May 30, 2011, 5:00 am

Not Getting The Job – How To Deal With It

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career
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not getting the jobAbout 2 months ago, I wrote that I was applying for a higher position at the bank. In fact, I was eyeing the Private Banking Wealth Management department at the firm. They take care of clients with over $1M to invest. I really wanted to be part of this group since it is probably the best position that a financial planner can have in a bank; you face highly challenging situations while meeting many interesting clients.

There was an opening to take care of entrepreneurs (which are usually millionaires to be) for downtown Montreal and I applied for the job. The interview went very well and I knew that I was a good candidate. But… because there is always a but…

I didn’t get the job!

I got a call the other week telling me that I was not the one picked for the job downtown. At first, I wasn’t super happy. Then, they told me that they wanted someone to stay there for many years (and make a career out of it). Since we all know that I live 1 hour away from Montreal, it is obvious that I would jump on a similar opening closer to my house if it ever happens in the upcoming years. Therefore, they preferred keeping me for the next opening in my area instead of having me downtown for a limited time.

I must say that I pushed myself into the corner with this one since I told them that it would be a no brainer for me if I had the choice between downtown and my area. I actually really like working downtown but I also know too well that I won’t be traveling forever either…

I’m still a bit bitter about this situation (since I’ve almost always got the job after an interview!) but I have learned a few tricks from not getting this job:

Ask for interview feedback

If you get declined for a position; don’t just answer back “thank you, goodbye”. Keep the hiring person on the phone and ask him more questions. While it’s never easy to cope with refusal, I have taken grasp over my feelings and continued the discussion. I wanted to know what went well and what needs to be improved (managers never want to say what went bad, they rather use words like “to be improved” ;-) ). This is how I got some “free coaching” and they also told me that I would meet with the manager of the south shore to make sure it goes smoothly and that I have a better chance of getting the job.

Ask about the next step

All right, so you now know that you are not getting the job, now what? What is the next step after you swallow the pill? Do you get angry and become a disgruntled employee? Do you go after another job with a competitor and show them that they were wrong for not giving you the job? These are understandable reactions but they are not part of a solution.

I asked the person who declined me what was the next step in my situation. This is when he offered to help me meet with the person in charge of the south shore. This showed goodwill from the organization and the fact that I wasn’t getting BS from HR (‘cause we all know that HR are EVIL). I am now looking forward to this meeting!

Behave and get a hold of yourself

You didn’t get the job. You are frustrated. I understand, I was too! However, frustration leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the Dark Side (oops, I digress ;-)) or at least nothing positive and will certainly not lead to your next promotion. This is why I came back the next morning, smiling and working hard… as usual. In fact, I am now working harder since I know I didn’t get the job. Even though you didn’t get the job, it doesn’t mean that you have made a bad impression. This is why you need to surf on the “good impression” you have left. There are tons of candidates for each position and only one winner. This time, it wasn’t you. But you have to be sure that next time, it WILL BE YOUR TURN to get the job ;-).

In the meantime…

In the meantime, I am working on a few files at my desk in order to continue my job. I am now a little bit behind my 2011 financial goal of making 150K. While the beginning of the year was awesome, I ran into few speed bumps over the past 2 months. I didn’t lose any accounts but my growth has slowed down. On the other hand, I have grown my book big enough to get another great salary raise this year ;-). I will certainly not spit on 7%!

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Comments

by: OttawaGuy | May 30th, 2011 (7:16 am)

Great Story TFB and props for working in a Star Wars reference!

It’s odd but these situations can work out in your favour sometimes as well.

Fresh out of college, I got my first job at a call centre. I applied for the next tier position (in phone) support and was turned down.

However not too long after, a Jr. position in the IT department opened and I got that. Infact, taking a small pay cut at the time. I later turned out to be manager of that IT department and of a few other sites in the company.

Short term pain for long term gain.

Hey Ottaway Guy,

thx for sharing your story too! It is true that people would often refuse to take a step back as you did in order to get a better position in the future. Sacrifices pay well… you just have to make sure you do the right ones ;-)

It is tough when you are disappointed! My daughter was offered a VP position last year with her company, but it meant moving from San Francisco (headquarters) to New York. Small increase in compensation, but overall it was a lateral in obscure division. We looked at the pros and cons of the situation and decided to turn it down. In the long run, it was better to stay and wait! It sounds similar to your situation. It is hard to be rational when you are disappointed.

by: james t. smith | May 30th, 2011 (8:32 pm)

@TFB you guys are really lucky to have jobs that acctualy pays for your time. Living in south east asia I get $400 a month from a local bank. Even how horrible adsense is my day job will always feel. like a waste of time
But I can’t complain my cousins in Spain are having a really hard time, that’s something I thought was not possible before the banking crisis.

Hey there,
Great post. Sorry to hear that you didn’t get the position (their loss) but you had some great tips for people. Having been on the other end of that phone call myself a couple of times I have to agree with everything you said.

Great post TFB. Since being laid off, I’ve had to experience multiple denials for jobs. I’m waiting to hear back from another company, and really have my fingers crossed, but if I’m not chosen (possibly for the same reason as you, the commute), I’ll learn from it and move on.

@20,
try to get as much info as possible from your interviewer, this will help you for your future job!