hire the others. In some cases, those others came back for interviews later when we had more open positions, and were hired.

      Sad reality: just because your candidate pool includes three amazing people who would rock the world, doesn’t mean you have three positions open if you don’t.

      1. BRR

        This is a great point. For a position my team just hired for, we would have taken the 2nd choice. But the first choice said yes. If she wasn’t there or turned it down….. you get the point.

        1. Just Another Techie

          We recently had one open position and two great candidates either of whom we would have been happy to hire. Both candidates would have needed relocation from a different part of the country, and the move would be a huge climate and culture shock for both of them, relative to where they grew up and were currently working. We made an offer to candidate A who said they really were focusing their job hunt in our state because they were eager to move here, only because we were worried that candidate B would turn us down because of our crappy weather, and that A might have moved on to another offer while we waited for B to respond. (This worry was not helped by the fact that a senior staff member recently quit because our epically bad winter finally drove her to warmer pastures.)

          1. Melissa

            Yeah, I have an interview literally across the country next week and I’ve thought a lot about how to slip in how excited I am to move to this part of the country, if offered the position. I’ve done some research on it and it looks like a great place to live – I’ve actually started narrowing my job search to look in this geographic area and like 1-2 others – and I don’t want them to get the sense that I wouldn’t want to move out there. I’d be super happy to. (However, I think almost everyone who comes to work for this company does cross-country moves – and sometimes international moves. So I don’t think it’ll be difficult convincing them I want to live there.)

    3. MaryMary

      There was another thread on this site (maybe a Friday open thread?) asking if anyone had ever hired someone they previously rejected. I have, and so have several other hiring managers. Sometimes it’s what Kyrielle described: you have one open position and three really strong candidates. Sometimes funding for the open position fell through, and you have to wait another six months to get approval and hire someone. Sometimes you interview a candidate for position X, but they’re a better fit for position Y and there aren’t any openings for position Y right now. It may seem schizophrenic from the outside, but there can be lots of reasons behind whether you are hired or not, many of which are beyond your control.

      1. fposte

        Me too, several times. It’s worked out great every time.

        In many of my positions, by the time I get down to finalists, they could all do the job really well. We pick one of those because of fit, because of complementarity, because we have to pick one.

    4. Empress Zhark

      “What changed between a few months ago and now? The same position. The same team. The same me.”

      Also, there would be different candidates in the pool. Maybe they have different expectations for the role and so are looking for a slightly different skillset, or different “nice-to-haves”. Maybe the budget’s changed, maybe the time available for training has changed. The two scenarios aren’t comparable, even if they seem to be identical on the surface.

      1. PEBCAK

        And other internal changes, as well. For example, you want a candidate with X and Y, but you probably won’t find someone really strong in both, so you are settling for X and sorta-Y. Well, if someone on your team turns out to be an expert in X, maybe you realize you would rather have Y and sorta-X this time around.

      2. jmkenrick

        Well, and also…yeah, the interviewing process isn’t perfect. It requires that a company make extrapolations based on limited data about the candidate. It doesn’t follow whole thing should be scrapped.

      3. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

        For me sometimes it can be balance. I may have three people doing the same job, and I need at least 2 of them to be great at x, one to be great a y, and any one to be acceptably good at z. I know I probably can’t find someone with strength in all three areas. If I have an open spot, I may need to someone who can fill in pretty specific skill gaps left by the last person, so I might reject a candidate who would be fine overall, but can’t fill the specific gap.

        For example, I can have so many people per office who have so-so computer skills and frequently need help navigating computer basics as long as those individuals can do the other parts of their job well. But I can’t have every single person in a location with weak computer skills, or there is no one to answer the questions that come up. Same with right-out-of-school folks who need more intense supervision, feedback, opportunities to process problem with peers or a supervisor. I can have some recent grads, but they can’t make up the entire team or things are out of balance and quality drops.

        1. Amtelope

          Yep. Or, sometimes we list a job as just “chocolate teapot maker,” but by the time we’re actually sitting down to hire someone, we’ve realized we have a particular need for someone to make chocolate teapots for tiny kids, so we give preference to candidates with that experience. Next time, we may be looking for someone with experience making chocolate teapots for teens, or we may not care.

    5. CAA

      What changed between a few months ago and now? The same position. The same team. The same me.

      Well, it’s not actually the same team or the same position. It’s a position with the same title on a team that is now larger by at least the one person who was hired instead of you in the previous round. That person brought certain skills and experience to the table and now the gap they’re trying to fill is slightly different, and you might be a better fit.

      I also hope you’re not exactly the same you. You’ve learned something and been shaped by some of the experiences you had during the past four months.

  4. BRR

    Also look at this from the other side. Even if you were rejected because you interviewed poorly and interviewed well now (and that’s still an if), they would have one poor impression of you and one good one. I can’t imagine after a bad interview that I could be completely sold on offering a job to someone. Later on yes, but not like two weeks later.

  5. grasshopper

    Keep in mind that you might not have given the answers that the interviewers wanted to hear. Your answers may have seemed right to you (if you thought that they were the wrong answers, you wouldn’t have given them), but not to the interviewers.

