Interviewing.com

The Plight of the Disappointed Job Seeker



As a job seeker, there are moments throughout the job search and interview process that can be frustrating, sometimes downright maddening, testing your patience and your composure.  If you’ve been out of work for awhile, these moments can be especially trying, and anger and disappointment with the whole process can build up over time.

No matter your level of aggravation or irritation with your job search, be careful of carrying it with you into your interviews.  Reactions big or small could be costing you potential job offers.  While some may be obvious, here’s a few behaviors to avoid in trying to land your next position:

Follow-up Harassment

It’s great to establish during the interview a time when you will follow-up with the recruiter or hiring manager if you don’t hear from them.  But, if you don’t get a response back, resist the urge to send multiple emails or to start calling daily to check on the status of the position.

If you’ve got another offer on the table, do contact them to let them know, but move on if you continue to get the silent treatment.  Yes, there are those times when recruiters and hiring managers just don’t follow up and it’s frustrating.  But there are also times when their silence just means a delay or change in their process and they’re re-evaluating their candidate pool.

Coming across as desperate, troublesome, or nagging could pull you out of the running if they might be taking their time to identify the right fit for the position.

Sense of Entitlement

Whether you come into an interview with a chip on your shoulder because you’ve got all the experience and know you’re a fit or you were referred to the position and think you’re a shoe in, there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.  And the later can be a huge turnoff for most hiring managers.

If you get upset about not getting an offer, take a look at your behavior in the interview and make sure you weren’t giving off a sense of entitlement as if you deserved the position and not selecting you would be a detriment to the company.  Did you name drop one too many times that the SVP of Sales recommended you for the job?  Did you make negative or derogatory comments during the interview in reference to others who might be less qualified?

Keep your ego in check during the interview and after, because there are a lot of valuable players on the field vying for the same role.

Self-Sabotage

Thought you came off in the interview as the perfect balance of poise and charm and still troubled that you didn’t get a call offering you the job.  Perhaps you were a victim of self-sabotage. Job seekers can sabotage their interviews in a variety of ways, most often by creating obstacles that prevent the hiring manager from being able to extend an offer.

Maybe you were already putting in your vacation requests or questioning company policies in the interview.  Perhaps you were trying to negotiate salary and benefits too early in the interview process, or demanding perks like a sign-on bonus or relocation assistance after an offer had already been discussed.  Maybe you wanted to come across as extremely capable and every phrase you said started with “I can do this” or “I can do that” and you forgot it was a team structured environment where you needed to showcase you could act as a “we.”

If you want the job and believe it’s a good fit, don’t put barriers between you and the offer.  Remember there are plenty of other job seekers out there willing to pass on things like a scheduled vacation and do more for less in order to secure a position.  Be true to yourself to get what you want, but don’t do it to your own detriment.

Being Aggressive

If you’re already burned out from the job hunt, be wary of the attitude you’re bringing into the interview.  Your tone and demeanor can send off a lot of signals you’re not aware of during the interview.  If you’re wearing yourself out, exercise and get a good night’s rest before your interview so you don’t come across as tired or on edge.

If you’ve been frustrated about knowing you can do every job you interview for, try to let go of some of that anger prior to your next interview and take up a practice like volunteering or daily affirmations to re-channel your outlook in a positive way.  Sometimes the negative energy from the job search can cause candidates to become aggressive or defensive during their communications with recruiters and hiring managers.

Your goal is to land a job and employers don’t want to deal with misplaced attitudes.  They want to extend offers to people they feel will be a positive, productive asset to their teams.

Venting in Public

If you are up for role with a company, realize that the eyes of that company are upon you at all times.  If you are rude to the receptionist or make a snide comment to someone in the waiting area about the people you met with, someone will get wind of it.

And whatever you do, don’t turn to twitter, facebook, or another social media outlet to vent about your opinions of the company, the people you met with, or the interview itself.  Trust that someone will see what you post, so if you want the job, keep your opinions and negative comments to yourself.

Flipping Out

Sadly, it does happen, there are those job seekers out there who throw tantrums, scream, yell, harass, and even threaten recruiters and hiring managers when they are not made an offer.  Some go to great lengths of trying to sabotage other candidates to put themselves in a better position.

Remember, you are not the only candidate for the job.  There will always be more people who get declined than get offers.  If you get to the point of flipping out, you probably need to take a little time away from your job search and realize you are misplacing your frustration and distress.  Sit down with a friend and talk through what’s really bothering you or causing stress.  Get outside where you can have some time with your thoughts.  Allow yourself to feel the disappointment, but find a healthy outlet to deal with it.

A good point to remember throughout your job search, no matter how distressed you may get is to be gracious.  Even if you don’t get an offer, you never know if someone is championing on your behalf.  If you are likable and have great skill sets, it’s likely that recruiters or hiring manager might refer you for another position with the company or even among their networks.  On the off chance that a position might come to you from another source, you never want to burn a bridge.

Take time to thank those who aid in your search and give back to others dealing with the same job search struggles.  Sometimes it helps to have others to turn to in order to realize that you are not alone.

While the ideal scenario is to land the offer, the odd are you’ll face more rejection in your search than you’d like.  Just remember what goes around comes around, so put out what you want to get back.  Let go of any disappointment and face each interview with a fresh, positive attitude and the right opportunity will find you when you are ready for it.

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Robin Rayburn

About Robin Rayburn

Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Interviewing.com. Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog, RestlessPillow.com, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.

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