I've been searching for a job for a while now(too long, in my opinion). The employers I have gotten interviews for have so far led to one of these cases:

  1. Them politely saying they are no longer considering me as a candidate(ie, someone else is better suited)
  2. They just do not send me another email after the interview
  3. They reply back saying that they decided not to hire someone after all(position no longer exists)

Now I'm looking back and trying to figure out if I should send these companies an email to "check in". Is this a normal practice? Should this be done in all 3 of my cases? How much time should be given before sending back a check-in email?

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    I can't find entry level candidates that know how to write a multi-threaded hello world app, let alone an entire view model framework in .NET that is Mono compatible. How on earth are you unemployed? Jun 27, 2012 at 12:10
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    Earlz - Have you contacted any placement agencies? I would think someone with your skills would be an easy placement. Worst case scenerio a nicely paying contract to get you over the hump. Sometimes the fact that you have a job currently is more important than your skills when weighing candidates. Long term unemployment can be viewed as a sign or laziness/incompetence (even unjustly) by potential employers. Jun 27, 2012 at 12:46
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    @Chad Incompetent fools are poor judges of incompetence. One thing I know for sure is that somebody driven enough to write a framework, even if it sucks or doesn't work right is anything but lazy. Employers do care about hiring somebody who is TOO smart because geniuses tend not to work well with others and are generally hard to control and motivate. Jun 27, 2012 at 12:54
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    @maple_shaft I completely agree. However far too often incompentent fools stand between prospective candidates and their prospective managers preventing one from ever meeting the other. It is also really easy to sit in your crystal palace with your network of peers knowing you can get another job with a phone call and judge others for not having that same ability. And many times when it comes time to actually make those phone calls the promised jobs are not actually available. Just as you judge others for judging or for being too smarrt, others make judgments as well. Jun 27, 2012 at 13:41
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    @maple_shaft Oklahoma probably has more to do with his situation than anything else. Considering relocating would probably get him employed immediately.
    – user718
    Jun 27, 2012 at 18:14

4 Answers 4

  1. Just because they're no longer considering you for this position doesn't mean they'll never consider you again. Usually it just means that you're near the bottom of the totem pole in the application process and they have better candidates they're considering. The application process frequently goes through stages of elimination in order to narrow down the candidates and find the perfect one(s). Definitely don't contact them again right away.

    Generally, most companies have policies that your application remains "active" for a period of 60, 90, or some other amount of days after being submitted (if there isn't one listed, I tend to assume 90). If they do have a policy such as this, wait at least that long before even thinking about contacting them. Past that, if you see the position available again at some point in the future, feel free to apply for it again. If they're not a company that actively posts job listings, I would (personally) wait around double the time limit (maybe 180 days) before contacting them again, just for good measure.

    Companies realize that people change over time, so they're not going to look at your profile and go "he's applied before, toss that one out." If you're gaining additional experience in the related field, they'll probably choose to interview you again (I'm assuming that by the interview they've probably done the background checks, etc and have deemed you a potential fit candidate) to see how your mindset has changed and/or developed. If you've interviewed with them multiple times and shown no pattern of improvement in their eyes, then they may begin to set your application off to the side when they see your name come up.

  2. While I personally feel this is a horrible and rude way to end an interview process, I can understand that sometimes a person can be forgetful, too busy, or just too kind to reject someone. However, I would take this situation as the same situation as above. Most likely if they never contact you again, it's because you're no longer being considered.

  3. Keep an eye out for the position again. This doesn't mean at all that you're a bad candidate choice (I hope they wouldn't lie to you) or that you were eliminated in any way. Again, if it's a company that doesn't generally list their available job openings, wait a decent amount of time before attempting to contact them again.

Considering all of this, if you see a job opening at that company for a completely different position, always feel free to apply for it. The application and interview process for different positions can also be completely different. Sometimes the interview questions they ask and the things they look for vary greatly. Just because they don't see you as qualified for one position doesn't mean they're going to instantly eliminate you for another. However, make sure these positions aren't too similar. I've done this recently and have actually gotten farther in the process on the second application (which is still pending at the moment) than I did in the first one.

