So you didn’t get the job… what now?
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
I just had an amazing client learn that they did not get selected for the job they had been excited to interview for. I get it:
You deliver your best examples of your skills in action
You walk into a great opportunity to showcase your talent
You walk out knowing you highlighted the right information needed to get selected, and when you didn’t get selected, YOU WERE BUMMED!!!
Two Problems: 1. You don’t know exactly who they were looking for as the ideal candidate and you don’t know what their instructions were for hiring, organizational fit, or new goals. 2. You had already started daydreaming about working there, what it might be like, how you could be your best self in a new job, AND what it would feel like to feel wanted for what you do.
UGH – disappointment SUCKS!
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY So, when I tell you to ‘not take it personally’ you think I’m crazy! Literally, CRAZY! You can take it personally if it was a date or a gift you personally picked out that got rejected but – DON’T TAKE REJECTION PERSONALLY from a job interview. Here’s why I say this:
IT’S NOT YOU! It’s not you that got rejected – it’s whether you AND your skills AND your level of experience AND the responsibilities of the job are a perfect match – AND who they needed AND why they needed a particular person AND a ton of other details even they can’t articulate half the time. When you get rejected for a job you had thought would be a perfect fit, it’s not the perfect fit.
So, what do you do to not let disappointment from one interview, shake your foundation and wreck the next interview? You take a moment and let yourself wallow – a little – but just a moment – you’re human.
REVIEW Then you look back on your notes from the interview – you know, the notes you should be writing down after every interview to document the questions that got asked;, the examples you shared when you answered, and what questions you asked in return. (If you have not been doing this – start NOW!)
WHAT WENT RIGHT? Stop over analyzing what went wrong in the interview and jump into what went right AND where could you improve. Then you take the time to practice improving.
WAS IT THE RIGHT JOB? And you also evaluate if you are going after the perfect jobs for the skills, experience, and education you offer. The perfect match must be identified by both sides of the interviewing equation.
ASK A RECRUITER To do this, contact a recruiter and ask them to review your resume, many are eager to look at your resume as your skills may be the perfect match for a client they are helping. They can also provide great insights into what your resume is really telling others that you are not aware of. Listen, pay attention, make changes where needed, and then understand what the perfect job may look like on the job description side.
DON’T PROJECT We all have amazing imagination when we start to project onto a job opening – don’t do this. Instead, investigate like a detective. Locating a recruiter that has experience in finding talent in your industry of choice is a great place to start.
PRACTICE FOR THE INTERVIEW When you find the job that meets your criteria, start practicing how to share examples of the skills you will need to showcase for that job asap – not only will you be ready for the phone screening interview, you will become an expert at networking and sharing examples in the moment to get the referrals you need to land the interviews you really want as you progress in your career.
Interviews fall short if you don’t learn how to be relevant, both in understanding your own success and how it aligns with the job you want (and what the company wants from you). Interviewing UP shows you how to stop reaching for canned answers and start rising to the occasion with relevant information.