A reader writes:
Following an advertisement on the website, I applied for a job ( through an agent). I have been subjected to a telephone interview, face to face interview with the person supposedly to be reporting to. Later they sent forms for my criminal record checks, reference checks and completion of employee profile form, which I did. All this gave me an impression that everything was well. I was asked to set aside time to meet the senior in the unit. I asked for the agenda, at which I was told it's an informal meeting as she just wanted to meet with me nothing to serious and nothing do with the interview process. My hopes and expectations went high again. Our meeting was another interview, very similar to the one I had before. I came out convinced that I got the position. She even shared with me that it takes time for their HR to complete the process, so therefore I must be patient. No problem.
Today, I got a message that I didn't get the job. Is this a fair process? Why was I subjected to all the interviews, meetings and completing the forms? For that matter, I happen to know that there was no other candidates. Can I challenge the process? I feel they lied to me and subjected me to interviews or I didn't meet the requirements according to her (the senior), as all the changes came after the meeting. As much as I might not be the ideal candidate, I feel so unfairly treated and I have asked for a formal meeting for feedback. Is this appropriate or I am just overreacting? Can I challenge the process? And since the position is still open, can I send my cv again or how best can I do it?
I'm sorry you didn't the job. It can be really disappointing to put in all that time and energy and feel that things are going well, only to then find out that you didn't get it.
But ... this is the nature of job searching. You get interviewed, fill out forms, and so forth -- and there's no guarantee that it will end in a job offer. None at all. In fact, the majority of candidates who go through that process for each job don't end up with a job offer.
Sometimes it's because someone else was a better fit. In a case like this, if you're right that you were the only candidate being interviewed, the reason is that you weren't the right fit.
It's easy to secondguess that and think that they're wrong -- and maybe they are. But more likely, you really aren't the right fit for the role they're trying to fill. There are all kinds of reasons this could be the case. Candidates tend to think, "They didn't think I was good enough." But many, many times it's something else, not your skill set -- for instance, that you wouldn't mesh well with this particular manager or this particular team or this particular office culture. These things matter, and it's very hard for a candidate to judge this factors from the outside the way an interviewer can judge them from the inside. The best thing you can do is accept this and move on.
I wouldn't ask for a meeting for feedback -- that's asking a lot of them. But it's fine to ask for feedback via email or phone. However, you minimize your chances of getting honest feedback if you appear to be challenging their decision. (Here are some tips on asking for feedback after a job rejection.) Good luck!