By Robert Davis
There’s nothing fun about not getting hired for a job you wanted. Rejection stings… in any form. In some cases, however, it might be related to something completely beyond your control. The best thing that you can do after such an experience is to try and learn some lessons from it that can help you the next time around.
One thing you might want to do is reach out to the hiring manager or recruiter to solicit feedback about why you didn’t get the job, and see if there is anything specific that you need to work on. It is also always important to remember that the odds are that you were not the only candidate who didn’t get the job. In other words, you are probably in very good, qualified and talented company – so don’t be so hard on yourself.
Here are 8 questions that can help you identify why you may not have been hired for a particular position, lessons that you can learn and apply to any future jobs you apply for.
Did your resume contain enough of the appropriate keywords?
Many recruiters and hiring managers never see resumes unless they are matched through a computer program. Your resume needs to have plenty of the right keywords to help you land the job you are seeking.
Were you really qualified for the position?
It might be difficult to be honest with yourself when exploring job possibilities. Especially when the market is tight. However, you need to assess if you were actually qualified for the job before you can feel too disappointed that you didn’t get it.
Did you answer all questions directly?
This is important. It allows interviewers to feel confident about your talents and abilities. Evasive answers, incomplete answers and avoiding difficult questions makes it seem as though you have something to hide.
Did you offer something new about you that isn’t on your resume?
Interviewers have your resume in front of them. The interview is your chance to show them what the document cannot.
Did you show them your personality?
Obviously, you don’t want to overdo the personality, but it’s important to let them see who you really are, too. Employers want to feel like you’re a good fit for their company culture and your personality is an important component of that.
Were you fully prepared to answer questions about both your strengths and weaknesses?
Asking about your weaknesses is a counter-intuitive, but common interview technique – and a tricky one to answer. The key, when discussing weaknesses, is to use an example to illustrate the weakness and how you’ve grown from it. For instance, a bad public speaking experience may have inspired you to take public speaking classes or to volunteer in a capacity that requires you to speak in public as a means of improving those skills.
Did you ask enough of your own questions?
This is your opportunity not only to let interviewers know you’ve done your homework on their company, but also to learn a little more about the company culture and other things you can’t always read about in the job description or marketing materials.
Are you wading right back into the fray?
Don’t allow one negative experience (or even several) rob you of your desire to find a different job or even go after your dream job! If you don’t yet qualify for the job of your dreams, learn what you need to do, so that you will. If you didn’t make it to the interview process, tweak your resume to include more relevant keywords. If you made mistakes during the interview process, then practice, practice and try again!