Picture this. After sending out countless resumes and finally making it to the interview round, all of the momentum you’ve built up comes to a screeching halt. You’ve learned (or realized) that you didn’t get the job after an amazing interview and it’s time to start over again on your job search.
Don’t worry, and don’t lose hope. Let me tell you a story from my journey to a leadership position.
In April 2016, I interviewed for a Quality Engineering Management position at Northrop Grumman. I did everything I typically did to prepare for the interview. I had a summary of 10 stories from my background that would illustrate me as an up and coming executive with lots of informal leadership experience and eager to make a difference in the quality organization.
There were 5 people on the interview panel: 2 directors (executive management), 1 senior manager, 1 mid-level manager (the guy I would be replacing) and a human resources representative.
Fortunately, my networking skills got in front of the senior manager and one of the directors six months prior to the interview. (I had no idea they’d be on the panel.)
After a killer interview, I waited patiently for a call letting me know that I got the job. A few days went by, then a few weeks. After a while, I started to presume that I didn’t get the job. Unfortunately, I was right. At that point, I shifted my to focus and began looking for other jobs.
In early May, one of the directors from the interview offered me a management job in his organization. He told me how much he was impressed with my style and I had the ability to really “shake up” the organization. After declining the job twice, I told him I was grateful for the opportunity but it was not a good fit for me personally.
In July, another opportunity came up for me to interview in the quality organization. The 2nd director had her assistant contact me to make sure I knew about the newly posted positions in the organization.
I applied, interviewed and got the job! ☺
(Thank God! I was exhausted.)
When you’ve been rejected for a job, the one thing you must not do is take it personally.
Why? The decision for leadership to not move forward with your candidacy may not have anything to do with you personally. It could be due to any number of factors outside of your control.
In these instances, it’s best for you to learn from the situation and move on. Don’t spend your valuable time and energy thinking about what you may have done wrong in the interview. Everyone has been rejected for a job after an interview at least once in their life (if someone says they haven’t been, they’re lying).
Instead, spend time thinking about the value you will bring to an organization and your past accomplishments. Timing will match the opportunity and you’ll find a job that’s perfect for your skills and interests. All you have to do is be patient and persistent in your search.
How do you move on from an opportunity you were hoping to get but did not?
Get instant access to the free career development workbook that helped me increase my salary over 37% here!