You passed the telephone screen with flying colors and you nailed the interviews. You’re pretty sure you’ll be offered the job. Then you get a call saying that they chose another candidate, but “thank you very much for your interest”.
WHAT HAPPENED??? Did you do or say something wrong? First of all, calm down. You may have been the perfect candidate, but not gotten the job. Why? Here are a few of the reasons that have nothing to do with you, except you were a pawn.
You were duped – It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. The organization has a problem and wants to seek out people who have solved it somewhere else. They bring in candidates and interview them to find potential solutions. No one is ever hired.
Someone else was more connected – The hiring managers brother-in-law is a candidate, so a screen is set up to hide the favoritism for the offer. You happen to be the foil.
Someone else was better prepared – Another candidate did more research and really understood the issues: Financials, competitors, industry, strategic direction, products, supply chain, customer issues and so on, much better than you.
An internal candidate was always in the wings – The hiring manager always heavily favored an internal candidate. The organization wanted to see whom else was out there. You had a very slim opportunity to demonstrate performance against the insider.
The computer can’t read, only add – In larger organizations, the computer does the initial screen. It counts key words and decides who gets to move forward based on how many times certain key words show up. It cannot tell about quality, only quantity.
You were seen as over or under qualified – A decision was made that you were over or under qualified for the job. You’ll never know who or why, nor will you have the opportunity to state your case. Longer term you could have been superior, but you’ll never know.
For some reason you’re the wrong fit – The organization has a working outline as to who will best fit, and you didn’t match their model: Another mystery of the marketplace.
You could never have matched the real qualifications – The organization was told they could only hire a certain type person, based on criteria unrelated to the job. You’ll never know what or why.
The answer? – You can only do your best to present your results in the most favorable light based on what you know. Sometimes you can ask penetrating questions about the criteria. You may get some good information, then decide whether to pursue the job, or not.
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