I came in 2nd Place, Now What?



I just came in 2nd place, after a three month interview process, and I feel like it’s all a loss. Is there anything that I should do?

– Signed, At a Loss

It can be very trying and difficult for our ego to get all the way through a company’s hiring process, only to find out that you were not the one selected. But, don’t let your disappointment let the real value get away.

First, I have to say, “Congratulations!” That may sound strange in response to you ‘not getting the job’, but you did accomplish quite a bit, based on what you had recounted for me in your email. The hardest part, when facing a major setback like not getting the offer, is to see the real value and accomplishments that you have gathered along the way.

In your longer message, you noted that there had been many hundreds of people, who had been ‘considered’ qualified that had applied for the role (and likely many, many more that had sent in resumes, but may not have had the right background for the position). Let’s go over your basic achievements in this interview process, as it’s very important to log and track your successes along side of your missed opportunities, so that every new interview process can be even better and lead toward the success that you desire. You had noted that you had five in-person rounds of interviews and one telephone pre-screen call. By itself, that’s quite a chance to discuss your value with others in your industry. That also means that you had ‘won’ every one of those rounds, and made it all the way to the final round, beating out many other potential rivals. If that’s not enough of a reason to celebrate, let’s look for the other value pieces.

You had opportunities (from your email to me) to meet and network with a VP, two Directors, a Manager and several team members, not to mention a couple of important gate-keepers. That’s a lot of industry contacts that will likely remember you, as you did win, all the way to the final round. You told me that you did the proper follow-up and thank you notes for each person. You are now ready to take another important step: ‘link’ with all of those individuals, after-the-fact, to keep your network growing. Using websites like LinkedIn to reach out to these individuals afterword will reinforce your value in their minds, and continue to expand your industry contacts.

We all feel like just ‘letting it go’ after we did not get chosen, but they did see your value or they would not have kept bringing you back. So, take a slice of humble-pie and reach out and ask them to join your professional network on LinkedIn. That way, you gain their contacts (and their contacts contacts) and have already received a great return on your invested time.It will also highlight you as a true professional in their minds. And you never know how that ‘new-hire’ will work out for them (or not), and they may come knocking again. Either way, you’ve formed good connections, any one of whom will likely speak well of you to colleagues of theirs at different companies and to those ‘friends of friends’ who may have a need for talent as well.

John Crant

Author, Career Coach & Speaker

on Job Search and Career Management

© John Crant

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As seen and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, on FINS.com, on CareerBuilder’s CBsalary.com, on The Ladders, in The New York Post, The Huffington Post, in Essence magazine, in CRAIN’S New York Business, on Forbes.com, in amNY, and on CNN, BBC, FOX News, Arise TV – John shares the answers and the concrete steps for success in Job Search.

John is a Featured Speaker at The New York Public Library’s JOB SEARCH CENTRAL, as well as at the YMCA in New York City, and is a Social Media expert for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

He speaks at Corporate Events, works with Workforce Development organizations, and teaches both students and alumni with this Self-Recruiter® Series for Colleges and Universities.

My Book:
Changing the Rules: How to Be Your Own Recruiter &
Ride the Economic Crisis to Your Next Career Challenge.
© 2009 by John Crant

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