I applied for a job last year (at around the same time, interestingly enough) and unfortunately I didn't get it. I did interview, but wasn't chosen. A nearly identical job has been posted just now.

The feedback from the hiring committee was generally positive, with the major barrier being that I didn't have the depth of experience that other candidates had. Since that time I have gained some experience that I can use directly to support my application. However, it has only been a year, so my experience level is still not as high as it could be.

The job is internal to my organization, and would involve switching to a department that I really feel that I would be a great fit for. However, I'm concerned that by applying a second time so soon after the first time I'll come off as arrogant or foolish - that it may seem that I feel I've matured so much in the past year that I'm now suddenly qualified.

How do I address the rejection from the last time I applied, describe the experience I've gained, while still appearing to understand that I have a ways to go?


2 Answers 2


How do I address the rejection from the last time I applied, describe the experience I've gained, while still appearing to understand that I have a ways to go?

Being rejected from a position does not mean that you will be rejected again if you reapply. This happens mostly in cases were you were rejected for reasons like Background Check and other legal or "shady" problems you could have in the past.

I would say that you should just apply, and then answer the questions they may ask you and if they ask you. Make sure that your Resume also reflects those things you learned in this past year, so it is not exactly the same as the one you submitted before.

If they ask you about your previous application just be honest and say that you have learned several things since then, and that you consider yourself more fit for the role now.

I doubt they ask you why you were rejected last time, as they surely have that information documented. Most surely they will focus their questions on your skills and experience, so be sure to be prepared to answer those. It is up to them (again) to decide if your new skills and experience make you the right choice for the job, so stick to what you know and be prepared to back up what you put in your resume. Good luck, hope this helps.

  • As a side note, don't underestimate what you can learn and do in a single year. One can gain incredible amounts of knowledge and experience in that time if you want to. I would never have guessed how much I would have learned this past year I have been working in my current company, so have confidence in your new skills and go for it :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 18:49
  • Fair points, thanks. The reason I'm hesitant is due to the nature of the job. It's a teaching position at a university. "Depth of experience" almost exactly translates into "number of courses taught", among other things. The first time, I had taught 0 courses. This time, I've taught only 1. If I'm up against someone who has taught, say, 10 or more, which is fairly common, then I'm concerned it looks like I'm saying I understand everything even though I've only done this once...does that make sense? Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 18:54
  • Yes, it makes sense for you to be worried. However, 1 is surely better than 0. If last time they said you were great candidate but only lacked that part, now that you covered that deficiency I feel your chances are still high. As a side comment, it could benefit you to try teach more courses before applying to these sort of jobs. That or do other activities related to teaching, like being Teacher Assistant, Tutoring Students, etc. Hope this helps :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 18:58
  • 1
    I would say you have nothing to lose by applying again, except for your own time. If you are bringing more experience to your application then the company will not think twice about it. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 19:07
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    It happens that you apply for a job, and you don't get it not because you are not good enough, but because there is someone who is just a little bit better. Or exactly equally good, and they can't hire both. If that happened, you are now more qualified than a year ago, and that one person who beat you isn't applying.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 22:16

How to approach applying for a position that I was rejected for before?

Most applications will have a "have you applied here in the past" type selection, be sure to be honest here and provide all relevant information requested. The trick here is during the interview ( being positive ) to not dwell on the initial attempt in the interview process.

I would approach this as a completely new opportunity. Stay focused on the positive attributes you bring as they relate to this new opportunity. If your initial attempt is brought up in the interview, focus on what you have improved upon since your first attempt.

Here is a quote for a very relevant article.

Siva says there are three things applicants should do before applying again to the same company. The first is to understand the gap in their previous application. How? “Ideally this comes from the company through a contact involved in the hiring process, but if not, the applicant needs to be honest with themselves: ‘Did I have the experience, did I speak the company’s language, did I sell myself the right way?’ Make a list of these things, and spend whatever amount of time is needed to close the gap, and be sure to have it documented and readily demonstrated.

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