So you believe you had the perfect interview, aced all the questions asked, responded intelligently, asked the interviewer all the right questions, had a great vibe going, and sent in your thank you card/email/call etc.
Most importantly, you were well prepared and knew a lot about the organization and the company. Miriam Salpeter, job search and social media coach, owner of Keppie Careers (www.keppiecareers.com), and author of Social Networking for Career Success, explains,
One of the biggest pet peeves employers express is that interviewees show up and cannot describe how their skills and accomplishments relate to the organization’s needs. If you are able to speak intelligently about the company’s goals, as a result of your own research or based on informational meetings you’ve had with people in the company or in the field, you are a head and shoulders above other candidates from the start.
You even sent back an outline of strategic insights to suggest how to resolve some of the challenges the company is facing you discovered during the interview. Great! You are certainty at the top of the interviewer’s mind – maybe even THE ONE, since you have blown you competition away.
Unfortunately, you get a short email or a courtesy call from the interviewer or the HR manager, saying how great you were and it was a tough choice, but in the end there was someone else they selected who was best fit. You read, but don’t register the rest of the email that states your resume will be kept on file and you will be notified if any opportunity arises. (Wishing you all the best in your career, etc., etc.)
At this point you wanna go $%^&*# on the firm, the HR manager, the interviewer, the random guy who asks you for directions etc. Sound familiar?
You wonder what the heck? I did everything perfect and then some….I was a shoe-in for this role. How did I get turned down? Who could have performed any better than I did at the interview? What did they do? You even think about sending an email to the interviewer or HR Manager asking why they felt you weren’t right for the role.
Well guess what? IT DOES NOT MATTER!
According to Kate Wendleton of the Five O’Clock Club, an outplacement and career counseling network with certified career counselors across the United States,
If you have 6 to 10 job possibilities in the works, 5 will fall away through no fault of your own (job freezes, or hiring managers changing their minds about the kind of person they want).
In other words, forget about what went wrong! If you are certain that you did the best you could at the interview, and you feel you have no chance of getting any constructive feedback from the firm, then forget about it and instead focus on what you can do from here.
Realize that your in-person interview contact at the firm (preferably with the hiring manager of the department you are interested in instead of the HR Manager), is one of the greatest assets you have. Most just move on and forget about the interviewer and firm as lost cause. Don’t! You were one of many who got face time with the person who is in position to hire you. It’s like waiting in line forever to pick up the latest Apple gizmo and Steve Jobs (peace be upon him) hands you and a few others the gizmo himself!!!
Well okay, not quite like that. But you get the point. So here is what you should do. This is what I did once (and several times after since then) that works in the candidate’s favor for the long run.
Wait a few days (no more than two or three days) and then call your interviewer (preferably a hiring manager). Ensure that you attempt the call at a time you are most likely to reach your contact very early in day or at the end of the day. Even if you don’t reach your contact, leave a message on his/her voice-mail.
Here is a sample script that I used once. You can edit it to your situation. The key is to sound sincere while leaving a clear direct response no more than a minute long.
Good Morning Mr/Ms. _____. This is _____(your name).We met on ____ to discuss the opportunity for the _____________ position in your department. I understand you hired a suitable candidate to fill the position. I just wanted to call in to thank you for your time for my interview. I truly enjoyed our discussion and was especially intrigued by what you said about ______(mention one issue of immense significance about the firm/role/department that the interviewer had brought up during your interview). As I have a lot of experience with ______, ________, and ________ skills (mention your three most relevant skills that would most likely resolve that issue) and I plan to continue focusing on creating value for organizations in this field who have similar concerns, I hope our paths may cross again. If you require my assistance or believe my input might help you address your departmental objectives in any way, please feel free to contact me at _______ (leave your email or telephone number). I hope you don’t mind if I occasionally keep in touch. Thank you.
That’s it. And then remember to follow-up in the future as noted with either an email or phone call. My future posts will address relevant topics of discussion for future follow ups.
You see my point on how the above is relevant to really anchoring a very positive image of yourself in the interviewer’s mind. Don’t expect a reply, but one is quite likely from the interviewer depending on the rapport built up from first interview.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I have used this several times to keep in touch with every interviewer. Once, one of them moved on to a new role elsewhere, and through our mutual follow-ups, he called me in to help him out in a consulting role that he was working on. It worked out to be a win-win for us both.
Now go for it!