Nearly every job seeker has an occasional great interview that doesn't lead to a callback. For many, this experience makes it hard to move forward, as they repeatedly rehash the interview, second-guessing every answer and move. A better response is to use that failed interview to improve your future chances of success. If you find yourself stuck in a similar position, here are a few tips to help you keep moving.
Don't Lose Your Confidence
You got an interview for a job you wanted, and the interview went smoothly. Those are great accomplishments even though you weren't hired. There are a lot of reasons you may not have been called back. The company may have even decided to not hire anyone or to delay making a decision. Also, there are always other job seekers who are as smart and qualified as you, but that doesn't mean that you weren't also a great candidate who could have done wonderfully in the position. Focus on your strengths, and congratulate yourself for making it so far in the hiring process.
Use Your Interview as a Stepping Stone
During your job interview, you made new contacts who are now part of your network. You may have also talked to or been introduced to others in the organization. Although you didn't get one particular job, the company might have other openings that are a good fit for you. Take the time to contact the company's human resource department to check on openings. Let people know that you are still interested in working for that organization. Your passion and perseverance could put you ahead of other job seekers when a new opening occurs.
Sometimes, it is the uncertainty of not having gotten a response that keeps job seekers from moving forward. If the company gave you a time frame for its hiring decision, be sure to follow up after that period. If many were interviewed, the hiring manager may not get back to everyone in a timely manner. If there was no time frame, feel free to follow up after two weeks. Be sure to let the hiring manager know that you are interested in other positions at the company. Ask for feedback, too. The company may not give feedback, but if it does, this will help you do better when interviewing in the future.
Remember that the best interview is not one where you follow all the rules. The best interview is the one where you show your own personality, spirit and character, sharing how you specifically are a great candidate for the position. Honestly reflect on your great interview to see if you may have defaulted to memorized answers and by-the-book responses. Then make some mental notes about how you might do better in the future. Finally, let the experience go, stepping forward as your authentic self, looking into other positions to find the one that is best for you.
As a job seeker, you sometimes feel that getting an interview is the ultimate goal. In reality, most job seekers have many interviews before they get hired. Don't let a single failed interview keep you from moving on. See the experience as a way to grow, so that you're ready when the right position comes along.
Photo courtesy of Jeffery Jones at Flickr.com
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