So you found what seems to be your “reality”/dream job! All of the job requirements match those skills you acquired over the last 15 years. The opportunities for you to innovate and transform the field with this new organization are endless and promising. You get too excited and start to daydream to the point you are browsing real estate’s Apps for potential homes to rent in the new geographic area. You study hard and prepare to your interview. On the day of the interview you show up virtually wearing a big smile and a positive attitude. After some artificial exchange of greetings and introductions, the interview starts with basic “canned” questions that require “generic” answers. You start to feel that the whole interview was a formality exercise and wonder why you were invited if they weren’t interested in challenging you professionally. A week later, you get a message saying your candidacy wasn’t advanced further. My friend, don’t despair! It’s not “you”, it’s “them” kind of a situation. Here are the three insights to help you get over such unexpected heartbreak:
1. Many hiring officials tend to pre-select a certain candidate even before they screen other applicants. Sometimes, such individual is an employee of the organization and he/she is up for a promotion. Don’t be hard on yourself and doubt your qualifications. The mere fact that you were invited to an interview is a validation that you are qualified to embark on such position. At the end of the day, it’s the prerogative of the organization’s leadership to do what they want. Too bad your role in the hiring process/scene was merely a movie extra and not a main character.
2. Your creativity, confidence, and energy are too much liability for them. That organization is not ready for someone like you to propel it forward into transformation. Therefore, they take the safe route by selecting someone who can maintain the status quo without upsetting the apple cart. Good thing you weren’t selected, otherwise they will be too busy trying to manage the hell out of you.
3. Many organizations, on one hand stress the importance of diversity during the interview to make sure the candidate appreciates their diverse workforce. On the other hand, their leadership team wants to hire someone who look, think, and act like just like them. You might be too different in your background and the way of thinking from the members of the hiring panel. Therefore, you are not the kind of diversity they have in mind. Many hiring officials want to play it safe and hire someone compatible with their personality, style of communication, and socio-political believes. The main question on their mind, is not if this person is going to be an added value to the organization? They rather wonder whether you are someone who can be part of their lunch/happy hour group?
Congratulations! You just dogged a bullet. Dust yourself up and keep looking for a better organization that will make the hiring process all about “YOU” and what you can bring to their team. Unfortunately, many employers are in the hiring business to fill a vacant position, so few are in the business of talent acquisition.