A LinkedIn reader sent me this,

I interviewed for a job with a company on my bucket list. I was one of two finalists. I nailed the final interview… or so I thought. I got the email today from the HR Manager that they went with the other candidate. She said he had more experience than me but that they loved my passion for their company.

I’m crushed. Is there anything I can do to try to get them to change their mind? How should I respond? Do I even respond at all?

When you find out you didn’t get the job there is something you can do. But, it begins with knowing…

The Difference Between “No” & “Not Today”

First, take a deep breath. I know losing out on the job feels like they said, “no,” to you personally. But, what they really said was, “not today,” to your business-of-one. They simply picked another service provider they thought was a better fit for their needs. It doesn’t mean they don’t like what you’re offering, nor does it mean they’ll never use your services. In fact, let’s look at what you’ve accomplished:

A) You beat out hundreds of candidates and got the initial interview.

B) You nailed the first interview and made it to the final two.

C) You were told they loved your passion for their company.

This is what any good salesperson dreams of making happen with a potential client. It’s the foundation of what can be a long and fruitful relationship, but only if you take the next step.

Prove You Meant What You Said

Show your exceptional character by emailing back. Better yet, make a phone call to the person who gave you the news and say,

Thank you for letting me know you made a decision. I’m really happy you have found the right candidate for the job. The interviewing process with you was very inspiring and I meant what I said about wanting to work for your company. So, I was wondering if you could advise me on what I can do to be proactive and stay on your radar screen for any future opportunities?”

By showing you have no hard feelings and still want to work for them even after not getting the job, you will make an amazing impression. Not to mention, they’ll now have a vetted candidate on file they could call on a moment’s notice for a new job and potentially bypass the hassle of posting the job and interviewing a bunch of other candidates. Don’t forget, hiring isn’t their full-time job. They’re busy. So, anytime a company can save the hassle of going through a long hiring process, they will. By telling them you want to stay in touch and do what you can to get the next job, you’re making the most of the relationship you have developed with them so far.

Don’t Let Pride Get In The Way

You invested time and energy in getting to know this company. And, they’re the type of employer you want to work for. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your ability to nurture this relationship into a potential job offer down the road. Be a smart business-of-one and leverage what you’ve created. Who knows? The person they hired might not work out. In which case, they’ll be calling you. Plus, if they’re hiring now, they could be hiring again soon. You don’t know what jobs may get created down the line that could be an even better fit for you. Get over the initial blow of not getting chosen for this position and get in gear on laying the foundation for getting the next one!

Have you ever used the approach above? I’d love to hear stories from readers on how they made the most of not getting hired.

P.S. – First time reading my posts? Thanks for taking the time to stop by! Not only do I write for Linkedin, but I’m also founder of the career advice site, CAREEREALISM, and currently run the career coaching program, CareerHMO. I hope you’ll check them both out!