You ever look at a "What we're looking for" description and know in your heart and mind that was you lock, stock and barrel? But after the initial get to know you 30 minute chat, you got turned down?

I continue to be at a loss for what that is all about, except that someone else had 1 more year of experience or just that one more thing. This has not historically happened to me in the past, but I seem to have run a losing streak of this stuff and when it is a description you fit to a T, its very painful. I am also wondering if its the fact that there is this belief that my area is now a tech hub (I don't agree) and so a lot of developers are moving around here like bees to honey, thereby increasing competition.

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    Sometimes positions are already decided before the ad gets put up. They must publicize all available job openings by law, even if they are not even considering other people than the internal hire for whom the position was created. – Juha Untinen Sep 6 '17 at 5:50
  • There may be an (honest) discrepancy in what the candidate thinks is a perfect fit and what the employer thinks is a perfect fit. If that is the case, there is not much you can do to change the situation, and it's not your fault (and neither the employer's, assuming they did their best to communicate their needs). And, sometimes, you're just unlucky and there was just this one tremendously strong competitor. – Captain Emacs Sep 6 '17 at 11:05
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    Are these face to face conversations your referencing or phone screenings? Also adding a country tag might get you better responses. ( might ) – Neo Sep 6 '17 at 12:05
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    @MisterPositive, all valid points. I was well-groomed and sound quality and video quality was optimal. I did not do my due diligence with them is what happened. You have a company that has a 4.4 on Glassdoor and an "experience" manager with less experience than me, but the person is a graduate of the place and as Kilisi says, its all about connections. Also, I think a co-owner leaving the hiring decision to someone that was not involved in the interview is just bad practice. I am finding when you get passed up and it doesnt make sense, its usually for the best. – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 15:34

I'd say to don't take it personally. But if you want to reach out, do so professionally and cordially, "I'm sorry to hear that another candidate was considered for the role. However, how should I prepare myself for this role if it is available again in the near future"? Be prepared for disappointment though, most won't reply. But if you do, be sure to be thankful for their time.

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    Most won´t reply because giving a reason opens you up for legislation. If they give you a reason, it has probably been pre-formulated by the legal-department. So you might as well not ask at all... – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 12:35
  • oh wow, interesting point @Daniel. Makes sense too, not surprised. – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 16:38
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    Huh. I thought display names were unique. Also, I think you meant 'litigation,' first Daniel. – mwbl Sep 6 '17 at 20:52

Look for Reasons beyond the description. If you got to an interview that means your hard-skill are ok so far. Practice your soft skills - the people hiring you have to like you. Check your clothing, appearance, body language. Remember to make eye-contact during the the Interview.

Also, don´t be too hard with yourself - not every employer is going to fit you!

(Anecdote: I had a colleague of mine tell me, years after they hired me they first considered another candidate, who looked better on paper - but he could not look them in the eye and thus appeared somewhat dishonest during the interview)

  • I love your input Daniel. I have an interview later this month and the way I got it was through perseverance. I was initially rejected and I was like, this does not make sense, because not only did I have the hard skills, but I have two books published on the organizational structure that this company espouses. So I reapplied in such a way that it got to the CEO who looked at it, was convinced and scheduled an interview. Apparently, someone was in a hurry and pressed the reject button for expediency sake when I first applied. – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 16:44
  • Alos, keep in mind that you are not alone in this. Others have applied, and if your position is highly in demand, the difference need not be big. The choice can fall down to mere details. My advice: when rejected, have closure by taking at most 5 minutes to think about that, then move on. Don't waste feelings, because the HR usually won't tell you why anyway, for good legal reasons. – darwin Sep 7 '17 at 18:14

You have to shrug it off and just keep persevering until you land a position. You can reach out, but it's best to put distasteful situations behind you if you have no control over them and move forwards maintaining as positive a mind set as you can.

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    Kilisi, distasteful is an excellent way of putting it. I researched the person that the co-founder relied upon to decide not to hire me and she has less experience than me and has built less applications than me, but I guess what she does have is connections, like the willingness for the co-founder to go with whatever she decides and her title is "experience" manager. So distasteful, you can say that again. – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 11:23
  • 'Connections' are an asset just as experience and qualifications are. You have to be pragmatic about these sorts of things. Many people make a career based around their professional networks and leverage them whenever they can, it's one of the main reasons for having one. – Kilisi Sep 6 '17 at 11:31
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    I partially agree Kilisi and where I agree I strongly agree. I actually wrote two books on social capital and its significance. In the first book, however, I also talk about eight essential skills everyone should have, everyone, regardless of industry. I imagine at some point, you have to have the skills and while you can get away with not having it in government jobs, I still believe you will not last long without real skill in the tech field. – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 11:43
  • If I had done my due diligence, I would have predicted this outcome. The person with the final say is a graduate of this bootcamp with less experience than me. Why would she want someone on board that would possibly make her look bad? – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 11:45
  • Also, I was unaware at the time, that the person to be given final say on whether to hire me, was not even in the room when I did my presentation, nor did this person review my portfolio. Not good practice in my view. – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 11:52

If you're working with an external recruiter, you can check with them. I've found that most companies will tell their recruiter some reasons for the match not being good enough so the recruiters can improve their own search queries.

Most of them seem to be interested in sharing the same information with you as well, since it might help your chances at getting a job (which means they'll get paid).

(Of course, this advice only applies if you're in an industry where working through a recruiter is common, or at least possible.)

  • Erik, I had one recruiter who seemed cool in terms of follow-up, but he eventually just went away as well. As for the rest of recruiters, they get my info, ask me to sign to represent them and I never hear from them again. So usually I am leery of recruiters. – Daniel Sep 6 '17 at 11:25

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