Some employers ask if you ever applied with them before when filling out application. Is considered a detriment if you made it to the interview stage before but failed to pass. How likely are employee to hire someone who failed an interview vs someone that never applied before?

  • 1
    I feel this is off-topic, as it depends on each recruiter, each company's policies on hiring, your past and current performance, etc. etc... please check help center to recall what sort of things are on topic on this site
    – DarkCygnus
    Jan 5, 2021 at 4:26
  • @DarkCygnus But they have a reason to ask if you previously applied before? Why else would they ask the question
    – pi a
    Jan 5, 2021 at 4:29
  • Yeah surely they have a reason... but that reason will be unique and specific to each recruiter, each company, etc. so it's impossible to give a proper answer without guessing or generalizing incorrectly I fear.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jan 5, 2021 at 4:30
  • @DarkCygnus Yes I think there is no 1 correct answer but I think there is might be an answer that applies to majority of employers
    – pi a
    Jan 5, 2021 at 4:35
  • 1
    You may have been the second best out of 100 people interviewed. Or they might have interviewed a view people and decided you were rubbish. In both cases, you "failed". In the first case, the company would be very keen to interview again, in the second case they wouldn't even bother.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 5, 2021 at 12:03

2 Answers 2


Are employers less likely to consider applicant that didnt pass previous interview?

We don't know, we can't say.

Usually the ask is to know whether the candidate has applied before and whether there was any exceptional issue happened with either the applicant or the process due to which the process was rejected / abandoned. They can use that info to decide whether to carry on with the process, or to drop it. Other than that, the result / outcome of the previous interviews generally do not matter, as during the cool-off period (most organizations have a cool-off period that needs to be passed before you re-apply), many things might have changed. The opening might be for a slightly different skillset, and/or the applicant might have improved over time to be eligible for the role.

Bottom line, you don't need to worry much, as this is something beyond your control. Provide the information needed, and carry on with the process normally. leave the utilization part for that information to the organization.


If you have applied before, the hiring manager and/or recruiter will typically try to drag up the notes from the previous engagement. There are three possible outcomes

  1. It doesn't matter: They can't find the notes, the record keeping isn't good enough and/or the people involved don't remember or aren't there anymore. That's in my experience the most common outcome.
  2. It helps you: You made a good impression but were passed over because there was someone even better, didn't quite fit the role, budgets were cut, etc. An endorsement from a previous interviewer can be quite valuable
  3. It harms you: You tanked at the interview due to a cultural, behavioral or technical issue. In this case your application is mostly dead.

I have seen all three cases in practice. If the previous interview went well, this can be really helpful. If it was bad, it's likely to kill your chances.

Some companies have build a process around it. The interview is asked

  1. Do you recommend hiring the candidate for the specific role?
  2. Do you recommend considering the candidate for other and/or future roles?

If you collect a bunch of "no" on question 2, it's extremely unlikely that they would ever hire you.

  • to 1) or they can't store data (for so long) due to the legal requirements
    – jpesout
    Jan 5, 2021 at 16:56

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