Article by Carole Martin
Were you ever the last one picked for a team in school? If so, you are familiar with waiting to be selected and the disappointment of not being among the stars. Interviewing can bring back those same feelings when you are not chosen for the job. You have remained upbeat during the process, hoping to get an offer any day, and instead you receive a form letter saying you have not been chosen. You're not alone if you feel let down.
The letter arrived five days after the interview. Pat knew from the return address she had not been chosen for the position. The letter read, "Although we were impressed with your experience and credentials, we have chosen a candidate who was a closer match to our needs at this time." Tears began to well up in her eyes. This was her third rejection in two weeks. "Nobody is ever going to hire me," she thought to herself.
It had never occurred to Pat that more than 100 resumes had been received for the position, and that hers was chosen as one of the top 10. And she didn't realize she had beaten out more than 95 people to be one of the five candidates interviewed in person. OK, so someone else got the job and she didn't. But wouldn't she have been surprised to learn that the person who was chosen had five more years of industry experience? He was a closer match to the job and required less time to get up to speed.
When rejection hits, it may cause multiple feelings and trigger old wounds. Feelings of being ignored or inadequate, powerless, isolated, humiliated or any combination of these emotions is quite typical. You may feel hurt like Pat, or angry and fed up with the way you are being treated. You may feel at your wit's end after being put through the long interview process over and over, only to end up on the rejection list.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, you can regain power by staying proactive. If you really want to work for a particular company, write a letter stating how disappointed you are the position went to another candidate. Remind them once more of all the positive traits you could bring to the organization. Let them know you are still very interested in working for the company if something should change or open up.
Or you could call and talk to your interviewer if you felt a positive connection. Sometimes you will get an individual who is willing to talk to you about your interview and where you may have fallen short. Taking action will make you feel you at least gave it one more shot. Sometimes things don't work out for the chosen candidate, or the individual changes his or her mind. You never know what will happen, and you will feel more in control for having done something positive.
When you get invited to interview, count that as a positive. You were selected above the others. If you are getting second interviews, you are obviously doing something right. Continue to work on your interview skills and rate yourself after each performance. Just like many other things in you life, the more you do something, the better you get at doing it. Keep up the good work; eventually you will find the right place for you.