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You didn’t get the job, so what’s next?

It is a stressful time looking for a job, deciding you want to apply, fixing up your resume/CV and waiting by the phone hoping for an interview. You finally get that interview and prepare. You complete the interview, then wait. You finally hear back and it is not the news you were hoping for. You didn’t get the job, so what’s next?

Firstly, it is normal to feel disappointed, but try not to stay in this mind frame for too long. Each interview is an opportunity to better understand what employers are looking for and what you can develop on for next time. Think back over the process and see if there is anything you could have done differently.

Here are a few things to think over:

  • Were your resume/CV and Cover letter up to date and relevant to that position?
  • Did the interviewer have to question any dates or seem confused by anything on your resume?
  • Did you actually answer the questions the interviewer asked or did you speak generally about the topic?
  • Did you provide relevant real-life examples about certain situations? You can find out more information on competency interviews here
  • Were you prepared for questions about the business and the role itself?
  • Were you forthcoming with relevant information about your work experience?
  • Did you struggle to answer any questions? If so make note of these and prepare for next time.
  • Did any questions leave you talking for too long without reaching a specific point?
  • Did you sense when it was time to move onto the next question?
  • Did you have relevant questions to ask at the end?

Then reflect on non-verbal communication:

  • What was your body language saying?
  • Did you arrive on time?
  • Did you introduce yourself appropriately?
  • Are your facial expressions something you should be more aware of?
  • Were you showing signs of extreme nerves (shaking arms or legs)?
  • Did you present yourself in an appropriate way?

Some of these things cannot be immediately fixed and will only develop over time as you gain confidence. However, you should always feel that you prepared as much as possible for an interview and that you had a relevant answer for whatever was asked.

Even if you give a perfect interview it is important to remember that selecting a candidate is very difficult for an employer and it may come down to very small details that cannot always be planned for. Employers spend a lot of time, effort and money in ensuring they are bringing in the right fit for their teams and so if you weren’t chosen, then it probably wasn’t the right fit for you! Just because you didn’t get the job this time around, it doesn’t mean this is the wrong career for you, it just wasn’t the right fit this time!

Emily Murphy is a HR and recruitment professional who loves helping people start their careers.


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