It happens to some of us
I got my "second time around" opportunity and was awarded a position just recently.
My chance at the "first time around" was due to an excellent recommendation from a person who was running my university's "direct hire to right seat" program for a small cargo carrier. Got the interview, sim checked and tests. In the end, sent home and waited for the letter to arrive. It said call us back when you have 800 hours total (had 220 hours at the interview).
Called back in 800, they said call back when you get 1000. Called at 1000, they said call back when you get 1200. You all know where this is going...so I changed my mind, not to call them back because they keep raising the bar, even though passing 1200 hours.
One day, I met this older pilot at an airport. We were just talking and he asked why with 1300 hours, no full-time flying job. Told him about said company above and (this is no bravo sierra!) -- this guy used to run this company, in some management way and HIRED the current pilot recruiter 20 years ago! He was one of us guys who needed that "first break," so he was brought on as a fueler, eventually flying freight and now holding a management position.
Talk about being invited to another interivew! I was up there the next week. They remembered me and had all of my flight time updates, contact information and their evaluation of me as a potential candidate. It had been 2 and a half years since my first interview, so they wanted to make sure they were getting the same quality individual as they had seen on the first time around.
Your experience may vary, however, yes, it does happen. Just one day, the company you interviewed with may be in need of a pilot at a certain moment. When it happens that your name is in the "recent resume/CV updated" stack, your chances at getting that second telephone call may be slightly higher than a guy who has interviewed, but not updated his flight times with the company. Point--even though you were initially turned down, try to keep up-to-date with the company. You never know...this is how it works in the company that I will soon be flying.