You KICKED BUTT at the interview (or so you thought!) and were CERTAIN you'd get the job…but surprisingly, you DIDN'T!? So what happened??
It’s easy to feel bad or get upset, or take it personally…but DON’T! Various reasons at hand could have been the deciding factors, and they might not have even been in your control.
Hiring Managers and Recruiters/HR Professionals are usually under a lot of pressure to consider MANY candidates within a rather small time period, ensuring that the chosen candidate is the person who is unquestionably THE best FIT for the job, who brings the most potential for results, and whom is the company’s best value in their investment (i.e. the Hiree will stick around for a while and not ‘jump ship’).
And this FIT can be one of several “dimensions”. Specifically, it is usually one of these FOUR:
1) Previous Relationship with the Company: The winning candidate might have been an existing client of the company, or even an internal candidate from another department or division, who already KNOWS and understands the company culture, protocols, goals and how to get things done in the way needed. This is a HUGE value with minimal RISK to the company. Another possibility is that the winning candidate previously interviewed with the company for another role, made a great impression, and was deemed to be the best fit for the now present role-at-hand.
Action Item: DON’T discount your relationships with your client/vendors, or with companies you previously interviewed with. Stay connected, keep the relationship going, and from time to time, remind them of your continued interest. This goes a long way!
2) Personal Referral or Connection: The winning candidate might have personally known the Hiring Manager or Recruiter, or knew someone who DOES, who passed their resume along with a personal recommendation / “good word” (this is a HUGE plus on any candidate’s side). Or, they may have known a fellow employee who passed along their details along to Human Resources (equally as helpful).
Action Item: Who do you know whom you can contact directly, or have reach out to the Hiring Manager/Recruiter, on your behalf? A good word from an existing employee /contact of the company is a highly valued, credible resource on your side.
3) Best Value/Impact: The winning candidate successfully differentiated themselves from all other possible candidates from the very beginning through the end of the recruiting process, via a very smart and savvy “personal brand” that showed the VALUE and IMPACT of their potential employment. In other words, the way their professional image and message online and off made it clear that THEY were the person who possessed the knowledge, skills, background, and abilities that would bring the most significant, immediate and meaningful RESULTS to the need at hand.
Action Item: Consider researching people in the same/similar roles at said Company (past and present) through your personal network or through your connections on LinkedIn, to learn what qualifications they have/had, and HOW they represented them through their choice of language, keywords, etc., online and off. Also, sites like vault.com and glassdoor.com are great places to read insider reviews and tips on companies from current and previous employees.
4) Best Cultural Fit: The winning candidate was overall the individual who was deemed able to jump into the role, and ‘blend’ well with the existing company culture, practices, protocols, people, etc. personally AND professionally.
Action Item: Before your next job interview, you must get inside the 'mind' of the company and do these 3 crucial things:
1) Speak their 'language' - learn the company culture, expectations, jargon from current and former employees on sites such as LinkedIn, glassdoor.com and vault.com.
2) Develop an 'instant rapport' - Look up your interviewers on LinkedIn, re: background, common connections, personal interests, so when you are IN the interview, you can develop a friendly, dynamic connection.
3) Learn what personal attributes, achievements and ideologies the company values in its employees - look up employee trends via LinkedIn and Google (i.e. many companies value former military personnel or competitive athletes, which are indicative of certain mindsets/mental abilities that translate well in the workplace)...and if you DO possess any of these, be sure to highlight them during the conversation!
Notice I didn't mention $dollars (salary expectations, etc.) at all! That’s because these four FIT factors are just as important, if not more than, than merely $. What VALUE does the company place on you and your abilities? Only when there's no VALUE, $dollars is all that's left as the deciding reason.
How are YOU building value for yourself in your job search today?
Now, go ROCK that interview!
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