Well, I’m not sure how many of these sports analogy blogs I’ll be doing since my Packers lost to Arizona but there’s a good lesson here so I’ll take the opportunity while I can.

Like playoff fever, it’s natural for a candidate to be excited about a position as she’s going through the interview process and each round brings more and more excitement because naturally, the goals seems to be getting closer. And it really is a competition since one blown interview means “one and done” in most cases. As a recruiter, I get as excited as the candidates as they successfully get to the next stage of the process, like moving towards a championship game or in this case, a final interview.

Then something happens. Either the job gets put on hold, another candidate surfaces, someone internal to the company gets the job and there’s a real letdown – very much like when your favorite team loses a playoff game.

And then comes the mourning phase, you’re let down, saddened by what happened and it’s easy to get really upset and discouraged. It’s normal. It’s also short sighted. Because here’s the thing, you were good enough to get to the interview stage. You were picked out of a pile of resumes to go into the process when there were a lot of other people who never made it that far.

And you’re not alone. As a recruiter, we all feel that same sense of disappointment – after all, we’re on the same team. In fact, it hurts almost as much since if we’re contingency we don’t get paid and if we’re retained, we’re still out there working on it when we want to get on to the next project.

But think about it. It’s a chance to learn something about yourself and the company you’ve interviewed with. Searches usually evolve as candidates go through the interview process. It’s a chance for companies to learn about their organization and what they really need. Sometimes it’s a lot different than what they thought they needed and they feel the same loss when a candidate turns them down or if they hire the wrong person for the job.

So when things go wrong it’s natural to be down. Remember, you’re never as good as you think you are or as bad as you think you are. The important thing is to set aside feelings and objectively think what could have gone better. It could be nothing but it’s important to keep from being overwhelmed by emotions at this point and get on to the next interview. After all, at the very least you’ve probably just made a few new connections that might help you in the future.

Remember, your skills are your job security.


James Seetoo

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