I recently applied for a job and was lucky enough to get an initial phone screen scheduled with a recruiter (A). On the morning of my phone screen I received an email from another recruiter (B) in the same company thanking me (kindly) for my application but informing me that they were moving on from other candidates.

I assumed that the phone screen scheduled for later that day would no longer be happening. When I actually received the phone screen call later that day I realized there may be a mix up. Interviewer A seemed unaware that there had been a rejection email since they did not mention it and spoke as though I were still in full consideration for the role. Because I was so caught off guard by the phone screen, I did not mention the rejection email from that morning, and went about the interview as best I could.

Now that the phone screen is complete, I am wondering if I inform the recruiter from the phone screen of the rejection email, especially considering that they said that they would be following up with further steps in the screening process.

I don't want to appear like I am obscuring information from my recruiter by not telling them about the email, but also would like to proceed with further steps in the interview process, so how would you suggest I approach this situation?

  • 2
    Sorry for the bad wording. In that sentence those two people are the same person.
    – Jon Deaton
    Oct 24, 2017 at 21:29
  • This is not a duplicate, but related question: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/54666/… Oct 24, 2017 at 21:29
  • 1
    You seem to be contradicting yourself here. You've said "that the recruiter was unaware of this email" and then you say "I did not mention the rejection email from that morning". So which is? How do you know the recruiter was unaware of the email? Did you ask him? For all you know, that email may have been related to a different position, or maybe that email wasn't meant for you, but for another candidate. Oct 25, 2017 at 9:10
  • @StephanBranczyk Again, sorry for the ambiguous wording. It seemed that the interviewer was unaware of the rejection email because they did not mention it and spoke as though I were still in full consideration of the role. Neither of us mentioned the rejection email. I will fix the wording to be more clear.
    – Jon Deaton
    Oct 25, 2017 at 17:19
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    You basically have nothing to gain by telling the interviewer that someone else in the company told you that they were moving on, except for maybe your time. Who knows, maybe your interview went well enough that they'll move back in your direction. Let them handle their own internal conflicts, and just focus on getting the job. Oct 25, 2017 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


how would you suggest I approach this situation?

It is entirely possible that your application was forwarded to two different departments to be considered for two different (if similar) roles. This happens quite often in large companies.

I would not worry at all about the first rejection, and simply proceed with the second as if nothing had happened.

In any case, any potential hirer is now going to have a much fuller impression of you from your interview, than from a CV that was once on their desk.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful answer, I did contact my recruiter, and she said that indeed there had been a mistake on their end and they had send my application to a different department entirely.
    – Jon Deaton
    Oct 26, 2017 at 2:16
  • Quite possibly the company looked for someone with great knowledge in A, and another department looked for someone with great knowledge in B. If your CV went to both departments, then it is quite likely that one rejected you outright, and one is keen to interview you.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 10, 2017 at 19:21

so how would you suggest I approach this situation?

I think you handled it quite ok already, by reporting this incident as well as taking the interview regardless.

Seems like the recruiter already has a way to contact you as he reached you for the interview, plus you mentioned the incident already, so no need to say it again.

You should wait at least a week for them to reply about the status on the offer before I would consider writing a follow-up email; some companies may take even longer.

Whatever it is, there are two possible outcomes (get rejected or continue the process) so I suggest you keep your options open for other possible jobs you may like.

Edit: Given that the incident was not reported, it is still true that the recruiter indicated they will be following up with the process.

In case this was a mishap from their part they will surely inform such in the follow up they agreed to give you. You can therefore "assume" the will reply back, otherwise that would be unprofessional from their part.

I would wait some time for their reply, and then (even if you are rejected) you can consider reporting this to them, as a way of giving them feedback on their recruiting process (as this situation was clearly confusing specially when job searching).

  • Well I actually haven't yet mentioned it to the recruiter from the phone interview, which is why I'm hung up about whether or not I should mention it to them.
    – Jon Deaton
    Oct 24, 2017 at 21:35
  • I read better now, rewording answer
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 24, 2017 at 21:36
  • "It was not until I received the actual phone call at the scheduled time and that the recruiter was unaware of this email" - you are saying he was unaware, how do you know?
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 24, 2017 at 21:40
  • The recruiter did not mention the rejection email and seemed to proceed with the interview as though I was still in consideration for the position. I assumed this meant that they were unaware of it since it was also sent by a different person.
    – Jon Deaton
    Oct 24, 2017 at 21:41
  • 1
    @JonDeaton edited my answer based on your feedback :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 24, 2017 at 21:48

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