Most company websites where you apply for jobs directly have a place where they ask if you have applied for a job at that company before, and if so, what month + year. What is the reason behind this question? Let's say I interview for Department X in 2012 and don't get the job, but two years later I apply for a job in Department Y. Would the hiring manager(s) in Dept Y ever check with Dept X to see what their experience was with me, and would my past interview history with that company have any bearing on the position I'm currently interviewing for?

  • I've seen answers to this that have suggested that its because companies may have info on you from last time. Hopefully not, because in many jurisdictions, depending on the nature of that information, that is quite unlawful. Feb 11, 2014 at 22:51
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    @NathanCooper - what kind of information is unlawful to store, but not unlawful to have in the first place? (I'm honestly curious.)
    – Adam V
    Feb 11, 2014 at 23:02
  • @AdamV European countries have data protection laws that cover “automated treatment of personal data” (or some similarly awkwardly worded scope), meaning it's not illegal to learn, say, about the contents of a resume and use them for one purpose but it could be illegal to put this information in a database with an eye for future use (without consent).
    – Relaxed
    Feb 12, 2014 at 12:48
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    @AdamV. For instance, in the UK The data protection act says: "Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.". It's a bit vague, but I doubt its good practice to keep too much information from an interview process for the purpose of checking years later. I'm not an expert though. Feb 12, 2014 at 12:49

2 Answers 2


There may be something to be said for what kind of file they have on you. If you applied previously, there may be notes that were taken that could be useful in the new interview.

While there is the potential for the person from Department Y to check with Department X, there is also the possibility that the HR system used for tracking applicants has the notes and other details and thus the other person may not even be bothered. At the same time there is also the possibility of someone that interviewed you previously could come back again as they used to work in X in 2012 but now work in Y.

The point would be to see if the reasons for not hiring you are still valid or not as well as to see if things line up in your new resume compared to your old one.

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    Quite apart from any notes or records, at the very least, the hiring manager(s) in Dept Y will surely want to ask the interviewers from Dept X if the recall why you didn't get hired. It could make a big difference depending on whether they say "oh he was excellent, but we hired Fred instead because he seemed even better" or "oh, that guy was an idiot". Feb 12, 2014 at 4:49
  • There are often reasons why someone may be marked as do not ever hire such as lying on a resume or a bad background check. Hiring is expensive and companies don't want to waste their time on someone they will never consider hiring. Not being selected before is typically not one of these reasons as your qualifications change and the position may be differnt.
    – HLGEM
    Feb 12, 2014 at 21:41

Most of the time they may not consult between departments to know the result of your past interview. Rather they will evaluate whether you will be the right person for the current post or not. For that they will take your interview, your past experiences into consideration and your responses etc. Relax and concentrate on your cuurent post.

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