I applied for a position. Before the interview, I was encouraged by the selection committee that I was a very good candidate. But I was not sure. I thought it is far more above my capabilities, I was not sure what to do with my family (it was not a permanent position), etc. After the interview, I just withdrew even before I knew the results.

Now, after a couple of weeks, I think I made a mistake. Should I try to correct it? To ask them if the position is still available? It is in different country, so I have only email contacts.

Or should I just leave it as it is? I have the feeling, that if I will leave as it is, they will think I am arrogant because I rejected them. What would be the best solution?

  • 3
    of course, send the email
    – SSimon
    Jun 14, 2018 at 13:30
  • 2
    After how much time? Overnight? A couple days? A couple of weeks?
    – Dawn
    Jun 14, 2018 at 13:36
  • 1
    Is this a position you now want? Or are you simply worried about the committee's perception of you? It is not clear from the question. What is the goal?
    – Dawn
    Jun 14, 2018 at 15:00
  • 1
    Your chances are low, but nothing can you lose. You won't lose face, these things are much more common as you would think. In your case I would try.
    – peterh
    Jun 14, 2018 at 21:22
  • I would let them know that you now believe that you made a mistake in turning them down and that you did so only for external (family) reasons. Thank them for their interest in you and tell them that the other issues have resolved themselves and you are in a position now to accept an offer. Thanking them is the most important part, just to keep lines of communication open. For future reference, a position that doesn't seem permanent might develop in to one if you develop a good relationship. It might be nothing more than an inability to commit to a long term position now.
    – Buffy
    Jul 13, 2018 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


Two weeks sounds like a lot of time and it is likely the position was already offered to another candidate. If it was, you lose nothing by sending an email. If it was not, they probably do not have an appointable candidate and in this case they can be actually quite happy to offer the position to you. However, consider providing a brief explanation of why you have withdrawn and why you are now asking to reconsider you for the post. The appointing committee needs some reassurance that you will take the post if you are offered it.

  • 2
    Yes - if a committee makes encouraging comments, they really want you. If you turn them down, that's fine (in general) as long as you haven't toyed with them. However, coming back to them without a good argument why may come down as dithering - and that's something that committees do not like to see. There needs to be some perspective of what caused the change in your thinking and why this exhibition of indecisiveness is a one-off. Jun 15, 2018 at 21:22

Don’t worry. You are here to learn. Maybe you made a mistake, maybe you didn’t. If you really want that position, I would write that email. If you don’t get it, at least you have tried to correct a mistake. Other chances will come along. Do not be too harsh for yourself. Without mistakes, no growth.

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