For anyone who has gone through the process of interviewing for jobs, you know that rejection comes with the territory. But, as the saying goes, when a door closes, a window opens. In the case of a job interview rejection, the window of opportunity is that of networking or generating job leads.
Steps to Generate a Networking Contact
Being rejected after an interview is never fun, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Here are some key steps you can take to turn that rejection into a networking or job lead opportunity:
- Ask for Feedback – as a best practice, ask your contact person for feedback on your interview performance. Having constructive feedback will help you pinpoint those areas that need improvement.
- Attitude of Gratitude – think of the feedback you receive as a gift. It is aimed at helping you improve, which in turn will help you potentially land your next job. As such, thank the person providing you with the feedback, assure them that you will focus your attention on improving in the area(s) they listed, and then ask them to keep you in mind for opportunities they hear of within their organization or network.
- Follow Up – although you may ask for feedback, you may not always receive it. If you haven’t heard anything in about a week, send a follow-up email expressing your continued interest in the organization and passion for the chosen career. You can also ask your contact to keep you in mind for any opportunities they hear of within their organization or network (as per above). Finally, in your email, you can also invite your contact to provide any feedback that would help you improve moving forward.
It may feel uncomfortable to ask for leads, but bear in mind, recruiters do this all the time. When I worked as a recruiter and a candidate indicated that they were not interested in an opportunity I was trying to fill, then I would always ask that person for referrals. In much the same way, if you find yourself out of the running for one job, then you can ask for job leads.
Be sure to keep in touch with those who have provided you with feedback and/or referrals. Send them an update on your job search, especially when you land your next job.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, you never know who you might know who could lead to your next job. Tapping into the network of a person you interviewed with may prove to be the window of opportunity you need. As such, don’t limit your ask to just a hiring manager.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any additional insights, or would like to share your experience, I’d love to hear from you.
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Until next time, happy hunting!