“I applied for the perfect job for me,” a FairyGodBosser wrote in our forums recently. “Something that I love and can do very well. I went through eight interviews and felt they all went well. I got the call today that nobody wants to get… I didn't get the job, but I was a ‘close second.' The recruiter couldn't even tell me why. I interviewed well and met all the requirements.
“I know it happens, but this was the most excited I've ever been about a job and a company in my 17-year career. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself, but this hurts.”
Many of us have found ourselves in similar disappointing scenarios. How do you cope?
1. Ask For Feedback.
“After eight interviews, you deserve some type of reason on why you weren't chosen,” writes Bernadette M. Martinez.
While the OP said the recruiter couldn’t give her a reason, this situation is where it’s perfectly okay — encouraged, even — to ask for feedback. Yes, the hiring manager may not be willing to provide it for whatever reason, but it’s a starting point.
2. Use It as a Learning Moment.
“There's much to learn here,” according to Maureen B. Weisner. “What was so exciting about this job? When you break down the elements that made this the perfect position, identify other jobs/companies that offer the same or similar. Is there anything you can incorporate into your current role while you are in the job search process?”
“Here's the great news—you've gone through an involved interview process, done a really good job, and nearly got there, so the next job that comes along, you will ‘have your eye in,’” agreed Heather Bingham. “You know how to interview well, and the next time you do it, you will have greater confidence, and you will be the person who wins the role.”
The good news is that if you make it this far in the interview process, you’ve probably secured some valuable contacts for the future.
Susan Price encouraged the OP to “consider asking the individuals you talked to and connected with for referrals to similar jobs or people in their network since you obviously made it through several layers.”
4. Practice Your Interview Skills.
While it’s likely that you’re doing just fine, consider how you can boost your interview skills even more. Practice with friends, and welcome feedback.
“Take some time to regroup,” suggested Rosa Goes. “The good news is you had a chance to practice interviewing. “
For better or worse, talent is abundant out there. If you make it that far into the interview process, you should commend yourself on a well-done job.
“Congratulate yourself because you're closer to your next victory!” says Eee Huddy.
6. Keep Looking.
And finally, get back on the horse. Even if this felt like the perfect opportunity, it simply wasn’t right for you. So, gear up to find the one that is.
“Of course, you're depressed, and feeling let down,” writes Audrey Kirsch. “Do something good for yourself to improve your mood, dust yourself off, and get back out there.”
More Articles From the Wealth of Geeks Network:
- How to Answer ‘Sell Me This Pen!’ in an Interview
- 4 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore in a Job Interview
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.