You walk out of the interview feeling pumped. You just gave the best interview of your life. The job is perfect, you have the right skills, and the interviewers gave every sign of offering you the job right then and there. And yet…a few days later, you still got a rejection letter.
It is hard when a job you are really excited about doesn’t work out but there are many extenuating circumstances that are outside of your control that you can’t see as a candidate.
Hiring managers are put in a situation where they would be perfectly happy hiring 3 candidates, but the fact is, there is only 1 opening available.
Here are some of the top reasons why you might not get the job that is outside of your control:
1. Someone else was more qualified.
While you might have been perfectly qualified for the job, someone else might have had more experience or a particular skill set that you don’t have. Maybe the employer didn’t even know they wanted that particular skill until the candidate showed up.
2. An internal employee or an employee referral got the job instead.
When a candidate is a known quantity to the employer or a current employee, the employer will prefer to hire that candidate. In the case of an internal transfer, the company will retain institutional knowledge and know that the candidate will fit into the company culture.
Some organizations (especially government) have a policy of interviewing a minimum amount of candidates – as a result, you might be a filler to meet their quota.
3. You were not a fit with the team dynamics or company culture.
When hiring, employers have to consider more than your skill set. They also have to think about whether your personality and working style will fit into the company’s culture and team dynamics. Maybe they believe one of the executives will not like you (even though you would be a perfectly fine employee), and that’s not something you can tell from the outside.
Don’t let the rejections get you down, because often, it is not a reflection of your worth. Job searching is like matchmaking – many things have to fit for you to be a happy and productive employee who will stay for the long term.
It is also important that you don’t become bitter from your rejections, even if you are rejected repeatedly. It will show when you interact with employers.
The best way to leave a positive impression is to thank the employer for the opportunity, ask politely for feedback, and even ask to stay in touch with the hiring manager. If there are openings in the future, you might get a call to interview for another job!