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Two different companies in 1 week told me the role i was interviewing for closed down.

One of them notified me 15 minutes before the second round video interview was scheduled to start, and the other after i completed an online assessment (which went pretty well, i'd say I scored around 75-80%).

The first company said that my background was a fit for their needs, but they need to bring on more seniors to train staff, and would reach out to me after that had been done, which would take another couple of months, followed by "best of luck in my search".

The second said "i just got word that needs within the organization have shifted and this role is being closed down. I anticipate future roles opening up so I wont hesitate to reach out if that's the case. Very sorry for the timing here, I will be in touch if things change here!"

The doubled up usage of "here" implies this wasn't a cookie cutter letter. The first companies was also specifically tailored to me as a junior applicant. What's going on here? Is this the new way to reject applicants or am I really this unlucky?

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    Yes, some companies use strange euphemisms like those. My favourite one, which I have heard 6 times is, "the interviewer is travelling". In one case, they had introduced the 2nd round interviewer at the end of my 1st interview, and asked me to come in for the 2nd interview 2 weeks later. A week later, they called to say interviewer is "travelling" abroad. Coincidentally, I saw him at a mall the next day (but he did not see me). So I called the company the next day and found out the interviewer still hasn't returned from his foreign trip. – Masked Man Aug 30 '17 at 1:57
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    @MaskedMan Maybe it was his twin at the mall. – Frank FYC Aug 30 '17 at 2:22
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    The second role feedback probably means they've realised they can't afford a new employee. – user34587 Aug 30 '17 at 7:53
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    I don't know where you are or what the business domain of the companies was, but there is a lot of economic uncertainly in the US due to Hurricane Harvey and how long the recovery will take and what it will do to gas prices and possibly taxes. I can easily see two different companies deciding to save some money short-term until they have an idea of the economic fallout. – HLGEM Aug 30 '17 at 18:58
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    @MaskedMan Interestingly enough, I heard that for the first time in my life that line this week. – Rui F Ribeiro Aug 31 '17 at 10:12
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Things happen. Priorities change. There may be a manager who has after long struggle managed to get the budget and everything to hire someone for his team, and halfway through the hiring process the company decides they need to save money, or a project is cancelled, or the manager decides he needs someone with more experience than advertised, and so on.

It happens. Telling you 15 minutes before a second interview is a bit late, but it happens. Twice in a week is bad luck. If you are not suitable for the position, they will tell you that you are not suitable for the position. If you are the second best candidate, they will tell you that you were an excellent candidate, but unfortunately for you someone else was better. There is really no need for a company to use lame excuses, so 90%+ that what they said is the truth.

4

It's impossible to know what the hiring managers were thinking. However let me tell you a story.

I was once in a position in a small IT department that had recently had some turnover. There were two vacated positions outside of the team I ran, and my boss and I agreed that the best approach would be to absorb those positions and their respective responsibilities into my team / team's service portfolio as a whole. So I posted the positions, and scheduled a round of interviews for the first round of applicants.

I was in the middle of interviews when my boss told me he changed his mind. Instead, he was going to form a new team with these two positions, reporting to him, and the responsibilities would be shared differently across the two teams (meaning the skillets for the openings no longer matched what I was recruiting for). So I had no choice but to call up strong candidates, one of whom was 2 hours away from his scheduled interview, and tell them that the position was no longer going to be filled. I wanted to say more, but giving more detail would have reflected poorly on the organization.

Point is, sometimes plans change without warning, and sometimes potential employers can't give much detail why.

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