What if You Don’t Get the Job?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 by: Sonja Breddels

Things don’t always work out as we plan, and occasionally, even if the job we go for was “meant to be”, it can go to someone else. When you find yourself in this position there are several approaches you could take.

One of the least useful is to send a stormy email demanding to know who is responsible for the ‘mistake’. Another approach on the fast track to nowhere is to convince yourself you were not capable of the position anyway, and decide never to try for another position – ever again.

The best thing to do is try to take it in your stride, and consider the following steps.

Seek Feedback.  In some cases, there may simply have been a more experienced candidate apply for the position you wanted. Other times, there are specific factors that appeared to be lacking in your application, or something about your interview that led recruiters to decide on someone else. You will never know unless you ask. When finding out, remember this is not the time to argue or defend. Take the information you are given and give yourself some time to truly think about it. It might even help to write it down and only look at it when you are ready.

Look In the Mirror. Not literally, unless your feedback indicates that would be prudent. But try to look objectively at where your strengths and weaknesses are. The feedback will give you some idea where to start, but be as honest as you can with yourself, too. Perhaps you were confident and composed in the interview, but need to research the company more next time? Or maybe you know your stuff but the jitters got the better of you?

Improve your chances. Knowing what you can do better next time will help you to approach subsequent interviews differently. First, make sure your resume is up to date and highlights your recent, relevant experience so you will get the interviews you want. If feedback indicates you need more interview practice, put some work into learning how to calm your nerves, or answering certain questions better. If you were short on skills compared to other applicants perhaps it is time for some professional development.

Reach for the stars! Never assume a company will not look at you twice. If nothing else, your previous interview has put you in front of an organisation that you have an interest in. Even though you didn’t succeed the first time, they now have an idea of who you are and might be more interested in an applicant who has a demonstrated interest in the company. Let the recruitment people know you are interested in other positions in your field as they arise. If it was a promotion in your company that you missed out on, keep putting your best foot forward, and your efforts won’t go unnoticed.

The interview process itself is a professional skill to master, so if you don’t get the job every time, take pleasure in the extra interview practice, and be confident that at the right time, the right employer will pick you for the right position.

If you need assistance preparing for your next job interview contact the experienced Career Consultants are Resumes for Results to find out about our interview coaching service.

If you would like to know more about the author, Sonja Breddels [click here].