How To Reapply For a Job After a Bad Interview

Dear Classy Career Girl,

Last July I went through the application/interview process for a position at a company located in the midwest. Currently I am living in California, however I would love to move back to the midwest to be around family. The position was a great fit.

After receiving an on-site interview invitation, I had high hopes that I would be moving back to the midwest. But, during my travel my first flight was delayed and I missed the connecting flight. Unfortunately the next available flight available was a red-eye. I arrived with just enough time to check into the hotel, shower, and change my clothes. Needless to say I was not in the best state. Tired, disheveled, and a bit frazzled –  the interview did not go well. Within a week or so I received notice that I would not be receiving an offer.

It’s been a year. Since the interview a year ago I have changed projects, received a promotion and, of course, gained a year of experience. I am still interested in moving back to the midwest and still feel that the job (which is still posted) is a great fit.

So, my question to you is: How do you reapply for a job? How to you convey that you’re older, wiser, a bit less travel-fatigued?


Older and Wiser

How to Reapply To a Job After a Bad Interview

Dear Older and Wiser,
Thanks again for your question. Bummer about the delayed flight but kudos to you for not wanting to give up!! So, there are two ways I would consider approaching this.

Reapply Option 1:

Treat it like an informational interview and contact the person you interviewed. Tell them you really want to learn more about the company and the other person’s position in the company. Tell them that you would like to do an informational interview and ask them some questions. You can say you have more experience now and are really determined to break into the field of “blank” and would like to get their advice on how you could make that happen.  In the
In the email, I would list all of the additional experience you have gained since the interview but try to make it as short as possible and just ask for 15 minutes of their time for a quick informational interview.
Then, make a GREAT impression on the quick interview and if possible, meet them in person to show that you are more professional since the last time that you interviewed (not tired, etc.).  But the phone will work fine as well. And don’t ask for a job at all. Just make it about networking and wanting to learn more. At the end, you can ask if they have any other connections you can talk to or any other advice to break into the field or get a job at the company.
And then stay in touch with them. Do things like sending relevant news articles or updates on your job search. Just try to continue the networking relationship as much as possible.  If you are at the top of their mind when a position opens they will reach out to you if you are a great fit. It makes me think they aren’t actively searching for a person if the job has been open for a year.  So maybe they aren’t really in need of that person anyways?
You can casually ask at the end if they ever found someone for that position and if it comes up, you can try to interject about how that was a bad day because your flight was delayed, etc. but don’t make it like you are trying to make excuses. Companies want someone who can handle lots of pressure whether they got enough sleep or not.

Reapply Option 2:

The second option would be to contact the recruiter or manager and just ask if you can be interviewed for the position again because you see that it is still available. Email them a completely different resume that is much better and shows all of the things you have done over the past year and clearly demonstrate this on the cover letter as well.
If they don’t email back then call them and tell them all the amazing things you have done in the last year.  Better yet, go to the company and see if you can walk in and say that you had a bad interview a year ago and want to do better this time and you have been spending the last year working your butt off to get a job here.  If you show you are determined and passionate, it might just work.
But, there are other companies out there. I wouldn’t get totally stuck on this company so definitely keep your options open. Maybe you just aren’t a good fit for this company, but another one would be better for you.
Good luck! Keep in touch!

Hi, I'm Anna!

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