When you have an important job position to fill, finding a perfect long-term fit can feel like a difficult process. In some cases, you might not be certain of which top candidate will ultimately be the best choice for the role. Other times, you may not have access to enough candidates whose skills match what you’re looking for at the time. In times like this, considering previous candidates who have re-applied might be a necessity during your hiring interviews.
Whether you’re planning another round of interviews immediately after the first or you’re re-hiring for a position years after the fact, it’s likely that at some point or another you’ll be in a position to re-interview candidates you’ve spoken to in the past. Instead of only focusing on new applicants, when does it make sense to bring in a past candidate for another interview? Here’s are a few quick tips to help you figure out when that might be a good idea and when it’s worth skipping.
When to Reconsider a Candidate for Another Interview
Candidates who made a good impression but didn’t make the final cut previously can still be well-worth revisiting. Here are a few instances where you definitely should consider bringing them back in for another round of consideration.
1) They were a final candidate previously.
It’s often tough to make a decision when you’ve narrowed the applicant pool down to a handful of highly qualified finalists who would each be an excellent fit for a role. Previous finalists who are still interested should be high on your list to revisit for a follow-up interview, especially if other new prospects aren’t quite as well-suited to the position.
2) It has been years since the previous interview.
Even if a previous candidate wasn’t a top contender the last time they applied, it’s likely they’ve learned a lot, picked up new skills, and grown professionally during the time since their previous interview. It’s worth giving them another shot to see if they’ve gained a better foothold in the field and blossomed into a top contender.
When to Pass On Interviewing a Candidate Again
For those moments when you’re on the fence about whether to give someone another opportunity, these warning signs are something to watch out for.
1) Senior leadership did not approve.
Even if you like a candidate, it can be risky hiring someone that top management didn’t approve of during their first round of interviews. Pay attention to any signs of disapproval coming down from above. This can reflect poorly on you, and come back to haunt you if the person you hired against their recommendations turns into a nightmare employee down the road.
2) Incorrect information on resume previously.
Candidates who significantly fudged or lied on their resumes to look good the first time around have already showed you they can’t be fully trusted. If the omission or error was accidental, the fact the can’t follow basic protocols makes it hard to take them seriously. Rather than waste everyone’s time, it’s best to focus on candidates who are thorough and accurate with their submissions.
3) Bad attitude or lack of professionalism in previous interview.
Hiring someone who exhibited unprofessional behavior or had a poor attitude during previous interviews puts you in the position of catching the wrath of coworkers whose lives are likely to be made miserable by this individual. It’s best to save yourself the trouble and skip them altogether.