'Hello, it's Sally Smart here from Laura, Croft and Croft. Thank you for coming in to interview, we enjoyed meeting you... but I'm sorry, but we won't be offering you the position.'
The natural reaction is to slam the phone down and enter into a good week or so of not moving from the sofa and eating comfort food.
Rejection happens to everyone
Well, nearly... we may all know an exception to that statement – the perfect prefect from school who waltzed straight into Oxford, followed by a big blue-chip graduate scheme and now has his own jet. But for the vast majority of people, even many current CEOs and directors, interview failure happens. Whether you are used to rejection or not, you need to be strong enough to take the knocks and learn from them.
Interviewers and interview processes aren't perfect. It can be easy to be overawed by the men and women who sit at the other side of the interview table; they're big shots, they're successful, they're... actually only human. And as such they can make mistakes and have their own likes, dislikes and foibles. They may have a set person-type in mind that you just don't fit. There's no way of knowing these things so just take it on the chin and move on.
You may still get the job!
OK, you've been informed you haven't got the job but you felt the interview went really well. Most people just leave it at that but it's still possible to get a job from this situation. You could ring up the employer to state that you were very impressed with them at interview and, should their chosen candidate not work out or should a similar position arise, you would be very interested. You could even ask if they know of any similar vacancies for other companies – they may know of some on the grapevine, and you'll lose nothing by asking. Or simply ask about their stated choices for choosing the other candidate. 'More experience' is the most common reason, so ask what experience the successful candidate had, and then you will learn how to improve your own performance.