I had a job interview last week. It went well. Despite having to get up at 6 AM to catch a bus to another town and spending about an hour total in transit to make my 8:30 AM appointment. I felt good about it. I was well rested, well prepared, happy and joyful. The interviewers, all four of them, were happy to see me as well, and we got along right from the beginning.
The kicked things off by telling me how impressed they were with my application and how well-written it was. They told me they just had to meet me and had been excited to meet me. We talked for about half an hour about my past, present, future and dreams, the jobs the workplace.. We even cracked a few jokes and had a genuinely good time. By the end of the interview. the lead interviewer made sure to point out what an impressive personality I was, how good of an impression I’d made and how well I’d lived up to the expectations set by my job application. He thanked me for my time and good moods and promised that he’d get back to me quickly..
.. And he did! 24 hours later, almost to the minute he called me up, thanked me for my time and interest but was saddened to tell me that they’d chosen to go on with another candidate. Not because they didn’t like me, on the contrary, they were certain that I’d be able to lift the burden of the position and would have made a great employee.. They’d just chosen to go with a candidate with specific, documented experience within a certain field.. Other than that, he wanted me to know that I had made a great impression and seemed like a really nice and competent man and that he was certain I’d land a job soon.. He even wished me luck in my future endeavors.
I thanked him kindly for his nice words and feedback, of course, with the bravest voice I could muster, then hung up and immediately sensed a glum feeling of deja vu.. It all seemed strangely familiar.. Like the outcome of pretty much every interview I’ve been to so far and every personalized letter of rejection I’ve received. “You seem like a really nice person, a great, spirited and motivated, competent individual. We really appreciate the attention you’ve shown us.. However, we’ve chosen to hire someone with a little more experience within something very specific. We have no doubt, however, that someone will pick you off the market soon.”
In many ways as positive a rejection as you could ever want and at the same time the most disheartening because it echoes the general trend of the job market as it stands right now: Everybody wants to hire someone with experience, but nobody is willing to provide said someone with said experience.. The individual, in the end, is left in a strange state of limbo between feeling accepted and feeling rejected. It’s disheartening and encouraging at the same time and makes you feel like a bit of a walking juxtaposition.
I know I probably shouldn’t complain too much. Unlike many of my peers, I’m actually getting through and earning the interviews while they’re stuck with just letters of rejection. Still, it’s tough to be in a position where you’re told again and again that you’d be an asset to many companies and that there is absolutely nothing stopping you from getting a job – other than the fact that other applicants have more practical experience within the fields of so and so.. It is, like I said, disheartening to say the least.. And still, it’s not like I don’t understand. According to who you believe we’re either in a recession or in the process of slowly recovering from a recession.. There are plenty of unemployed IT professionals out there and only so many available jobs. It makes sense to think that the experienced candidate is the better candidate. It may not always hold true, but I understand the reasoning.
That being said, the whole understanding thing doesn’t exactly help much in making you feel much better about being rejected for a position you know you could’ve excelled in..
What does make you feel better, though, is a weekend with your gorgeous, wonderful, female friends, cheerful pats on the back, a psychotic small dog, a whole bunch of laughs and possibly one too many bottles of wine.. But that’s another post..