25

I had an opportunity to get an internship recently and made it through a few rounds of interviews, but on my last interview, I didn't do very well. This resulted in getting rejected for the potential job offer, and in the email I received from my recruiter telling me that they weren't going to be moving forward with my candidacy, they said that they hope I reapply next year and to "please keep in touch".

What does it mean exactly when they say "please keep in touch"? Is it just a polite thing that is customarily said or do they expect me to actually "stay in touch"?

If so, what does it mean exactly in this particular scenario to "keep in touch"?

  • 2
    Is the "recruiter" that you mention the same company that you'd be working for, or is it a separate recruitment agency? If the application was through a recruitment agency they may mean something like "please keep using us to apply for jobs and internships". – ping Jan 1 '16 at 16:09
  • 1
    @ping it's from the company that would have hired me - it wasn't some third party recruitment thing – Nick Zuber Jan 1 '16 at 16:11
  • 2
    It means it's a auto-generated message made to try to seem polite while actually not caring for you. – user3834459 Jan 5 '16 at 16:06
33

What does it mean exactly when they say "please keep in touch"? Is it just a polite thing that is customarily said or do they expect me to actually "stay in touch"?

It's just a polite thing.

They are hoping you'll reapply next year. Take the time to boost your knowledge in the areas which need improvement and reapply in a year or so if that works for you.

Meanwhile, send a note to the folks you interviewed with, thanking them for their time. That never hurts.

  • 2
    It may be worthwhile asking the interviewer(s) what areas they feel you did poorly on, and how your application might be improved. – Dawood ibn Kareem Jan 1 '16 at 22:11
  • 5
    Keep in mind too you could have been fully qualified for the role, but interviewed against people who were more qualified. You may be able to successfully interview against similar positions in the future as a result. – enderland Jan 2 '16 at 17:34
  • The note tip is excellent; something small but keeps you in their mind. – Burhan Khalid Jan 5 '16 at 16:12
  • They are hoping you'll reapply next year. I disagree. They may be hoping the OP applies next year, but it could also just be a formality. Still a great answer, and sending a note can only help. – silencedmessage Jan 5 '16 at 18:08
9

I would guess it is a 50/50 chance you're getting the real, full honest feedback or not. Having been a hiring manager myself and having been rejected plenty on interviews as well, the responses can span from sugar-coated feedback to outright ridiculous excuses that make no sense vis-à-vis your interview. Truthfully, you will not likely ever find out the full scope of the rejection rationale.

Move on - life is full of rejections and a "keep in touch" phrase is a polite, but meaningless gesture. By the time you have a reason to re-apply or talk to them, you'll likely have many other opportunities to consider anyways.

7

What does it mean exactly when they say "please keep in touch"? Is it just a polite thing that is customarily said or do they expect me to actually "stay in touch"?

What does it mean? It means "We want to appear open to hiring you in the future if things change". It does not mean they are open to hiring you in the future, regardless of any changes in you, the position, or the other applicants. It doesn't mean apply again tomorrow, or let us know when you graduate or anything else beyond giving the impression that they would you all due consideration if you applied again later.

It is not a totally meaningles statement, but it is close. You should not read anything at all into it NOT being said, and the MOST you should attribute to it if it is said, is that they don't think you are someone they could not work with.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.