Yes this literally happened. I messed up.

Three years ago (almost to the day) I applied to a company, did their technical test, interviewed, and was offered a job. Today I accidentally reapplied, and a different person responded to my application (almost immediately, literally minutes from application) with the exact same technical skills test I had last time.

Do I tell this new person about the events from three years ago? I'd definitely take the job now, the only reason I didn't then was due to a salary and benefits advantage of an alternate company. I did my diligence and called them back and informed them (politely) that I couldn't take the position as a better opportunity arose.

  • 3
    What's wrong with re-applying? See workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/12022/…
    – Stephen S
    Apr 5 '17 at 16:00
  • 1
    Actually, the reason it only took them minutes to decide you were worth consideration might be, that you are in a list of "people who we wanted to have, but couldn't get at that point".
    – skymningen
    Apr 5 '17 at 18:57
  • Is it possible there's no record of the offer from three years ago? Apr 5 '17 at 21:46
  • @NoloProblemo It's possible. As I said the IT Director is a different person, and they have yet to ask any questions about it. They actually asked me to schedule another in-person interview about an hour and a half ago. They either forgot, or don't seem to care. Apr 5 '17 at 22:27
  • @StephenS I don't think anything is wrong with reapplying, but I feel it's a different scenario because I was the one who declined the offer. Apr 5 '17 at 22:41

I'm going to answer with another question : what story are you telling them?

You are trying to get a job. You need to be convincing. What is your strategy to be convincing? What story of your career up to now are you going to unfold during the interview? Does this try 5 years ago enter the story?

If it's "We match much better than a few years ago, and here is why.....", then it can be part of your storytelling.

Short of that kind of storytelling, there is no reason to remind them there was a miss a few years ago. It's a risk to take only if it shows a clearly added value to your story.

EDIT : changed after comment.


NO. You do not tell them that they offered you that job. First of all, why raise an issue about rejecting them if they don't raise it?

Secondly, companies can have odd thought processes about candidates. One that readily springs to mind is "this person wants the same job that wasn't good enough for him years ago? The person is regressing/moving backwards in his career. Not the person we want...."

Finally, that isn't relevant to your job experience or other qualifications for the job. If they find you are qualified, again, you are qualified. If it comes up, THEN you share what you shared with us as far as reasons, but don't express that it was a huge mistake that you wish you could take back, or anything like that - just that the other offer seemed to be a better opportunity, for where you were in your career at that time.

  • 1
    This feels like the right answer. No need to volunteer information that's irrelevant. Apr 5 '17 at 19:18
  • I must still be somewhat qualified: they asked to schedule a face-to-face interview via email a few minutes ago. This advice seems to be the most appropriate considering it looks like they have forgotten I declined their offer before. Apr 5 '17 at 21:43
  • @EBrown or don't care
    – Stephen S
    Apr 6 '17 at 12:17
  • @StephenS - yes, they could very well take a professional attitude about it. I'm sure they have to deal with a lot of candidates who take it very personally when they don't get hired, so one would hope they'd take a more objective approach to those kinds of situations. Apr 6 '17 at 13:24

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