There are few things that are more disappointing than interviewing, sometimes three or four times just to end up not getting chosen for a role. Coming in second place is very bittersweet. It’s good to know that they liked you as a candidate but when you want a role and you get passed over it’s a depressing feeling. That being said, once you have found out you can decide how you are going to handle it. My personal preference is to handle it with class and try to set myself up for future success. Your initial reaction might be to think, well whatever, you don’t know what you are missing out on. While that may be the case, what do you stand to benefit from acting like that. The answer is very little. The following is a list of things you can do when you don’t get the job. Don’t confirm their thoughts they made the right decision but rather make them understand that even in disappointment you are classy and professional.
- Thanks them for their time (sincerely)
When you get that call it is likely that you are going to be disappointed. My advice is think it through and consider the scenario that you may not get the job and rehearse how you are going to act. When they call you and let you know, it’s not going to be easy for them. If you were a good candidate and you invested your time it is only human for them to feel bad delivering bad news. When they let you know, compose yourself, and thank them. Something to the tune of “Well, that’s not the outcome I was hoping for however interviewing with your company was a great experience and I really appreciated the time you and your team invested in meeting me and answering my questions. If a similar role opens up in the future please feel free to reach out to me. This experience really increased my interest in your organization.” After you say that it’s a good idea to ask “For my knowledge, is there anything I can do to better position myself for a role like this if it was to open up again in the future?” This is a good opportunity to get feedback and perhaps learn what skills you need to add to your toolbox so you can be more successful in the future.
- Make the connections on LinkedIn
While disappointing, it’s a great opportunity to connect on LinkedIn. Shortly after you receive the call, make sure you use LinkedIn to connect with everyone you interviewed with. Add everyone as a connection. When they accept your request, go to their page, endorse them for a couple skills. This way you can be visible to them in case the person they hire doesn’t work out or another opening comes up. In order for this to be a really good idea, it makes sense to have your LinkedIn page optimized. If you add them and your page looks bad or you don’t have a picture, it doesn’t help you much.
- Take a thorough look at the interview
When you look back at the interview, what went right? What didn’t go as well? You should take time to evaluate where you might have dropped the ball and then think about how you could do it better. I like to think of the interviews where I didn’t get the job as the best practice you can possibly get. When I look back at all of them, ultimately they made me better. So try to think of the questions they asked that you didn’t do so hot on. Write those down and then write answers to them. When I prepare for an interview I like to write out questions I will likely need to answer and then I like to write out my responses. This is perhaps more effective and targeted when its interview questions you didn’t go a great job answering. This way, if you are ever asked these difficult interview questions again you are prepared to field them excellently.
The next thing you should do is go out on Indeed.com and look for similar roles. Don’t let it get you down. Sometimes you lose out to internal candidates or referrals. It doesn’t mean you aren’t awesome. So set up an indeed email alert for jobs that fit your interest and don’t be too hard on yourself. Get ready for the next one. Now you know the 3 smart things to do when you don’t get the job so that you are able to take a negative and make it a positive. Often the people who succeed are those who refuse to give up. If you want it, you just have to prepare and go get it!