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VOL. 130 | NO. 60 | Friday, March 27, 2015

Angela Copeland

Personally Impersonal

By Angela Copeland

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It’s not an uncommon experience for an interview to go incredibly well, and then to receive a very impersonal “thanks, but no thanks” e-mail from the hiring manager. Even worse, you could receive an automated e-mail from the company’s application system that provides virtually no information. This experience can be frustrating at best and anger inducing at worst.

Many people wonder, “The interview went so well! How could I have not gotten the job?” It’s discouraging and can make a candidate second guess the entire job search process. They may begin to wonder what the point is of even trying.

Growing up, we’re taught in school that if you work hard, good things will come to you. And, if you do your best, you’ll fairly be awarded the prize you worked for. Unfortunately, things don’t always play out in the way we’d define as fair. Learning this lesson can be a painful one.

For example, when you apply to a job online, you assume there’s a job available. That would seem to make logical sense. Unfortunately, sometimes a company already has an internal candidate preselected, but in order to comply with HR policies or laws, they are required to post the job. In certain situations, the hiring manager must even go through the process of interviewing applicants, knowing all the while they’ll each be rejected. If you were applying for one of these jobs, how would you know it? Chances are, you wouldn’t or you wouldn’t bother submitting an application.

There are a number of other situations that could also be going on behind the scenes that you most likely will never be made aware of. You could be in the middle of the interview process and your hiring manager could get another job offer and leave the company. Alternatively, they may be promoted within the company or even worse, they could be fired. Without an internal champion, you may never hear from the company again. It’s even possible the role will never be filled.

In some cases, the company may restructure. The role you’ve been interviewing for may no longer be necessary, or it may have changed. The recruiter or hiring manager may not reach out to let you know that your dream job has vaporized.

In the end, you’ll be left wondering what happened. What went wrong? Could you have done something better? Don’t get me wrong, we can always improve. There’s always room to get better at interviewing. But, if you do your very best, what difference does it make if there’s a candidate who has already been preselected? Sadly, it doesn’t.

When you aren’t picked for a job after knocking the interview out of the park, it’s going to hurt. Do your best to pick yourself up and realize it’s possible that it wasn’t you. You may never know the full story of what happened. And, the only way to get the job you are meant for is to keep trying. Just don’t give up.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.

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