You didn’t get the job…now what?

The dreaded email has arrived. You applied, got through the phone interview, killed the in-person interview, online personality test, whatever else and you were SURE you were getting it, right? Yep. I’ve been there too. It sucks. You invested emotionally in the process, you manifested this opportunity and you let yourself picture what it would be like to work there. I am so, so sorry. What do you do now? The next steps are important for you both personally and professionally. So here are some of my suggestions…

  1. If you haven’t already, send a thank you note or email. Thank anyone who participated in your interview for their time and the opportunity to get to know more about the company. Say something personal about your conversation and ask them to keep you in mind for future opportunities.
  2. Ask the recruiter for feedback. It’s not guaranteed they will give you something, but as my husband says “a close mouth don’t get fed.” I usually say something to the effect of “if you have any feedback on my interview or resume I would appreciate your insight.” Also, ask them to keep you in mind for future opportunities.
  3. Connect on LinkedIn with the people you met during the interview process. They may not approve your request, but it’s worth a shot. They can then see how you are showing up on social media and the things you care about/highlight. Oh! and be sure to include a note – “Great to meet you during my interview for XXXXX position.”
  4. Take time to be sad/mad/angry/depressed, it’s important to process all those feelings however you do it. Tell your friends and family, and let them build you up. Take a run or do some yoga. Grab a glass (or two) of wine – enjoy responsibly.
  5. Take time to self-reflect. Identify the moments in the interview process where you felt you did great and the moments you felt you could have done better. Also, keep your notes. They will help you with the next interview opportunity.
  6. Get back at it! Go back to the job board and apply again. You’ve got some momentum, so use it.

You may never know the real reason you didn’t get the job – it was an internal candidate they’ve been priming for this position, the other candidate had an MBA, the other candidate asked for less money than you, WHO KNOWS! But what we do know is that there is another plan for you. Something else is coming. It’s hard to see it now, but when that opportunity comes it will be so worth it! So keep your head up and get back at it. Good luck!


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