I believe it is a pretty common situation students face in the job market.

Last semester, I applied to a dozen of companies for internships. I got a few offers, and currently spending this summer at one of those offers. But, I wish I could have got into one of the companies I missed.

Now, I will be graduating in upcoming fall semester and need to start looking for full-time offers. Will my not-so-good performance in internship interviews lead to an outright rejection (not even interview is offered) for full time positions? If there is slightest possibility of this happening, how can I go about explaining my potentials and earn atleast interviews? How can I make sure that the companies judge me only by the full-time interview performance?

EDIT (Additional Clarifications): My university's fall career fair begins a little more than 5 months later the latest of those rejections. Will it be too early to apply for full time?

Will it be justified to contact the HR managers to figure out what went wrong? Shall I register with another email account on those job portals cause I am afraid they may still have my data.

  • These have relevant answers - How long should you wait to re-apply to a company? and Re-applying to a company, years later
    – David K
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:12
  • @DavidK Thanks for pointing out those links. My major concern is that there would be around just 5 months gap between the rejection and reapplication. I have edited the question to emphasize in my concern.
    – GKS
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:25
  • Yes, the first link is in particular about a 6-month gap between applications.
    – David K
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 16:00
  • How badly did you do in the interviews? Not being the best applicant at that point won't rule you out in the future but being openly offensive probably would.
    – Myles
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 19:04
  • I would assume it to be the "not being the best applicant at that point" case.
    – GKS
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 19:09

6 Answers 6


Did you find out why you didn't do well? If so, address it at your cover letter.
"I had an interviewed here with ________ for an internship last semester, unfortunately, I feel I wasn't doing my best because ________ and it might not have met your satisfaction. Since then, I have ___________ to improve my ________ ."

Most likely, they wouldn't even know you applied. Most companies policy is that, they will keep the candidate on file for 6 months. So if you really did that poorly, just don't mention it and forget you ever applied.

  • +1 for suggesting the OP address the previous interview outcome and how they used it as an opportunity to improve.
    – SWalters
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:14
  • I believe I am aware of the mistakes I made in those interviews and I am working on them too. I have heard cases where people didn't even get an interview call on re-application cause they were rejected sometime back.
    – GKS
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:20
  • If possible, you should had followed up and asked what they thought you didn't do well on or if they had any feedbacks. Sometimes, you could address those "mistakes" right away... maybe not so much for an internship, but for fulltime position, it is sometimes hard to find someone who fit the description perfectly, and different people who interviewed you may have different opinions... although 1 person who interviewed you thought you didn't do well at certain area, another person may really like you, and all you had to do was address that certain area to keep yourself at the hiring process
    – CleverNode
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:25
  • Will it make sense to follow up now? Should I write emails to my favorite companies hiring managers and let them know that I am indeed gearing up for full-time positions.
    – GKS
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:31
  • No. it's too late to follow up to ask for feedback from interviews months ago. It should had been done at most 2 weeks from your interview or when they send you rejection letters/emails. You can definitely write emails to the hiring managers -- that's definitely better than applying blindly through company's websites.
    – CleverNode
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:32

It would depend on each company, but most likely not.

Internships are a different role, and thus a completely different selection process. In a well-run internship program, applicants' interests and backgrounds are considered, especially with regards to whether or not the internship program seems to "match up" to the applicants' interests. You more than likely were turned down because they were "full" in their internship program already, or your apparent interests didn't line up with what they had to offer.

Employment is a different mindset. Employers are looking for applicants' skills and experience matching and being sufficient to their needs.

Not being selected for an internship should not have any effect on an employment application. Again, though, each company is different.

  • Thanks for the answer. My major concern is that there would be around just 5 months gap between the rejection and reapplication.
    – GKS
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 15:24

I agree with Wesley Long's answer about internship and employment being likely two different recruitment processes, and thus not being accepted as an intern not killing your chances for a job. It's at least worth trying.

However I'd like to answer the last paragraph of your question. Registering with a different email adress hoping they won't connect the dots is a terrible idea. If they find out - and they are very likely to - your chances are blown. Do not ever lie to or try to hide something from a recruiter, that's the best and possibly only way to make absolutely sure you don't get a job. Instead, bring it up yourself, and insist on how you improved in the past months. Make them curious enough about how you changed and fight for your job in the following interview.


Internship application having been rejected is almost irrelevant. That was a different job. Your not having been the best candidate for that says little or nothing about this time.

If you'd been an intern there, that might or might not count in your favor depending on how the internship went. You weren't, so it's a non-datum. No need to mention it unless you think "I really wanted to intern with you but you didn't have a slot for me" might show enthusiasm for the company.


The hiring managers for each position make choices based on their own criteria and needs. What made you not get offered the internship may only be something that particular manager was not interested in, but it just might be the thing that makes a differnt manager interested.

I would doubt that anyone will even notice you applied for and got rejected for an internship unless you did something so massively stupid that people still remember it (I am talking about things like showing up to the interview drunk out of your mind and naked type things, not misanswering a few questions).

You are not the same person who applied for the internship. YOu now have work experience from your current internship, you have new skills hopefully or more depth in the skills you had then. This is true even with experienced employees. JUst because you weren't right for job a 2 years ago may not say anything about your qualificatiosn for job B today. Again, the only times I know of perople automatically being excluded based on a past interview were when they behaved inappropraitely. That doesn't mean you will get an interview, just that they are likely to judge you using the criteria they are using for everyone.

Don't bother to ask HR for feeback on your old interview. They are more than likely not allowed to give it to you and asking will make them more likely to notice you negatively.


WesleyLong and ero are right. In my company I usually interview internship candidates but nobody would ever dreamm of asking me to interview full-time candidates as they are two totally separate processes.

To ask HR for feedback would be a waste of time as:-

a) it'll make you seem weird. You interviewed for an internshio not CEO! b) you'll likely be interviewed by a totally different set of people. c) and most importantly. You've had the benefit of an internship at another company and should focus on explaining how this has benefited you and what skills you've acquired rather than dwelling on the past.


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