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I'm working for an international German company. A couple of weeks ago, I was part of a group of candidates (within the company but from different locations) which competed for a position. The position is an assignment in Germany, and one year later come back to implement some system in my original country/region.

The interviewer was the head of the consulting group (a German guy), and after the interview he gave me his card and told me I could send him an email anytime later.

I was noticed last Monday that I did not get the position. The HR Manager told me I was the second option for the project, but they went for my colleagues experiences instead. She told me it was a great exposure for me within the company, and for further project they could think of me right away.

This is my first time on a top level interview, and I do not how to proceed for the follow up. I would like to make a clear statement telling them I'm more than able and interested in further projects within the company, and be part of their consulting division.

Could you please give an advice which is the best way to approach this letter?

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    What is your goal with the letter? – Bernhard Nov 13 '14 at 17:09
  • 1) Make them sure I'm still interested in working for them in further projects. 2) I would like to receive a feedback from the interviewer in order to improve myself up. – BrOSs Nov 13 '14 at 17:13
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    It can't hurt to send a brief response along the lines of "Thank you for considering me for the position - I'd be very interested to hear of any similar opportunities that appear." – Ant P Nov 7 '16 at 13:32
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    Why would you thank for not being chosen? Would you also thank someone for not getting a raise, for not being promoted? This is a sign of weakness of character, you should not be thankful for losing. – bob glausl Nov 8 '16 at 0:36
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    @bobglausl: to build the relationship, to get your foot in the door for future consideration, to demonstrate that you are reasonable and pleasant to work with, and to show that you are not a short term thinking vindictive prick. I'd consider this common courtesy. The spend time with you and communicated well. – Hilmar Nov 8 '16 at 15:53
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Well, sending an email thanking for the time is a good idea. Now, what are you trying to convey in the email? Work that out, then write it. As an off-the-cuff response that you might want to edit, but might make a good skellington to reference:

Bob,

I would like to thank you for your time interviewing me last week for the Weapon X Project. I have since heard that Fred was selected for the role, and I think he is an excellent choice (ASSUMING YOU KNOW FRED) and the project is in capable hands.

It was great exposure and experience for me to talk to senior management about Weapon X, and I appreciate being put forward for selection. While I did not get the role, I would like to express my interest in any future projects here at Company BadIdeas. I feel my PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS THAT I HAVE would make me an excellent candidate, and I want to strongly contribute to Company BadIdeas' growth in the GivingMadMenLethalWeaponry domain.

In the meantime, I wish you and the Weapon X Project success.

thanks, My NAME HERE

He'll probably write back to this, and then you can frame some sort of response about what experience you need. Or you could just ask HR about what experiences Fred has that you don't too.

I didn't know what industry to put in there, so i had a stab at it.

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  • Thank you for the advice, and we are in the Automotive Manufacturing Industry. – BrOSs Nov 13 '14 at 17:29
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    Bear in mind that you are talking to a HR person here who likely has no interest in rereading rhetoric about your abilities - anything beyond "thank you for your time, please keep me in mind" is a waste of energy. – Ant P Nov 7 '16 at 13:45
  • @AntP he wanted an email for the head of the division, or at least that's what I gave him. – bharal Nov 8 '16 at 17:20
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This is called a rejection, even if it's couched in the form of a thank-you, and (in this case) a nice positive experience with apparently some future potential. If they genuinely are considering you for the future, ping the manager (rather than the HR person) on an occasional basis (don't overdo it) and stay in touch.

Whether their thank-you and promise to consider you in future have any meaning beyond pro-forma niceties, consider the following:

  • It helps if you find out from them when and how often they do hiring - is there a definite calendar or does it depend on their end-customer's demand, their stock-market performance, when are annual budgets set, fiscal year etc? Then keep track of that.
  • Also useful to try to get to know any of their current or former consultants, their end-customer, and get on the grapevine about their projects and hiring.

I do not how to proceed for the follow up. I would like to make a clear statement telling them I'm more than able and interested in further projects within the company, and be part of their consulting division.

Err, they're not asking you for any follow-up ("Thank you for your thank you/rejection...?"). If you want to send a brief email or note is fine. Unless they're idiots they already totally got that you're able and interested in their consulting division, and after some deliberation they decided to pass on you for now.

HR Manager told me I was the second option for the project, but they went for my colleagues experiences instead. She told me it was a great exposure for me within the company, and for further project they could think of me right away.

Again, maybe they genuinely love you, or maybe that's just their pro-forma rejection procedure, and they want to keep you warm in case demand ramps up unexpectedly (I would attach more weight to what the hiring manager says/does't say/whether they even reply to you in future). If she seems amenable to giving more advice, you might ask what specific experience/ roles/ skills/ certifications they consider useful, and which other companies they respect.

Beyond a brief note, this is the end of the line with them for right now. Stay on good terms and in touch, but don't invest more time or hope into it for now.

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