So your resume got you the interview. You’ve prepped and followed all the online checklists. You spent hours in the mirror rehearsing your lines. You arrive 5 minutes ahead of time and patiently wait for your name to be called. You’ve got your journal and have taken great notes! Oh and you’ve even had strong follow up questions. You went the extra mile and handwritten thank you cards to the interviewers.
Two days pass and you haven’t heard back from the company. You begin to rethink everything that you said. “Did I articulate my response enough?” “Where my answered strong enough?” “Did my thank you cards even arrive?” It’s that dreadful waiting time between the offer call and automatic rejection letter. Your hope begins to dwindle and you seek solace in finding reasons on why the company wasn’t a good fit for you anyways. The visions of starting fresh begin to get blurry. Weeks go by and you know the job offer isn’t coming. You are now surviving on two ounces of hope that maybe the recruiter will still call. It’s finally sunk in that you didn't get the job.
You begin to question yourself, “Why didn’t I get the offer?” Honestly we’ve all been there. Leaving extremely confident from an interview calling all your friends and family about how your moving to such and such town to start at company X. But before you beat yourself up anymore, there are few solid reasons on why you may not have gotten the job that most candidates don't think of.
Position is Terminated
A company can terminate a position even after the recruiting process has started. This is completely out of your control. Companies restructure, reorganize, and realign strategic goals all the time that can impact current open positions. The hiring process can be in full motion unbeknownst to changes at the senior level that will cause a ripple effect down to that impact open position. Companies also face hardship such as declining sales, increased competition, and restructuring. These factors will definitely impact recruitment and hiring. Employees are a big expense so when companies are struggling jobs cuts is usually the first short-term solution to decrease costs. Don't beat yourself up if you didn't get the offer. Its possible the company is going through organizational shifts that have nothing to do with you. Its unlikely for the firm to give you exact reasoning on why a position is terminated but more often than not, its due to internal company changes.
There is nothing more frustrating than finding out you are competing against internal hires. "We have decided to offer this position to an internal candidates." My first thought is "then why did you make it open!" Internal hires have a strong competitive advantage that is hard to over look. These candidates know the company because well they already work for the company. They understand the culture, are familiar with the systems and have a solid foundation on the companies strategic objective/plan. In a sense they have "insider knowledge." The learner curve is shorter for internal hires and thats an advantage. These advantages are hard to overlook for a hiring manger. For example, if a new team is being created for a key company initiative, hiring someone who get get to speed quickly is desired. There ramp up will be fast. In these instances, it might be best to hire someone internally who can jump into the business quickly. Don't feel down if you are overlooked due to an internal hire. Internal hires have several advantages that are hard to overlook during the hiring process. Some companies have open roles just for formality despite already having an internal candidate identified. Its not easy to be turned down for a job but knowing that an internal got the role might soften the blow.
Position isn’t vetted
I am sure you have been hired into a role where the job description does not match the actual role. Its annoying I know! But during the hiring process this can happen as well. Due to performance or market shifts, companies sometimes are running to find solutions quickly without clearly outlining a strategy. In doing so roles are developed and positions are created. But more times than often these positions aren't thoroughly vetted. Companies realize the need for position X should actually be a need for position Y. You unfortunately, can be a casualty during the process these inaccuracies. You may end up applying and interviewing for a particular position to only find out that the needs from the company has shifted. Its possible that these shifts are aligned with your overall career goals but highly unlikely. For instance, if you go to a restaurant and order a chicken sandwich to find that the waiter returns with a burger you probably won't be rejoicing internally. Companies make similar mistakes. They work through their teams' needs and identify roles that fit current strategic plans. But shifts and changes occur impacting the hiring process. Don't be surprised if a open positions have shifted during the hiring process. It happens but know that sometimes not getting the offer might be good. These background shifts might change your perspective of the company.
It’s easy to think you are the reason why you didn’t get the job. And most of the time it’s true, lets be honest. But when you put in the hours, research, and practice, take pause before you beat yourself up with no offer. Sometime there are forces working outside of you that you simply can’t control. Take the lessons learned from your last interview and keep rocking it until the right job appears. I don’t believe believe in coincidences. What is yours will be yours. So please, give yourself a break because finding the “right job” is taxing on the mind and body.