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    +1 With big companies there is a good chance that you will not even interview with the same people the second time. Just because you are not the right fit for one group does not mean you are not the right fit for a different group in the same company. Jun 27, 2012 at 12:48

In response to OP's three separate scenarios:

In the cases of:

Them politely saying they are no longer considering me as a candidate(ie, someone else is better suited)

Definitely not. Don't beat the dead horse.

They just do not send me another email after the interview

Yes. Tell them you're still interested in them. You should do it now.

They reply back saying that they decided not to hire someone after all(position no longer exists)

Yes. Wait about a couple of months after you receive their reply saying the position no longer exists. Their situation may change.

  • Your answers seem a bit contradictory...
    – pap
    Jun 27, 2012 at 8:46
  • @pap, I am not sure why you think the answers are contradictory. You have to assume they were telling the truth. If they say no longer considering, it's a dead horse. if they never say anything, OP should at least check it. In the third case, they did not say they are not interested in OP, so why not try again after some waiting period? I don't see any contradiction here.
    – Nobody
    Jun 27, 2012 at 8:56
  • right, didn't realize you were commenting on the 3 scenarios. Thought you were answering the three questions posed. Then it became "should i check in: definitly not; in all three cases: yes, do it now!; how much time to wait: couple of months" :)
    – pap
    Jun 27, 2012 at 9:03
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    -1 this is really just 3 one line answers. Please expand your answers to explain why these are correct. Jun 27, 2012 at 12:49

Depends on the Scenarios

  1. Them politely saying they are no longer considering me as a candidate(ie, someone else is better suited)

There is no reason contacting them about a closed position. Contacting them inquiring about other open but possibly unpublished positions periodically is justified. But don't harass them, you will know what feels like harassement, if you would not want it done to you.

  1. They just do not send me another email after the interview

Definitely continue to try and contact them and receive a response, this shows interest and tenacity. But don't just constantly email every day. Try networking with other employees to get in the back door by getting the hiring managers specifically email address and/or phone number to contact them directly. Having an employee hand deliver a resume or message to HR or the hiring manager personally will get results as well.

  1. They reply back saying that they decided not to hire someone after all(position no longer exists)

See my answer to #1, in this case, the job probably didn't exist to begin with and they were fishing for resumes for some reason.

Avoid Harassment

You will know when you start to approach harassment levels or frequency. If you would not like either one personally you are probably harassing them.

Given your location and the job market there, it is going to be hard not to harass companies hiring departments, just because the pool is so small compared to bigger states/cities in the US.


No do not bother contacting them again. Rejection are usually not just because of not having enough skill set but can also be because of personality conflicts. If you think that personality was not a factor, then you might check on them, "How you guys doing? Is everything working all right?" If you think you qualified for the job but you just did not get it, that means they will not hire you again. It can only be an embarrassment.

I am basing this answer on IT jobs but can be applicable anywhere. One of the most important factor in hiring process is, is this person compatible with us? This is something we often overlook.

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    I tend to not believe this because I know for a fact it's not applicable everywhere. My father owns a small business(not computer related at all) and said he usually will only hire people if they make an effort to check on the position after the interview. I don't really think it's the "right" method, but I assume he probably isn't the only one that works similar to that
    – Earlz
    Jun 27, 2012 at 20:43
  • @Earlz - My father said the same thing(owned a auto parts store). I found that applies better for customer service and entry level positions than skilled positions. But I still follow up with an note of thanks for the interview. Jun 28, 2012 at 12:31
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    @Earlz Showing interest in the job is of primary importance. I have not emphasized its importance here because it is understood. In software engineering jobs, body language and aptitude is key. If you failed there, calling them again will not help at all. If it is local tacho bell job, it might help because after all you know they are hiring and it shows you are interested.
    – TheTechGuy
    Jun 28, 2012 at 15:38

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