I interviewed with a company a few months ago. The position involved staying late (I have a family) but with more money. I had to decline the offer and decided to stay with my current employer.

Since then, I have been promoted to a supervisor position, but the turnover rate is getting out of hand. A friend from the other employer recently told me about a position opening that doesn't require intervening with my family life, but I will have to interview with the same panel of supervisors.

How do I explain that I would like to be with that organization without showing indecisiveness?

  • 101
    You've rejected one position and you're now applying for a different one. How does it even remotely hints indecisiveness? If all, it shows that you're hardheaded, the exact opposite.
    – Agent_L
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 9:37
  • 4
    Will they even remember you? I assume you declined the first offer in a professional manner, right? Additionally, if you hold hiring/firing power in your current/next position and they ask why you are trying to leave your current job then do not answer "the turnover rate is getting out of order" as this is guaranteed to make them question your capabilities of fulfilling the duties in the new position.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 12:21
  • 5
    People decide to choose jobs, not employers. Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 13:55
  • 9
    75 cents promotion? That's pretty bad...
    – Nelson
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:19
  • 3
    @wizzwizz4 a 75% salary increase is also very unlikely. In all honesty it's probably 75 cents...
    – Nelson
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 18:33

6 Answers 6


You're not showing indecisiveness.

You're showing that you're deciding to choose a role based on your needs and there's nothing wrong with that (you couldn't accept the previous role because it didn't fit in with the hours you could work).

Apply for the new role, it's a completely different job - having the same interview panel doesn't change that.

  • 50
    And if it happens to come up in the interview - explain it exactly like this question described it. The previous position did not meet the hours you could work, this one does. That's very straightforward and easy for the employer to understand.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 13:18
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    You could even use the previous interviewing process as an asset by stressing how much you would really like to work for this company and voicing the disappoint last time in your realization of the conflict with the your home schedule.
    – user48276
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 13:52
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    It might even be an oppertunity; "I was interested in the company before, but I couldn't get it to work with my family. Now it doesn't intervene, this sounds perfect"
    – Martijn
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 13:57

Firstly, I very much doubt they'll even ask about the previous interview. As it's a panel, I'm guessing it's quite a large company, they likely get many people who apply for many jobs there before finding the 'right' role and accepting.

If they do ask, simply explain that you felt the previous role wasn't the correct decision for you and your family, and you wouldn't want to start in a role and then find that X months down the line you can't continue with it. They'll understand this, and they'll understand the benefit to both them and you in not previously wasting time starting a role you couldn't have stuck with. It's far better to train up someone who's planning to stick around for the 'long haul' rather than someone who comes in, and quickly is off looking to move to another role again.


I think the answer you gave is perfectly crisp, and could largely be said to the committee. Apply to the position, go through the cycle again, and don't be the one to bring it up. If you sense hesitation or concern, ask why, don't presume it's that you interviewed previously.

If you end up on the topic - I think it's totally fair to say:

  • The last position involved evening time that didn't work for your family. This position doesn't.
  • Although you've gotten a promotion in your current job, your not as happy there as you used to be, so you're reviewing options like this, at company's you found interesting.

If they say something like "this role involves lots of late nights, too" then you know something new, and while they may be concerned about your interest, they SHOULD be, because that's a bad fit for you.

Do keep in mind that some companies have a policy of not re-considering candidates that have declined offers in the last year or so. It's to keep someone from consuming the interview resources of the company over and over again. If that's true, you may not get a call back this time, but you might when the year has passed, if you re-apply.


How do I explain that I would like to be with that organization without showing indecisiveness?

When asked, you provide a clear and cogent reason why you declined last time and why you believe this time is different.

If staying late was the only factor involved in your prior decision, make sure you can explain specifically why this won't be a problem this time around.

Think it through ahead of time because the question is likely to arise. Practice your answer if necessary, perhaps with a friend you can help evaluate your answer and throw additional questions your way.

  • 1
    In particular, throwing in something like "obviously I can handle the occasional late night in an emergency, but for the previous position it was going to be a regular thing" might be a good thing. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 12:26

"I've been interested in your company. Its culture and the opportunities are a great match for me. I'm excited about finding the best role for me there." Or something like that, in your own words.

People want to see that you're interested in the company, and helping them be a success, not just that you're interested in a particular role.

It's honest - you've stated your desire to be at that company - and this will give you an edge over people who just choose jobs, not employers.

Also, it'd be best to not say anything negative about the other role, only what's positive about this one.


That depends on how you declined the previous position.

If you declined and cited your family concerns, you should have no problem. If the panel you meet is the same as interviewed you previously, thank them for the opportunity to meet with them again and let them know you are excited about this opportunity to join the company with a position that works great for you and your family.

If you did not explain why you declined the previous offer, you might want to briefly explain before the interview starts.

All in all, it may not even matter. As long as you haven't been interviewing and declining offers multiple times, you will likely not come off as indecisive.

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