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4/11/10 - Why wasn't I hired?


Why wasn't I hired?


Interviewing can be both frustrating and arduous because throughout the process, you receive little or no feedback except for the obvious: if they want you back, they contact you. If they don't, frequently you never hear from them again. But after a first interview the reasons for not being asked back are numerous, and quite frankly, usually they're about you: lack of experience, poor interviewing skills, inadequate preparation and research, or similar shortcomings. As a result, another candidate generates more excitement.


But sometimes you are the candidate who's invited back for a second or even a third interview. After that, though you've reached the final stages of interviewing and feel sure an offer is imminent, suddenly..nothing.


Sometimes the process has stalled. Occasionally - and stupidly - a company finds the perfect person, but feels they have to interview a specific number of people first, and while they do, they're under the impression you're waiting happily in the background with your life and emotions on hold until they contact you again.


Other times only a letter in the mail tells you it's done. Rarely are candidates told why they didn't get the job. Unless you get this far in the process, usually you aren't even told that much. Was it something you did?
Maybe. But maybe not!


Relax. While you're busy wondering what went wrong or trying to convince yourself it had nothing to do with you...sometimes that's the truth! You and that company just weren't meant to be, and nothing you might have done - or not done - would have made any difference.


Consider these factors, all of which take place without your knowing:

* A last-minute candidate appeared on the scene who was exactly what they were looking for. Maybe you were almost perfect, but for some reason, the last-minute candidate was just a bit more whatever they were looking for. If you experienced a delay in your interviewing late in the process, odds are very good your position as the top candidate was usurped at the last minute.


* An internal candidate entered the picture. Though many companies post positions internally first and go outside only after exhausting internal options, that doesn't account for someone changing his mind - especially if it was the person they were initially targeting.


* The company decided to eliminate the position or put the hiring process on hold. Sometimes when a company doesn't know in which direction they want to go, they run an ad to "see what's out there" and then eliminate the position when their water walker fails to submit a resume. On other occasions, the process might be halted as a result of some event that changed the circumstances - and thus changed their decision about interviewing.


* One of the interviewers that came into the picture later in the process didn't like you. Perhaps you reminded them of a former employee that didn't work out. Maybe they were threatened by your expertise and skill. In any
case, they carried enough weight or had enough of a valid point to get you jettisoned from the process.


Interviewing is the process by which you find a company you like, and by which a company hires you because they feel you're the best person for the job. Everything happens for a reason, and if you missed getting an offer
with one company, something better may be just around the corner.


So concentrate on what you can control and forget about what you can't. If you mope around worrying about what you did or didn't do and wonder why they didn't like you or where you messed up - your attitude will bring about
another negative outcome.


Look objectively at whether or not you can pinpoint something you might have done differently, and then learn from it. Otherwise, put it behind you and move forward with a confident and positive outlook!


Judi Perkins 

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