Q: I did not get the job, unfortunately. I was very disappointed. I really gave it a great shot over the three interviews, one of which included a presentation about what I would do in the role. However, they told me I was pipped at the post by a very strong – but marginally better – candidate. Should I write to them saying I would like to work for them in the future? (ER, email).
A: If you were called to a third interview, you can take that as a de facto indication that they feel you could do the job. Companies do not call people to interview three times for no good reason. It is clear that you were narrowly beaten by another candidate, writes Mary O’Brien-Killeen, Career Coach, Slí Nua Careers.
Keep in contact
Would I write to the company saying I would like to work with them in the future? Not in so many words, but, yes, I would certainly try to maintain the relationship you have built with the company over the past few weeks. Start off by sending them a courtesy note thanking them for the opportunity to compete for the position and saying that while you are disappointed, you were always encouraged to get so close.
Ask them for feedback. Make it easy for them to reply to you in a similar vein. Do not have them wondering if you are still angry over not getting the role (even if you are…)
It would be no harm to stay in touch with a company. You could send a LinkedIn note or an email to the recruiter every now and then – maybe once every six months (don’t bombard them). The tone here should not be one of ‘please give me a job’ but an enquiry about how the company is getting on and an update on what you are up to yourself.
Light-touch, bright and breezy: but showing yourself as someone who has good interpersonal skills and who believes in maintaining good relationships when you have built them.
There are other companies out there, though. This might just be the start of your new road.
I have seen unsuccessful candidates like you use narrow defeat as a motivation to win the next time out – and also to build their confidence that they could take on a job of the type they are seeking. Though you lost, you can still win in terms of getting good feedback and identifying areas you need to work on.
Take time to reassess
By the by, it would be good to assess the person who got the job. What in their profile may have swung the day for them? Is there anything you need to do in terms of education or training to ensure you get the nod next time you’re on the verge of landing a job?
Are you able to see how they are getting on in the job? Has it any public dimensions? Can you see the mark they are putting on the role?
You put a huge amount of preparation into those three interviews, you learned a great deal and you perhaps have started on a new path. It is important to see the value and possibility of all of that, despite your current deep disappointment.
Mary O’Brien-Killeen is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Claremorris, Co. Mayo.
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