So, after losing out to the job to the other person a month ago. I receive an email this week saying are you still interested in the role you applied for. I emailed the person back and told them that I'm still interested.

Two days have passed now and they haven't replied back to me. I called them yesterday but the HR member didn't pick up their work or mobile phone.

I'm unsure what to do now. I don't know whether I should just sit tight and wait for them to call me back, or shall I leave it another day then try to call them again. What is going on???

  • Who did you receive a Email from? Was it from a manager there, recruiter or HR? Jul 10, 2013 at 9:32
  • @MichaelGrubey It was from their HR
    – Jonah
    Jul 10, 2013 at 9:51
  • 2
    @Jonah - Until you talk to them after the email over the phone we can't tell you "whats going on" based on the information you provided. We can only guess what it might mean, which doesn't really help, because the reason is not really important. They are still interested in you, this can be a good thing, if they are worth working for. We can't help you decide if thats the case.
    – Donald
    Jul 10, 2013 at 12:26

2 Answers 2


For one of a number of reasons they are now going in another direction. It might be something that was beyond their control, or a sign that they have serious problems.

If you were still pursuing other job options since you were rejected, this rejuvenated option can be viewed as a gift. Even if you were no longer looking this can be good news.

You might be very close to getting an offer. Because offers can take a day or two to generate the gap since they contacted you hasn't been too long. I would have expected at least a quick email response to your acknowledgement that you were still interested.

There are several things that might be occurring:

  • They are working through the standard offer generation process, and the HR person is a poor communicator.
  • They are being extra careful because they got burned, and the process could take a day or two longer than normal.
  • Somebody that needs to sign the paperwork is on vacation. But if this was the case they should have told you this.
  • They only knew who was their number one choice, you were a finalist, but they didn't rank them beyond number one. They are contacting all the finalist to see who is interested, then they will pick the best one of the ones still available.
  • You were a finalist, but not number 2. They are waiting to hear back from number 2 regarding their offer, and want to keep all the other finalist interested just in case the negotiation with their new prime candidate falls through.

I would contact them again this week, but wouldn't hold my breath. Nor would I stop applying and interviewing for other positions.

  • 1
    From personal experience I'd say: They only ranked #1 and are now going through all #2s is the most probable.
    – Andreas
    Jul 12, 2013 at 11:07

Scenario 1: The person they hired committed to a start date and then didn't show up. I was working temp, and was due to be replaced by a permanent hire, and the new hire was a no show. No call, no email, no nothing, they simply disappeared. Most likely they were working multiple leads, and a better one came through.

Scenario 2: The person they hired proved to be a goofball. I had an interview, was told I would know my status the next day, the employer told me he'd hired the other person, thank you very much. Next thing I get is a message saying, hey, can you start tomorrow? Turns out the other guy made a mess of his first day at work and they told him to get lost.

Scenario 3: One or more existing employees stomped out. I had been having a progressively worse time at a job, and I realized they were assigning me 5 people's worth of work. They had no idea how overloaded I'd become, but I was getting nasties from my manager indicated that something had to improve. I went into HR on the Monday after I got my paycheck and told her "I'm done - Bye".

If they're not responding to calls, they either changed their mind again or they're in a mad scramble to find bodies, and can't get off the phone. This definitely has the flavor of an emergency on their part.

  • I feel you're right when you say it has a flavour of an emergency.
    – Jonah
    Jul 10, 2013 at 9:53
  • @Jonah - if it is, you may be jumping into a firestorm. Jul 10, 2013 at 10:20
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    Option 1A: the primary candidate failed the final step of the process: drug test, references; Jul 10, 2013 at 10:21
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    They could also have a new opening due to growth, one of their people could be moving up, the person hired originally did so well they no longer need a full time mentor for him so they have time to bring on another new person... Jul 10, 2013 at 15:10
  • So in summary, there are many good and many bad reasons why this might happen, so it's definitely worth looking at. 1. Proceed with care in case there's a problem with the company. 2. You might be in a better negotiation position, assuming the company is fine.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 1, 2014 at 10:19

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