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After a great interview process at a big company, ( I was given to believe that a positive feedback came from those who interviewed me) I got a rejection email from the HR; but 3 days later, another employee (at a higher position) of the company sends an email with apology and wants to make me an offer. How should I respond?

I like the job and it is right up my alley. But not sure how to leverage this situation and bargain and not appear desparate. I certainly dont want to appear desperate by accepting this offer as I am currently in a great company that pays me well and co-workers are good. Only issue is that, going by the company's performance, I might end up being stagnant in company.

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    Not a good idea to ask strangers about career moves. You have to make the choice yourself and ask your friends and family – Ed Heal Mar 4 '17 at 8:13
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I recommend asking them to explain how exactly the HR mixup happened and what they're doing to make sure it doesn't happen again. Mistakes happen, but that's a pretty serious one that would definitely shake my confidence in the company as a whole. Without a really great explanation, I can't recommend working for a company that messed up so badly.

Only issue is that, going by the company's performance, I might end up being stagnant in company.

On the upside, it sounds like you have plenty of time to find a job with a company that can handle such complicated HR procedures as not rejecting candidates the interviewers wanted to move forward with :)

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At my previous workplace there was a name mixup by HR and they rejected the candidate who was selected. By the time the tech interviewer realized the mistake and HR contacted the candidate, he had already got a job elsewhere.

So HR people do make silly mistakes and that does not reflect on the company image.

BUT. If someone other than HR skips protocol and contacts you, it indicates a haphazardness and lack of respect in the company. Red flag.

If you are getting an offer that is a higher position and you have done your research about the company (see glassdoor.com) and you did not see any red flags about the people who would be managing you, then it would at least be worth speaking with them on phone or meeting them briefly to allow them to clarify.

The clarification still does not mean you have to accept. You are already in a good job, and you have plenty of time to look for other jobs.

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I would say that you applied for a job, a mistake was made, the mistake was fixed with an apology, and now you have an offer in front of you. Mistakes happen; so you should completely ignore the mistake. You won't be able to leverage it. You won't get higher pay out of the company because someone made a mistake (unless if you find out the HR person sending out the rejection is the best mate of your ex-girlfriend and rejected you for revenge, and it was no mistake at all).

If salary wasn't discussed yet, you just have to make up your mind what salary X would be needed to make you leave your old company, and how much salary Y you would want to make, and these two numbers are what you take to negotiations. If you are worth less than X to the company, you will stay with your old company. If you are worth Z ≥ X to them, it's up to your negotiation skills to get the maximum amount possible.

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