Be Happy That You Didn’t Get That Job
Being Fired Before Hired
One of my goals this summer was to be working some place else before September rolled around. Can I tell you that I made it through four interviews for one position, only to have the final (fifth) interview and be turned down for the job?
When I told my mother that I did not get the job, she wanted to hold me and tell me it would be all be okay. But honestly, I was actually relieved that I did not get it.
This is not a case of ‘sour grapes’. I am actually happy that I went through jumping through all of these hoops because at the end of the process, I feel more confident about what I want for myself as a professional; I feel more savvy about the politics about interviewing; I feel optimistic about my future career aspirations and I want you to feel the same way, too!
Here are some things to remember when going through any interview process.
1. After a certain level, interviews are more about fit than skill
By the time I met with my final interviewer, the newly appointed director of the program, I had successfully completed a rigorous written assessment of my skills, a phone interview that assessed my educational philosophy, and a review of my previous work experiences from five ladies who would have been my senior colleagues had I landed the position.
When I reached the final interview, it had already been established that I could do the work and could get along with my senior team members. The questions posed by the director were not much different than those posed by the others with whom I had interviewed. As my potential director, she had to see if she liked me or not. And for whatever reason (my voice, my locs, my age, my gender, etc), she did not see me fitting into her team and her vision.
2. Reflect On Your Responses and Think of Ways to Improve Them
After you complete each leg of the interview, find a quiet place to reflect. I ducked into a Dunkin Donuts after my in-person interviews and jotted down the questions that we asked, my responses, their reactions to my responses, and some possible ways that I could have improved my responses.
3. Change Into Something More Comfortable (Or Sexy) After Your Interview
I found that changing into a cute little dress and/or jeans helped lift my spirits after completing each level of the interviewing process, even the ones that I thought were successful.
In some way, it shifts the power-dynamic of the interview process, which despite your confidence is an issue of them selecting you explicitly and you doing your best to be selected.
If doing a complete wardrobe change is not possible, try for:
- Changing back into your dangling earrings
- Taking off them stockings
- Indulging in one too many spritzes of your favorite perfume
- Removing your suit-jacket to expose some skin
- Replacing your sensible lipstick with your preferred high-gloss, bold lip color
- Cute sandals instead of interview shoes /pumps
- If you have locs or a curly mane and have placed them under a set of heavy manners with a bun in a “polished” pulled black style, let them out as soon as you can.