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I wanted to apply for two positions at the same (small) company. Because I am desperate for work, I applied for a position which I don't like but where I have more experience. They got back to me fast, before I applied for the second position, and started the application process.

During the application process I asked about possiblity of applying for two positions at once to which the reply was basically "if(after) we don't accept you for this position, you may apply for others". During the interview process, I was asked about my "desire" for both positions. I think this was where I messed up because I might have showed more interest in the second position.

Two rounds later I was rejected for the first position, but there was no mention of possibility of applying for the second in the rejection email, except something along the lines of "Good luck in your future work. Feel free to contact us if you find an interesting position for yourself". I am not completely sure why they really rejected my first application.

How to proceed? Should I just apply for the second position? Do I mention something in the application? Should I first write to the HR that sent me the rejection asking about it?

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    How different were the two roles? Was it as different as HR and Sales? Or somewhat similar like junior and senior programmer? – user34587 Oct 16 '18 at 11:20
  • @Kozaky I'd say very similar - QA and dev. I do fulfill posted requirements on both. – Api Oct 16 '18 at 11:23
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if(after) we don't accept you for this position, you may apply for others

That says it all!

For what it's worth it's possible your enthusiasm for the second position during the first round of interviews may have hurt your chances slightly - or it's possible that another candidate was simply a better fit for the position.

How to proceed? Should I just apply for the second position?

Yep and yep!

Do I mention something in the application? Should I first write to the HR that sent me the rejection asking about it?

Nope and nope! If it feels natural it may be worth mentioning the previous application if/when you get to interview stage but it's no big deal if you don't. As for asking about the rejection to HR I really wouldn't, some (not all) hiring managers take requests for feedback negatively thinking you are trying to dispute the rejection. While the chances of that are slim I say why risk it when the second application is still in progress. If (and hopefully it never happens) you are rejected for the second position then it would be appropriate to ask for feedback in my opinion.

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How to proceed? Should I just apply for the second position?

Yes, just apply for the second position.

Treat it as if you had never applied before. But be prepared to talk about what you did during an interview. Be ready to discuss why you applied for a position you didn't really want.

For the future - always put all your efforts into one position at a time. When I interview potential QAers, I want to hire folks who actually want to be in QA - not folks who will settle for QA for a short time but actually want to be Developers.

Show enthusiasm and energy toward the role you would fill. You don't want to come across as someone who is desperate for a job now but will jump to a better job as soon as the opportunity arises.

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    "folks who actually want to be in QA" - this is a mythical beast that does not exist. – solarflare Oct 17 '18 at 2:43

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