Nothing is more frustrating than making it to the final round of interviews for a job, only to be beat out at the last moment. You might agonize about the interview, wondering if that joke about the bear and the hunter actually went over well or if they were just humoring your attempt at humor. Maybe they had a brother in law who got eaten by bears while deer hunting or eaten by deer while bear hunting, and is that even legal anymore? Should you be reporting them as an accessory to fish and game instead of replying to that nice “thanks but no thanks” email you got from that hiring manager?
This is an example of flying off the handle after a crushing professional rejection. It’s totally natural to feel some dejection after rejection, but don’t let that get in the way of your future prospects with that company. If you’ve made it to the final hand-full of candidates, it means that they were seriously considering you for the job. You had your foot in the door!
For some examples of how to get the rest of your body through the door is an article from J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of careerealism.com. The article was written in response to a frustrated job seeker who made it to the very final round of interviews for her dream job, only to come in second to a more experienced candidate. The company admired her passion for the way that they did business, and the hiring manager told her as much in the closing email.
What J.T. suggested doing in this situation was fostering the connection that you’ve made during the interview process. Absolutely respond to the email thanking the HM for their time and the kind words. Then, pose a question like this “So, I was wondering if you could advise me on what I can do to be proactive and stay on your radar screen for any future opportunities?” By letting the interviewer know that there’s no hard feelings, you’re opening up possibilities for future employment by that company. You already know that they were interested, all you have to do is let them know that you still are. Isn’t that better than freaking out and writing vindictive reviews of their products on Amazon?