    1. Stranger than fiction

      Exactly this too. Maybe at some point they got the impression through no fault of your own that you wouldn’t work well with a remote boss or something like that. It can be some very nuanced detail that wouldn’t necessarily be in the job description

      1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

        Yes. And job descriptions aren’t meant to tell you all the “correct” answers to interview questions. The purpose of the interview is to look for a match. While it’s no fun being rejected, it’s also not good for an employer to offer you a job that is not a good match. The more that you can be yourself, be honest, and give complete answers, the better your odds are that a job offered to you will actually be a good fit.

  6. Allison

    Keep in mind that first impressions, especially when it comes to getting a job, are absolutely critical. You may actually be the best candidate for the job, but if you don’t interview well, or you just have an off day, and you don’t mesh well with the hiring manager when you speak to them face to face, then you’re probably not getting the job. It’s an unfair reality in life.

    It would be amazing if we all had crystal balls to tell us who would actually be most successful in the job we’re looking to fill, but we don’t.

    1. Dana

      I like that, but I also wish I had a crystal ball to tell ME what role I would be successful in and figure out what my career should be, because it ain’t the one I’m in now.

  7. The IT Manager

    Applicant timelines are different than employer timelines. They may well be finishing up the hiring process that you interviewed for. Asking them for a second chance after they rejected you makes you seem pushy and shows you reject their judgment. This will not reflect well on you.

    Your next opportunity with the company is when the job is truly reposted again after a period of time (6 months at least) or for another position.

  8. AnonAcademic

    If your interview nervousness precludes you from representing yourself properly, that is a You problem not a Them problem, IMO.

    Apologies if that sounds harsh, but the OP doesn’t mention anything they’re doing to address how their nerves affect how they interview. Imagine if they DID give you a second interview and you flubbed it again due to the even greater pressure. Wouldn’t solve anything, would it?

    1. KJR

      I am curious to hear more why the OP thought she didn’t do well in the interview…nerves could mean anything.

      1. Ezri

        That’s true… I don’t know how many times I’ve come out of an interview / meeting / presentation / exam a panicked mess (in my own eyes) thinking I’d completely botched it and found out later that it wasn’t noticeable. We judge ourselves very harshly, especially when you throw anxiety in the mix.

        1. Melissa

          Yeah, I had a phone interview last week that felt like a disaster on my end and they called me back! I was really surprised.

  9. Brett

    Even in our super-rigid local government hiring process, we always have the option of scheduling a second interview if we are still unsure about a candidate. We most often do this when we have two toss-up top candidates, but we also frequently use this when we have a single top candidate who looks strong on paper, but interviewed poorly. (Which is different from someone who came across as totally different from what they are on paper.)

    If it really was just a bad interviewing skills and you were otherwise the top candidate for an unfilled position, the hiring manager almost certainly had the option to bring you in again. They chose not to do that; that is a strong sign that a request for a second interview would be fruitless.

  10. TootsNYC

    Maybe I’m conceited, but I feel like I can tell whether someone had a “bad interview” because they were nervous, or not good at answering questions on the spot, and whether they had a “bad interview” because they aren’t that skilled in their field.

    I probe for that, a little, when I interview. So, you may have lost out based on something other than your interview.

    1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

      That’s true. I try to tune out some of the nervousness I see in candidates because I can empathize. I spent the entire interview for my current job trying to keep my hands under the table because they were shaking so much. I don’t think anyone would describe me as a nervous person, and I’m at my best under pressure – except for interviews when I REALLY REALLY want the job, apparently! I bet I’ve interviewed tons of people who thought they weren’t called back due to nerves, when in fact it was something else completely. That said, it depends on what happens to you when you are nervous – if you turn into a jerk or make lots of unpleasant facial expressions, that may well be the disqualifying factor.

    2. Steve G

      That would actually be really comforting (not conceited) to know, to know that the interviewer has the skills to put aside the nervousness, etc. and see the real candidate underneath. Candidates would rest assured that you’re rating them effectively despite minor nerved-driven flubs (and I’m hoping most interviewers have this skills, as I totally flubbed during a phone screen yesterday because the questions were open-ended “what do you think of analysis?” type (pointless questions), to which I rambled more than I ever do in real life).

  11. Yep

    That sucks and the exact same thing happened to me. Keep an eye on that organization for future openings – definitely apply again if given the chance, but yeah, let this one go. Sorry dear.

  12. Hush42

    I don’t think it’s always a bad idea to ask for another interview. It’s not exactly the same situation but at my current job I applied in September and had my first interview near the end of the month. The interview went okay not wonderfully but not horribly either. I sent a follow up e-mail after that to thank them for the interview and never heard back. The listing for the position was never taken down. I ran across the job posting again the next January and, on a whim, I reapplied. A few days later I got a reply to my thank you e-mail from the original interview asking me to come in for a second interview with the person who had interviewed me and his manager. When I got to the second interview I got the distinct impression that the first guy had already decided that he wanted to hire me and that he just needed his managers approval. They offered me the job a few days later and I’ve worked here for over a year. I learned that they had hired someone after the first round of interviews and then decided that they needed one more person so maybe I was the runner up or something the first time… I’ve never actually asked.

  13. Adrian

    same as you, the job opening was taken down before i went in for the interview. But it’s back up now, i think i am going to reapply.
    What’s the worst that can happen? Another rejection!
    But at least i tried again.
    YOLO!

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