Articles From the Team
Can I reapply for a job at a firm I was previously rejected from?
The short answer is 'yes'! This is acceptable in a majority of cases provided a sufficient amount of time’s elapsed since your last application.
For me, the worst part of my job is when I have to tell lawyers they’ve been ‘unsuccessful’ - particularly a candidate who really wants the job. This can be after the initial application, the first interview, or worst, after the second or third interview – when hopes are at their highest.
If it’s a 'no' from the firm of your dreams, don't feel disheartened. Undertake the following (practical) steps:
- Ask for specific feedback on why your application was unsuccessful (if it isn't forthcoming)
- From this, reflect on what you could do differently next time or what experience you need to gain before applying again
I’ve placed plenty of lawyers into jobs where they previously 'failed' to secure an interview! Choice of legal recruitment agency is crucial here; make sure you’ve built a strong working relationship. I’ve also placed a number of candidates into roles where they previously interviewed and progressed to the final stage, but were ultimately unsuccessful the first time around.
Common concerns from lawyer candidates
The number of times I’ve heard the following:
- “I've applied there before and wasn't offered an interview.”
- 'I've interviewed there before and I was unsuccessful.”
If a sufficient amount of time has elapsed, or if it's a candidate I’ve already worked with and I managed the previous application and see fit to make a further application, then I always encourage candidates to consider law firms a second time around.
Often, feedback is positive and you might’ve been pipped to the post by a lawyer who had a slightly more suitable experience. If, after a ‘rejection’, you use the following year to focus on and gain more experience, this will make a huge difference to a subsequent application.
In addition, your previous application might’ve been to a particular sub-team within a real estate department; perhaps your experience is a better fit for a different part of the team but there weren't any suitable vacancies in that area at the time of your last application.
In other cases, you mightn’t have gelled with a particular interviewer.
You should always take advice and constructive criticism and use it positively. Don't take it personally. Think about what you’d do differently next time. Think about how you might alter your preparation if you were to be invited to interview again.
The next time around, you’ll have an added advantage. You’ll know what to expect in terms of interview style, and have a deeper understanding of the firm and the work they do, the clients they act for and the sectors they focus on; all of which will put you one step ahead of your competition.
This couldn’t be more relevant in today’s busy market. The candidate pool is limited so of course firms are willing to reconsider previously rejected candidates.
Don't assume you can't apply again, next time, the end result could be an offer!