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I applied for a job, made it to the second interview and was not selected for the job. However, I am in a unique position because a contact in the company informed me that the candidate they selected had declined their offer. (Don't have any more information on this)

My question is what happens next? Do they simply select their next best candidate? Do they end the hiring process for that opportunity altogether, or do they restart the hiring process completely?

Based on the fact that I actually know that the opportunity is still (potentially) open, is there anything I can do to push my case, or do I just hope they will select the next best candidate and hope that it will be me?

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    Voting to close, specific to company and industry. The public sector will often go to next choice, others will re-advertise, change agency, move to (from) direct advertising etc, there is no way we can advise on your circumstances. – The Wandering Dev Manager Sep 30 '15 at 7:49
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    How do you know there was no other candidate like you? How do you know you were actually the next best candidate? There could be tens who are ahead of you, depending on the company, the position, etc. – scaaahu Sep 30 '15 at 7:56
  • Right now they've already declined and said "no hire" to you. Now just suppose that they did in fact come back to you a week or two later and said "oops we changed our mind?" Probably won't happen, but if it does I would be suspicious of it. Keep your job search open for a positive fit. – Brandin Sep 30 '15 at 10:01
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I would favour doing nothing, you've gone through a full interview process if they don't offer you the position after the first choice fell through it probably means they don't feel you are suitable for the job. I know large corporations can be quite bureaucratic but even with them it would be strange to restart the process if you'd got multiple suitable candidates. I would focus on other applications and if anything further does come from this treat it as a bonus.

In a slightly different situation I went for a job where the funding for the position was suddenly yanked. They sent me a standard rejection letter and I thought nothing else of it. However a couple of months later the hiring manager contacted me personally and asked if I would be interested in coming in for an interview. I happen to know that they only invited me back at that stage and I was offered the job.

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I would do nothing, your information is second hand and you have no way of knowing for sure. If they contact you, that's fine, contacting them could have consequences for the person who gave you the information as it's not something they should be discussing with outsiders.

If the information is true, it would be unlikely for them to restart the whole process if they had other suitable candidates. So if they do contact you, then you can be confident they deem you suitable and you therefore have a high chance of landing the position.

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My question is what happens next? Do they simply select their next best candidate? Do they end the hiring process for that opportunity altogether, or do they restart the hiring process completely?

Every company I have ever worked for would move on and make an offer to the next best candidate, assuming the next best one was still good enough to be hired.

When I hire, I try to narrow the list down to 2-3 candidates for just this reason. I make an offer to the best candidate, and I keep the other 1 or 2 on hold (I don't let them know that they aren't the top choice). If the best declines I move on to the other acceptable candidates on my list.

Other companies might do things differently. Perhaps your contact knows how they handle things at this company.

Based on the fact that I actually know that the opportunity is still (potentially) open, is there anything I can do to push my case, or do I just hope they will select the next best candidate and hope that it will be me?

I don't think there's anything constructive you can do in this case, unless you happen to know that everyone other than the first choice was informed that they were not chosen.

If that were the case, and you suspect that you were a "finalist" you could consider talking with HR and indicating that you are still available. You could also ask your contact if she/he would put in a good word for you.

It couldn't hurt.

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