A reader writes:
Is it normal for employers advertise again a position after the second round of interviews?
I've encountered this situation a few times and the first thing I imagine is that none of the candidates met their expectations, but they still want to keep these people as second or third options.
What is your opinion about this behavior? Do you think employers should be clearer about the process and tell job-seekers what is going on?
I wouldn't read too much into this, although it's tempting to. It could be a few different things:
* Sometimes the employer may have one or two strong candidates but be nervous about not having a wider pool. After all, if I only have one person I'm excited to hire, I'm screwed if that person turns down my offer or we can't come to terms for some other reason. So I'd always rather have a handful of strong candidates, which could mean that I continue advertising even as I'm moving through the process with that one star.
* Some companies keep fresh ads up until the position is officially filled.
* Sometimes an ad is self-renewing, because the employer purchased a certain number to run. So the ad "reappears" but not through any action of the employer.
* Or yes, sometimes new ads may indicate that the employer isn't thrilled with any of the candidates it currently has and wants to explore alternatives.
Because there's such a wide variety of possible explanations, you'll only drive yourself crazy trying to interpret those new ads. Instead, I'd recommend just asking the employer straighforwardly for their timeline -- what are their next steps, and when should you expect to hear back. After all, those are the answers that really matter.