A reader writes:
I recently applied, interviewed for and accepted a job at a company that I interviewed with 20 months ago.
20 months ago, I was offered the job but had to decline (I couldn't wrap up my job at the time and move cities quickly enough for them).
In my cover letter and during the interview process this time, I did not disclose that I had previously interviewed, nor did they indicate that they recognized me.
I am not the same candidate I was 20 months ago (better experience, fully established in the city the job is located in, etc...), and the job has changed somewhat (same people but different reporting structure). I don't feel that I've done anything unethical, but am concerned how about how it might be perceived.
I have resigned my current job and am very excited about the new one which starts soon, but am a bit anxious about the omission, despite being fine with it during the process.
1) Would you as a manager fire me or rescind the (signed) offer if I disclosed this now?
2) Any advice on how to bring this up with my new manager?
I would simply proceed on the assumption that they know you applied previously, and not give it too much more thought. If in two months they suddenly look shocked and say, "Hey, didn't we offer you this a job a year ago," then just say, "Yes -- I thought we all knew I was reapplying after the first offer didn't work out." I can't see any reason why someone would fire you over this, assuming there was no deliberate deception (which there wasn't).
Because really, if they didn't know -- and it's the same people -- that's really weird. They should know. You should be able to safely assume they know. It's odd that it didn't come up in the interview at all (even just a "hey, nice to see you again" from either of you), but I wouldn't stress out too much about it.
People re-apply for jobs all the time. Your situation is only different in that you got an offer last time. Your reason for declining then made sense. There isn't anything to hide here.
Really, this isn't a big deal. Just go about your job.