So you’ve had your interview. You thought it went well, right? You gelled with the interviewers, you even threw in the odd joke. It worked! They laughed. Mirth all round. (Should I high-five?) This is going so well, you may as well hand in your notice now! Ah, good old feedback, “We will get back to you soon, really good to meet you!” Then, nothing. No ring-ring.
So why did you not hear their feedback? Let’s have a look at some of the possibilities, and what to do next time:
No news is not good news in this case, you are not The Chosen One. This does not mean you are a flop with nowhere else to go. It could just mean that they offered another, had the offer rejected, and are now using the contingency candidates lower down the chain. Of course there are variables, such as incorrect contact details, or that they just have a disorganised HR department. Don’t always blame the recruiter, it is possible s/he is sitting in the same boat as you… The true feedback and the real reason most likely, was that you were just OK enough to not be notified of rejection, or good enough to win the role.
It is important you follow up within 48 hours for feedback, a general rule. Bankers are busy doing banking things, that being making money. Thusly, recruitment is not the priority. HR is busy doing HR things, like, not much that is to do with recruitment. Most candidates do not ask why they failed, only wanting to know the am I in or out news. Be sure to obtain this, they owe it to you, even more so if you gave it your best shot.
Can you make yourself a better candidate for next time?
Sure you can. If sufficient time has passed, you may even wish to reapply for the same role/team in the future. You might be in a stronger position to show them your new academic attainments. Show off that shining CFA you passed first time x3. Show them your new title and why you are now bigger and better.
If your failure was due to technical points, make note, read up, and return with the sword of knowledge. Fluffier reasons such as ‘cultural fit’ is harder to improve on, as it is deeply subjective. Stick to the technicals, but heed the softer feedback. A lack of drive, motivation, answers not succinct enough, answers long-winded, is a minefield of feedback that could just be very subjective to that particular interviewer, and his/her stylistic preferences. Statistically, when new hires failed in their new post, 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill. (Forbes, Mark Murphy, research tracking of 20,000 new hires, 2012).
Notwithstanding the variables, this softer feedback is important, so be sure to get it, and in as much detail as possible. Competency-based interviews are now becoming so important, that they can be more impactful on the decision to hire, than pure technical / knowledge-based interviews. Bear in mind that in some institutions, the final round HR (or Walk in the Park interview), could be the banana skin. HR can have complete power of veto at that last juncture (I have had this experience first-hand twice as a Headhunter, despite the candidates cruising through the 3-5 previous team rounds).
Silence rings very loudly, so be sure to try and listen to why.
By: Adam Ergin
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