The Unselected’s Tale

I thought I was going to have a happy story to relate Monday morning.  The exciting tale of a humble blogger who, having recently lost one of the best jobs he’s had, found something very similar and wound up being hired.  A Cinderella ending if there ever was one.

But something went awry in the story’s unfolding.  The main character, yours truly, somehow blew a second interview and lost the shot to another candidate.

I spent the whole weekend beating myself up for derailing the plot, despite my wife’s best efforts to separate my id from ego.  It’s difficult to avoid such critical self-analysis because I know without doubt that I messed up.  I had this job.  It was mine to lose… and unfortunately I rendered that cliché into reality.

I have asked for feedback so that I can avoid another screw-up in the future.  Like many of you out there in this rapidly-filling boat, I can’t afford to self-destruct on the next opportunity.  Previous attempts to solicit such feedback have not been successful but I try not to let that discourage me.  Sooner or later, some kind recruiter or hiring manager will surely take 5 minutes to dash off a note letting me know where I went off script.

If I step outside character I see a candidate who may have been a bit too excited about the job prospect.  Someone whose eagerness may have been his undoing.  Someone who may have tried too hard.

What an insane world we live in, isn’t it, where trying too hard can earn a penalty?  Yet I’ve often heard that expression used in negative fashion.  Young girls describe bullet-sweating suitors that way.  So do teams burdened by a hotshot player who forgets he’s not alone on the field.

I think the latter is where I imploded.  I have a gut feeling that there may have been too much “I” and “me” in my responses, while the manager was looking for team support and motivation.  Sure, I have the necessary legacy, skills and inclination in that regard, but I suspect that in my anxious state I just failed to get it across.  How ironic.

Maybe the story would have been better told in third person.


4 responses to “The Unselected’s Tale

  1. One of the hardest things to do is not to be too “you” when looking for a job. I’ve always recommended that if you can reherse some of the more conventional responses – and then vet out the “i” statements – you’d have a better barometer towards how you will respond in the real deal.

    Will be continuing to keep you in prayer; and do look up, something is bound to come in.

  2. Yeah, I did all that and STILL messed up. I appreciate the sentiments… just hope it’s not another 4 months until the next good thing…

  3. You never know — not infrequently the person hired fails to impress in the probation period. In tight times just getting hired isn’t a guarantee of passing the bigger tests: “Do we really want to keep this person permanently? Or is s/he already on the next-to-be-downsized list?”

    My advice: Keep in touch with your contacts at this firm, and keep it positive.


  4. Thanks Roger. I’ve actually experienced that twice before, the last time when the HR rep lowballed me on pay (20,000 per year less than we’d previously agreed) when the 2nd choice candidate got desperate. They called back 2 months later when he didn’t work out (big surprise, eh?) but I was already employed and distrustful of the former company.

    I’m not going to get my hopes up for a third time but I will definitely maintain contact with the employer related to this post.

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