The hiring decision is final. You didn’t get the job.
And there’s a whole flurry of emotions that start coming soon after you hear.
First of all, you feel angry – the company clearly made a mistake in this hiring decision.
Second, you are embarrassed – the company led you on and got you mentally on board only to drop your candidacy and move on.
Third, you feel helpless – there’s nothing you can do in many cases. The company has moved on to another hiring decision and has offered little feedback.
So much energy went into this effort that there’s a natural let down – physically and spiritually.
All the buying signals were there. The smiles, the reference checks, the extra calls from the recruiter to make sure you were still available.
They even asked you about a start date. All in preparation to choose another candidate.
This happened to me in 2007. I learned a big lesson in being too optimistic during job search. And in realizing that even the biggest sure thing can reverse in just a matter of days.
“A huge sense of urgency to get me through the interview process, all smiles throughout, an energized executive recruiter, an HR team ready to act and a series of deep conversations with a CEO hungry for strategic help.”
And then the water drained out of the sink and I was no longer the golden child. I was not even on the Christmas list. Or the call list.
So what do you do if this happens to you? Or if you start to see a sure thing become less obvious.
1. Stay objective - Despite wanting to react emotionally (and, yes you may be justified), it’s important to keep your head clear. If this one is to be saved, you will encourage that possibility by not over-reacting. By doing so, you might be able to figure out that a real issue was temporarily in the way.
2. Use your network - If there is an issue or perception about you, some evidence may come from your network. Either the connection that got you referred in or a friendly interviewer that might give you an insight. Facts are far better than guesses and will help you with point #1.
3. Keep pursuing multiple options – It is a common mistake people make during job search. They assume that an offer is imminent and stop pursuing other options. They let their job search funnel and pipeline dry up. Not only did you not get the job but you are without momentum.
4. Avoid appearing desperate – “desperate for a job” is a real feeling for some but its not one that companies want to perceive about you in the closing days of a hiring decision. Instead, work to reinforce your value to the hiring company. Be as relevant and confident as they want you to be.
5: Go get more job leads – Nothing pulls you out of a job search funk better than a new lead. So go get more job leads. Get back in touch with your network. Hit a few additional networking events. And make sure you have clear job search objectives. What are you looking for?
No matter the final result, you will leave a positive impression with everyone you meet during this process.
The recruiter is simply waiting for the next best job where they can present you. And the hiring company is considering you for something down the road.
What’s your advice for someone in this situation?
Thanks stevendepolo for the great photo via Flickr