So, They Didn’t Choose You – What Does It Really Mean?
You weren’t picked for the job, maybe you’re upset, angry, sad, disappointed.
All sorts of thoughts can go through our heads…Maybe you’ve thought…
That interview went great! Why didn’t they pick me?
Everything seemed to be on track and then they pulled out at the last minute?
What did I do wrong?
Was it something I said or did?
Those bastards, they probably didn’t choose me because of x or y and that could be considered discrimination or ageism or fill in the blank,
I should be reporting them and posting mean notes on their Glassdoor and social media profiles, serves them right for not hiring me!
The reality of the situation is that there are more openings than there are candidates every day for all sorts of things.
Job openings, 1 in maybe 1000 applicants and maybe 5 interview candidates? Even if that’s the case, still only 1 out of the 5 will get picked.
Rental suites where the landlord can only accept 1 family, (here where I live there are dozens of dozens of people looking for a place to rent and not many places available).
And I could go on… We live in a world of competition.
The thing is we can’t always control those outcomes.
There are things we can do to stack the deck in our favour.
Maybe for the interview you have an extra good resume and you’ve used certain words… Better yet, you know someone in the organization that you could get to put in a good word for you…
With a rental place, you could buy the landlord a basket of mini muffins in the hopes that he may be swayed in your direction to choose you for the rental suite…
But when it comes down to it. You’re one of many other people.
So what does this mean…?
Well here’s what it DOES NOT mean:
- That there is something specifically wrong with you
- That you’re not good enough
- That you said or did something that put them off
- That you failed at your entire life and career
- That you were terrible at your job and somehow they picked up on that in the interview.
- That you’re never going to find a job and no one wants you so you might as well go eat worms…
A lot of people get into feelings of being depressed, self pity, anger and other less-than-helpful emotions when they’re not selected because they take what happened personally.
They take it as if it were a personal jab to their soul.
But it’s really not.
I want to share a story my boss shared with me. My boss always has the most interesting stories and this one was no exception.
So my boss also plays in a band outside of work. He was hanging out after his band had played a set and a woman came up to him.
He thought he recognized her… when she came up to him and said “You didn’t hire me!”
He was put on the spot trying to remember her, and quickly came up with his very eloquent answer of “Oh yes, I guess we found a better fit, it was nothing personal”
She seemed angry. Like she wanted to discuss it in detail, completely disregarding what he had just said.
She started asking him questions:
She said “Was it because I didn’t show enough cleavage?” That probably wasn’t it….
I’m not sure how he responded to that honestly…
When he told me the story he said he was just relieved (at that point more than ever) that they didn’t hire her, because at that point she had just revealed her true self in all her glory. There are countless stories like this that I could write an entire book on from working in HR for so long.
The most recent interesting one was one my dad told me.
My dad is a landlord and he had one of his rental properties become vacant and he put an ad out to rent it.
He received dozens of “really good” applications he said.
He said, there were a lot of really quality people applying for the suite.
He ended up choosing the one young couple that he had checked references and all was good.
Now my dad lives in a small-ish town of about 13,000 people, and I grew up there too. If you grew up or have lived in a small town you probably also know what it’s like. It’s a really small world and you see people you know pretty much every time you leave the house…
Anyways so my dad would take garbage to the dump weekly and when he arrived one day there was a new guy working there.
He was someone my dad had turned down to rent his suite.
My dad is a super polite British cabinet maker and he went about as usual.
This guy wasn’t happy when he saw my dad. He said “You didn’t rent me your place. You owe me an apology!”
My dad obliged.
(Nice of him… I don’t think he owed him an apology, maybe just the explanation that there was one place for rent and like 87 other applicants.) but anyways, my dad being the nice guy that he is, apologized.
Regardless of this, the apology was not enough. The guy still had it in for my dad.
He charged him extra and he refused to help him get the stuff out of his truck.
Ok my dad figured, such is life and he went upon his day.
My dad came back the next time and the guy was there again.
He was angrier this time! Again he demanded an apology from my dad.
My dad said: “I apologized to you last time I’m not going to continue to apologize.”
Well, that set the guy in a frenzy. He stormed off into the office.
What happened next?
My dad was banned from the dump for “verbally abusing” a staff member.
Now my dad is a successful businessman. He builds cabinets, he has a reputation to uphold. He doesn’t go around verbally abusing people.
Some people get really mad though, and that anger turns into what this turned into.
But the thing is… That anger is not going to help the guy find a place to live and it’s not going to help that woman find a job.
It’s completely pointless. It makes people look bad, it makes people want to hire them less, and it creates their reality.
Ok so what are some more empowering meanings we can give this… Because Nothing has any meaning but the meaning that you give it.
So why give it these unhelpful meanings that make you want to go punch someone… What happened happened, right?
So let’s move forward with as much grace as possible. Because the sooner we can do that, the sooner you can start to forget about it and put your energy, focus and your thoughts into succeeding!
So what it could mean:
It had nothing to do with you, you were their second choice but they had to pick just one.
P.S. If you want to learn how to be completely confident in your next job interview grab this guide.
Click on the link below!
What you’ll get inside the guide:
- Top-ten examples of stories that have proven to be impressive interview answers
- The S.A.R.I. formula breakdown of how to answer these questions
- The step-by-step of why it works
- Fill-in-the-blank templates for each question so, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks and get going!
- Now you’ll need to come up with your own stories! (You can steal the ones in the guide if they apply to you though too, I don’t mind)
If you are still getting stuck because you can’t think of your own stories…
I’ve included 25 questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your stories much quicker!
You’ll get all this in a beautifully designed workbook prepared specifically for you to prepare for your interviews.
By the end of working through this guide, you’ll be feeling confident and ready for any situational interview that comes your way!
Here is some feedback I’ve gotten from this guide, and I get new emails like this every day, and they NEVER get old!
By the end of working through the guide you’ll be totally ready for any situational interview question that gets thrown your way!
Click below and grab it now!
Do you know one person who could benefit from the information in this post? If so, do your friend a favour and share this info with him/her.
And remember, the current system isn’t perfect, but you can outsmart it. I’m here to prove to you that you do have what it takes.
Thanks for being a loyal reader and follower!
In Work & Life
I’ve got your back!
-XO Natalie Fisher