Didn’t Get The Job? Stay Cool & Chin-Up!

    Posted On : 23 Jul 2017
    Posted By : Varvara Kuraeva
    “We hired someone with more industry experience”. We've all received this message at some stage of our career. No one likes to hear it. It's frustrating. The following article can help turn your frustration and disappointment into productive fuel to get you right back into that positive mindset. Happy job hunting and chin-up! :)
    A letter from the job seeker:
    "Dear Liz, I feel like I’ve wasted weeks of my time and been treated very badly by an employer (we’ll call them Acme Inc.) that interviewed me four times for a great job. After weeks of interviewing, they hired someone else. They sent me an email message that said “We were delighted to meet you, but we chose a candidate with more industry experience.” Is that the rudest thing you’ve ever heard, or what?  After four interviews, they couldn’t even take a minute to call me? I feel like leaving a scathing review on Glassdoor. Now I have to start all over approaching other companies, but I’m so angry about this experience with Acme I can’t focus. It’s really stressing me out. If I didn’t have as much industry experience as they wanted, why did they interview me four times? What should I do now? Thanks,Nora"
    A solid advice from Liz Ryan, the CEO/founder of Human Workplace:
    Dear Nora, This experience is a painful snakebite! It hurts a lot now, but the memory of the snakebite will help keep you safe in the future. If you want to get the learning from this experience, you have to see your part in it. If you make the folks at Acme the bad guys and make yourself the victim of a cruel plot, you won’t get stronger — you’ll get weaker. You are not a victim. You just made a common error by taking your focus off your job search outreach as the Acme opportunity seemed more and more like a sure thing. However many interviews the team at Acme conducted, somebody had to drop out of the process at every stage. If they started out with 12 candidates, narrowed that field to six candidates for the second round of interviews, narrowed it again to three candidates for the third round and two finalists for the fourth and final round, they still had to choose one candidate at the end. Somebody, in other words, was bound to get a “no thanks” message at every stage of the interview process. Every time you agreed to come back for another interview, you knew there was a chance you wouldn’t get the offer at the end of the process. You agreed to attend the interview anyway. No one forced you to go. Four interviews is a lot  but  it’s not unheard of. You were a willing participant. If you left a scathing review on Glassdoor, what would it say? “This company interviewed me four times and didn’t hire me!”? That’s not very scathing. It wasn’t high-end of the Acme folks to send you a no-thanks message but it’s certainly not unusual. Undoubtedly part of your frustration is that you put all your eggs in one basket. You stopped job-hunting, confident that you would get the offer from Acme in the end. That’s a bad idea! Even if you had received the job offer,  you might not have liked it. It’s never, ever a good plan to put all your job-search hopes on one company. You have to keep your job search engine running hot right up to the minute you sign a job offer — and you won’t shut it down completely even then! If you start the job and realize you’ve made a mistake, you need to have alternatives. Don’t waste your precious mojo being upset with the Acme interviewers. They are frail, imperfect humans just like you and me. Their process isn’t perfect. Get the learning from this snakebite and never again let your job search activity languish in hopes that one specific opportunity will come through! Now you know. Four  interviews don’t guarantee you a job offer, much less a job offer you’ll be happy to sign. The message that said “We hired someone with more industry experience” was just an excuse. If the folks who made the hiring decision at Acme had wanted to hire you, they would have given the candidate with more industry experience some other, equally lame excuse to explain why they hired you. That person’s no-thanks letter would have said “We were delighted to meet you, but we hired someone with more Marketing experience” or something similar. My goal is to help every job-seeker and working person grow a thicker skin. We are all entrepreneurs now, even when we work for someone else. We are all business owners. If someone doesn’t want to hire you, fine! It’s no big deal. Not everyone deserves your talents. Don’t get upset and stomp around the house because you missed out on a job opportunity. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It doesn’t mean the people at Acme who rejected you are horrible people. It’s always a mistake to put too much emotional weight on any one opportunity. How would any salesperson be successful if they got upset every time a prospective customer said “No thanks?” Good salespeople don’t get upset when a prospect says “I don’t want to buy what you’re selling.” They say “No problem, thanks!” and they go on to the next prospect. Life is long. People change jobs. You may hear from one of those Acme people three months from now. They liked you enough to interview you four times. Be happy about that — and proud of yourself! Send a pleasant note to everyone you met at Acme. Tell them it’s great to know them and that you wish them all the best. That way if their new hire doesn’t work out, you’ll be top of mind. Mother Nature is in charge, not  us. Sometimes when we think “I failed,” we actually succeeded — we just don’t know it yet. Keep breathing, get the learning and never, ever take your foot off the gas until you’ve reached your destination! All the best, Liz." Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter and read Forbes columns. This article was edited from Forbes.