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A hiring manager from a major tech company reached out to me on LinkedIn. I really liked the role (and the chance to work for a company on that level) and said I will apply.

I was asked to perform a case study on some mock data and prepare a presentation. Then there were several rounds of technical interviews with positive verbal feedback at each step ("Your solution to this technical problem is perfect", "We really like how you visualized this data", "Your profile is exactly what we need for the team", etc...).

I got to a final "culture fit" interview, which a couple of friends of mine who already work there told me was a very good sign (They don't schedule that interview unless they consider the candidate technically worthy). I felt that interview went pretty good as well.

The nothing. Total silence, despite a promise of feedback within a certain time frame.

Several days later, after 3 or 4 follow up emails, the recruiter calls saying they went with another candidate. He also says that he can't provide any other feedback per company policy.

I emailed the hiring manager to thank them and ask for feedback.

Now I am seeing an opening for the exact same role on LinkedIn, and one of my friends on the inside confirmed that the opening is under that same hiring manager.

First of all, this has triggered a serious crisis of self-doubt, since I can think of 3 scenarios, only one of which is good:

  1. I completely misread the situation, and didn't do nearly as well as I thought, putting serious questions on my ability to self-asses and to asses my interactions with other people. (But then why all the positive verbal feedback? Useless flattery? These were all developers, not sales people)

  2. I was correct in assuming that everything was going well, but I raised some sort of red flag during the final behavioral interview, and that disqualified me not only from the role but the company as a whole (I hear that big tech has a lot of these criteria when hiring).

  3. They did indeed go with another candidate, but then it didn't workout somehow (didn't agree on the offer, etc...). So optimistically, I am still a viable candidate for the role, now that "the competition is eliminated" so to speak.

How do I go about figuring out what happened and where do I need to improve?

Should I reach out to the hiring manager and see if I can get a second shot at this?

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    How much time passed between you getting rejected and you seeing the job posting? – Dukeling May 25 at 23:37
  • @Dukeling my interview was April 9th. The job reposting was May 7th. – Alex Kinman May 25 at 23:39
  • "recruiter" = "Hiring manager"? – Gregory Currie May 26 at 8:05
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How do I go about figuring out what happened and where do I need to improve?

Your best bet is through introspection, or by candid feedback from your friends.

Should I reach out to the hiring manager and see if I can get a second shot at this?

If this is actually the same job (some job postings have IDs attached), then No - don't reach out to the hiring manager. You know you didn't get the job the first time around. You won't get the same job the second time around.

If you suspect this is a similar, but different job (perhaps the recruiter could tell you), then it would make sense to reapply. Don't reach out to the hiring manager. Of the hiring manager wants you for this second job, they will recognize your name and call you in for an interview. More likely, if this were a second job and they wanted you to hold it, they would have already contacted you first.

Either way, if you are truly interested, I'd contact the recruiter and not the hiring manager. Trying to go around the recruiter is seldom a good idea.

  • What makes you think they won't get the job the second time around? They may have simply been the second best candidate, and second time around they may be the best candidate. It's not the best of signs that the hiring manager didn't put their name forward, I agree though. – Gregory Currie May 26 at 8:07
  • Moreover, in the company I work for candidates where removed from the pool for further positions just because they directly contacted the hiring manager - it is not professional. – Sascha May 26 at 9:28
  • In this situation the hiring manager instigated contact – Gregory Currie May 26 at 10:56

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