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I'm currently happily employed, but looking for a job in my hometown for personal reasons.

I applied to one job that seemed promising. But since applying, I've read a lot of negative reviews about work at that company. The hiring process was also very anonymous and did not follow standard procedures, such as starting with a phone interview before telling the candidate to travel 300 miles. I had to reschedule their suggested interview but may not be able to make the new date either, due to unexpected circumstances at my current workplace.

I've become quite cold about the idea of working there, but I don't want to completely burn that bridge. I'm also still interested in doing the job that they advertised, but discouraged by the application process and what I've learned about their working conditions.

I think the best option at this point is to try my luck elsewhere, so, how can I back out of this application without gong straight to the rejection bin if I decide to apply again later?

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    Can someone help me understand why I'm getting these down-votes? – pidan_dan Oct 26 '18 at 11:36
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    I think some of the down votes might come from the large amount of detail that isn't necessarily relevant to the actual question and gives the impression this is a question for your specific situation. – everyone Oct 26 '18 at 12:54
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    @everyone (nice name!), I was trying to head off answers like "don't apply for jobs you don't want" by explaining my reasoning, but I've removed a bunch of details so I hope it's more generic now. – pidan_dan Oct 26 '18 at 13:58
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    @TomTom I think "alleged" problems is pidan_dan giving the company the benefit of a doubt in the reported problems, but personally believing that the number of reports and the description of the reports are somewhat accurate. In addition pidan_dan's description of the hiring process reinforces the rumors, so "alleged problems" but likely true problems in pidan_dan's mind. – Edwin Buck Oct 26 '18 at 14:24
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I think the best option at this point is to try my luck elsewhere, so, how can I back out of this application without gong straight to the rejection bin if I decide to apply again later?

You could contact them and say that unfortunately due to a change in personal circumstances you aren't able to continue with the process but that you hope to be able to work with them in the future.

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