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It's a large firm that probably can't really keep track of all applicants.

I emailed the HR employee asking about my hiring process and she said I made it to the next stage, then a bit later responded again saying that they are reviewing candidates and will be in touch soon with the results.

What if they later tell me I didn't make it? If I respond with something along the lines of "hey, but you already told me I made it", worded differently, would it help?

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    Best to apply at other places instead of depending on one company. Candidates have no control . So let it go . If you are selected , you will know. – Learner_101 Jan 21 '16 at 1:40
  • And things change, suppose just after she told you that you made it to the next stage, a company-wide hiring freeze happened? Or someone changed one of the job requirements and they have to review again? – HLGEM Jan 21 '16 at 15:55
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If they tell you that you didn't make it, it is incredibly unlikely that you would be able to say anything that would change their mind.

It is possible that both messages are true. Stage 1 involved HR weeding out obviously unqualified resumes and you passed that. Stage 2 involves the hiring manager reviewing candidates and deciding who to follow up with. It would be a bit weird to call those two separate stages but companies have all sorts of approaches. It is possible that the first message was an honest mistake where someone misunderstood where you were in the process. It is possible that the first message was correct but they didn't mean to tell you until they had finished reviewing all the resumes because they're not ready to start scheduling interviews. Don't read too much into this-- HR makes mistakes all the time.

If the company tells you that you didn't make it, accept it, thank them for their consideration, and move on. It is incredibly common for companies not to bother replying to candidates they're not moving forward with so when someone does you the courtesy of letting you know you don't want to make that uncomfortable for them. It also makes it much more likely that they'll consider you positively for a future position at a future time. If the first message was a mistake, pointing it out isn't going to get HR to force the hiring manager to interview you just to save face and it will likely make them less likely to hire you in the future.

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How do I respond?

You don't. The ball's currently in their court and they'll contact you when they're starting the next phase of interviews/negotiations/rejections.

In all likelihood, the second mail you received was a template response or BCC to all candidates to update them on the status of the hiring process. Your mail probably prompted HR to send out an update to everyone.

If they do reject you later, just send a professional email back to clear up the confusion. There's nothing for you to do right now.

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