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I had an interview at Apple around the first week of February and it is now April 2015. The position was really attractive, not even so much because it is Apple, but because it is something I am really passionate about. The position was for a firmware QA engineer position with the HID team where I would be testing new system implementations and doing unique QA tasks. The position was for relatively new people, I’d say entry level.

I was contacted on linkedIn via a recruiter. Went through an initial phone talk with one recruiter, an “about the job” conversation with a second recruiter, a phone screen with one of the team leaders where on the last question, he said my answer was very good. After that, they sent me an email the next day saying they wanted to fly me out there. I go there, interview with 6 people for 3 hours; back-to-back, not panel. A mix of team leaders, developers and a QA engineer. I think I did fairly well. Didn’t stutter on anything, if there was anything I was unsure of, I was clear about it. But also tried to answer as logically as I could while presenting them with my thought process.

Go back home and after a week, I got a rejection email. I asked for feedback and they said they hired someone with more experience; not this may or may not be true, but I’ll take it for what it’s worth and have been growing on points I think need work).

I could name some areas where I could see why and how I was rejected mainly due to possible lack of knowledge on certain hardware testing, but that is mostly covered now due to my work exposure.

So, my question is—now knowing the background—is it too early to apply again for the same/similar (developer) position being only 2 months later? I know they said that they were looking to hire some people fast so they are growing with new projects and are looking for new talent.

  • Did they say in the rejection note that they were keeping your resume and that they were going to check it against new openings? – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 13 '15 at 21:21
  • Yes, but i figured that's pretty standard practice to mention it. "If anything comes up that we feel your skills match, we will contact you." I've had that thrown at me before. – Javia1492 Apr 13 '15 at 21:25
  • Well, if they have your resume in hand and they know they are going to decide to reject you for the same reasons, no doubt you'll get the feeling "I've had that thrown at me before" – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 13 '15 at 21:51
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First you describe this:

I was contacted on linkedIn via a recruiter. Went through an initial phone talk with one recruiter, an “about the job” conversation with a second recruiter, a phone screen with one of the team leaders where on the last question, he said my answer was very good. After that, they sent me an email the next day saying they wanted to fly me out there. I go there, interview with 6 people for 3 hours; back-to-back, not panel.

Then you describe this:

Go back home and after a week, I got a rejection email. I asked for feedback and they said they hired someone with more experience

Who contacted you for the rejection? The recruiter I assume, correct? Well, regardless of that this is my gut reaction to what you are describing: Perhaps you saw this as an “entry level” position or it was presented to you as such but maybe someone with a few more “intangible” skills that dovetail better with their needs applied for the gig.

That said, I don’t think it would be too soon to apply for a new position at all. But if you were contacted by a recruiter and both positions—old and new—are managed by the same recruiter, then I would casually contact them via email or phone and clearly state, “Hey, I know they hired for another position but just saw this new position and I would like to be considered for that.” and then take it from there.

The reality is the fact they flew you out for an interview is a fairly big deal. Meaning you are not on a proverbial “low rung” application-wise. And while Apple might have gajillions of applicants coming through each day, something about your application stood out to someone. That said, you don’t want to be entitled to attention. You need to respect the fact they did not need you for the first position but carefully and clearly approach this new application with a very conscious and deliberate mindset. Respect them, they will respect you and take it from there.

And that said if you contact the recruiter and they say something that discourages your application, respect that as what it is and move on. Find another place to work for and be sure to keep these recruiters in mind when looking for gigs in the future. That could simply be as casual as emailing them when you get a new gig and saying, “It was great working with you on those Apple applications. Sorry things didn’t work out, but I am at XYZ company now doing similar work. If you ever have a position you feel might need my skills, feel free to contact me.”

The key to all of this is basic professionalism, respect and awareness that they know who you are. So at the least you now have a “leverage” point to attempt to get higher in the consideration stack for other positions.

  • Hey, thanks for the feedback. As far as the contact via recruiters, first: all recruiters that i was in communication with were apple recruiters and not third party. Im assuming what happened (based on my experience) is, a general recruiter was on linkedin doing the normal search refining and i happened to survive. Then he contact me, told me about the job, and then had me talk to a second "recruiter" who was more knowledgeable about the job and the team i'd be working with since she was directly apart of it. – Javia1492 Apr 14 '15 at 13:23
  • You're also most likely right that even though it might have been considered an "entry level" someone with just a tab more qualification/experience might have been chosen over me. The only thing that makes me feel disappointed is that they had said over the phone they just hired someone out of school the previous week and i had been working for 5 months so the be rejected made me lose some confidence. – Javia1492 Apr 14 '15 at 13:25

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