Just last month I had several positive and up bead sessions with a management candidate. She contacted me for coaching help as she transitions out of a career with few opportunities for success, into one with very few limits for women with experience in mid-level management. Her goal was to work into a general manager’s position.

She contacted me last Monday for a final prep session, and prepared for the job interview Tuesday Morning. She sent in her thankyou card and waited. Friday, she sent in the follow up phone call, and was politely informed that they were impressed with her presentation, her portfolio was outstanding, but she was not a perfect fit for that position.

She was floored. Everything in the interview suggested that she was the most qualified candidate for the position. So, what happened?

That isn’t always an easy question to answer, but there are a few situations where the most qualified candidate does not land the job.

I remember listening to a Fortune 500 CEO talk about human resources. In the interview they were asked what their secret was to successful hiring. Their comment was trying to make sure I hire the right person at least half the time.

I found this profound. All of a sudden I no longer worried about whether I would fail a job interview, not close the sale, or even have a marketing campaign under perform. The fact is, we are not always going to land the ‘sure thing’ because human error is predictable.

No One Was Hired

Sometimes the hiring process alerts the management that restructuring may be a better option than hiring.  I’ve chatted with Clients whose management professionals were a decade behind the current trends. When interviewing new Candidates it becomes obvious that no one is going to be content. Or maybe, they realize that no one is going to be satisfied working under old management styles.

I’ve once lunched with a business owners who conducted a series of interviews where they learned so much about new software and technology that they realized the job had become obsolete.

Attitude Trumps Qualifications

Everyone has a different communication style, different attitudes and different emotional quotient. What one person sees as a highly motivated candidate, another recruiter may see as a pretentious or drama driven problem.

Ask yourself a few questions. What did you do to show genuine interest in the company? Don’t be afraid to ask to be hired. If you don’t, the recruiter may watch you leave thinking you ‘gave the vibe’ that you were disappointed in the job. Don’t forget that recruiters are accustomed to being ‘fired’ or rejected. Their jobs may not measure up to what Candidates are looking for. They are not going to beg. And, they cannot read minds. If you don’t clearly state that you are interested in the job you may lose it.

You Were Not The Only Qualified Management Candidate

Sometimes you may feel that you were the best Candidate. At the time of your interview you may have been the best Candidate. But, by the end of the interview process  there may have been one or two other qualified Candidates. You can’t win all of them.

When this happens, the final decision may come down to a personal reason, or a perspective.

You Didn’t Hire the Right Recruiter

There are different types of recruiters. Some have Clients, and preferential treatment. Others present their best candidates to a client business and hope one of them will be invited for an interview.

Or, you do not hire a recruiter at all and hope your resume will not be lost in the hundreds of resumes submitted on the ‘online’ job websites.

You Are Not The Right Management Candidate?

Recruiters are paid about a 25% fee by the employer. Face it, the employer is not going to pay that much money for the same type of client he can find by posting an online job ad. You don’t need to be the most qualified management candidate or have the brightest resume. You do need to bring marketable skills and abilities.

Out Of Your Control

Sometimes there is a single element out of your control. For example, you didn’t use the same scheduling software that the company used. Or, you use it, but the other candidate has created plugins (in house/cheap) for the same software program.

Maybe a complete restaurant redesign didn’t come up in your interview. However, the company is planning a redesign and found a candidate that had successfully completed two or three restaurant redesigns in the past five years.

How You Present Your Information

Recruiters don’t care what you did, how you did it, or what your qualifications are. All they care about is what you can do for them. When you are creating a resume don’t just focus on your tasks and projects, explain how they lowered employee turnover, increased patronage, or increased profit.

In the end, don’t own it. You will not land every job. Take a big breath and shake it off. Prepare for the next job interview.



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