Sunday, October 6, 2013

Didn't Get the Job? Follow-up the Rejection With a Call

Follow-up is key to a successful job search.  So follow-up a rejection with a fact-finding phone call --  yes, . . . even when you did not get the job!

If you recently interviewed for and lost a job you really wanted, follow-up the rejection with a phone call.
Choose a person to call with whom you felt a rapport.  This could be a representative in Human Resources, the hiring manager, one of the members of the interview team, or an internal champion.       
Question:  "Where did I fall short?"
In your call, politely --  very politely --  explain that you are running a pro-active job search.  
  1. Explain that it would help you conduct a more effective job search campaign, if you could better understand what, in their opinion, you lacked.  
  2. State that if you could learn where your candidacy fell short, you could take steps to remedy the shortcoming.
It may turn out to be that you lacked a bit of experience, a skill, a certification, etc., that you can take steps to gain.  Or, it could be that you actually possess the qualification but it just didn't come up during your interview -- not an unusual occurrence.  Either way, you will have valuable information to use as you continue your pro-active job search.

Choose your words with care. 
I can't emphasize this strongly enough.  This is very important to your success in using this strategy.  Firms fear that candidates who did not get a job may be looking for reasons to sue if anything irregular occurred in the hiring practice.  So, allay their fear.  Be gracious, appreciative of their assistance, and humble.  

Being convincing that the information you are seeking is solely for the purpose of helping you be more successful in your job search, and using well-chosen wording, spoken with sincerity, can help you be more effective in your next set of interviews.

Following up a rejection in this way is a good job search and sales strategy.  You can do this with any lost position but it is especially important for those in which you placed highly in the competition, coming in 2nd or 3rd.  
  • This strategy will help you learn how to improve your performance in front of interviewers.  
  • It will tell you where you have gaps in experience or skill that you can fill.  
  • It provides you with another chance to sell yourself - illustrating your strong interest in working for this firm as well as highlighting your strengths again.  
  • Finally, should the chosen #1 candidate fall through 9 which happens more often that you might think), you have made it very easy for the firm to select you for the position after all!

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
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