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So What Gives?

Your job search was so close you could taste it

➔ Amid all the ups and downs, highs and lows of a job search, is there any situation that can push you down to the depths of your emotions than not making the final cut for a position?

This is especially difficult when you know that the employer’s final decision came down to you and only one other candidate. It’s also troubling when you know that you had the right experience for the job. You know that you nailed the interview. You know that you would have been a perfect fit for the job and the company. Yet you didn’t get the offer. What gives?

Where to turn

Although you’d love to, you feel extremely awkward calling the interviewer back to request some feedback. Why didn’t I get this job? How to find out?

You might start by turning the tables. Instead of asking, “Why didn’t I get this job?” A more insightful approach might be to ask, “Why did they hire the person they hired?” After all, not only did that person rank higher in the employer’s eyes, that person actually got the job. There must have been something there that they liked.

  • Did that person have more experience? More specific experience?

  • Did that person have more academic credentials or certifications?

  • Could that person do something else outside of the stated job qualifications?

  • Was that person willing to work for considerably less money?

  • Did that person have an inside champion promoting his candidacy?

Could be any of the above or combination thereof. But how do you find out?

LinkedIn or Glassdoor are possibilities. Asking your own insider (if you have one) might yield something. Is the successful candidate’s resume still posted somewhere online?

Or, you could directly approach the hiring manager or your recruiter and simply ask. You might be surprised by their responses.

Feedback is an important component of your job search – one that you should attempt to gather every chance you get. This particular form of feedback can be a great teacher because it focuses on the positive. What did the employer like about that person?

What you may learn is that you really didn’t do anything wrong. The employer may have just stumbled on someone who, in their eyes, was simply a better fit for the position. Your turn will come.


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