Interviews Gone Bad…..Now What Do I Do?

We have all done it at some stage of our working careers – you know those times when you leave an interview and then you think to yourself “why didn’t I ask that question” or “I can’t believe I said that” or “how could I have forgotten to say that”. It happens to everyone but how you handle things moving forwards could be critical in helping you land that dream job.

There is nothing better than seeing that dream job with the dream company that you are looking to work for advertised (or in some cases getting called by the Recruiter to let you know about that job). The role may seem perfect and it could be just what you are looking for and it is with the right company as well. You have sent in your resume and have subsequently had one, two or maybe three interviews for the role. After each step of the process you get a little bit more excited about the role as you start to think about your work day in your new role/company.

Then it happens, you get it: you get The Phone Call to inform you that you have not been successful in securing the position that you have invested so much time and effort into. It can be disappointing to hear this news but what you do next is important in potentially keeping that door open for future opportunities with that company. How you handle yourself in this situation is important: if any of you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure Books do you:

    1. Tell the Recruiter (maybe get aggressive) they are wrong in their assessment and that you are the right candidate for the role


  • Switch off and say ok thanks and hang up without engaging in any further dialogue



  • Thank the company for their time and enquire if there may be any other opportunities in the future to explore



If you chose the first option – the company in question may consider whether or not to look at you for other opportunities. How you handle yourself in the recruitment process could be an indication of how you would deal with clients/colleagues in your role and the impression that you leave a potential employer may be what sticks in their mind when they think of you (eg: isn’t that the person who couldn’t handle it when we told him he wasn’t right for our role).

The second option potentially produces a similar outcome. If you rush to get off the phone, the company may come back to you to talk about other roles when they come up, but you also leave open the potential thought with the company you were only interested in that role and therefore not interested in any other opportunities. Why take the risk of the company thinking that and potentially not getting back to you in the future.

By picking the third option, you actively engage with the company and keep the dialogue open for future discussions. Ok, so you didn’t get the role you interviewed for – you don’t know who else the company may have been interviewing – maybe they found someone who was a better fit, or maybe there were too many boxes you didn’t tick to step straight into that specific role.

Take a deep breath and keep the company engaged. You are fresh in their mind – take advantage of that fact and let them know that while you respect their decision, that you are still interested in the company and would like to be kept in mind for future roles. Ask if it is ok to keep in touch and when they would like to keep in touch, as long as you are interested let them know you are still interested. You do need to balance that though if you come across as too keen or start stalking people – it could equally damage your brand.

Companies normally have more than one open role. New roles are created all the time, circumstances change and hiring people is not a static business, it changes course from everyone’s best laid initial plans. If you didn’t get that initial role you wanted, keep the door open with that company so that when those new roles do come up or when circumstances do change you have already laid the ground to step into those new positions.

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