Came in 2nd Again?
How many times have you really knocked yourself out with extensive preparation for an interview or a proposal and learned you came in “Number 2”? It may only have been because the other candidate or company had a desired credential or specific experience you couldn’t match and the employer was forced to choose. Don’t let all your effort go to waste, especially if your research tells you that you really are a great fit for a company.
Here are some great reasons to stay in touch with interviewers/potential employers or business opportunities:
- Often times, employers believe they have made the best hiring decision, only to later learn the candidate (or supplier) exaggerated when describing their abilities or their interest in the role (or project). Typically, when there has been a misrepresentation of skill level or interest by the chosen candidate, it will be exposed pretty quickly – certainly within the first ninety days of employment. When the employer’s number one choice turns out to be a mistake, they probably won’t be looking forward to beginning their search from scratch all over again. Imagine how cool it would be for all parties if you were still in touch with them and were ready to step in!
- After grueling rounds of interviews the employer’s decision is often a tough one for them to make. They may have wanted you both but were forced to choose. In that case, you can bet if they had the opportunity to hire you for another position that was an equally good fit, they would! They won’t necessarily think of asking you about a different role if you haven’t made a point of expressing a strong interest in the company.
- All too frequently opportunities are missed because either the candidate or employer is mistakenly thinking the situation is “all or nothing” for the candidate (or supplier). If the candidate (or contractor) makes an effort to stay in touch and the need to change, add to staff, or start a new project arises again down the road, the employer is likely to be pretty excited about saving the effort of going through the entire process. If you haven’t made a point of staying in touch, an employer may not contact you because they assume you have already been snapped up by another organization. (And, maybe you have!)
The key to taking advantage of all of the effort you invested in researching and preparing is in remaining visible and being open to the conversation. You just never know.
This scenario played out many times throughout my experience as a recruiter and also with my clients in transition. It often happens with business opportunities I am presented with, as well. Please share if this has ever happened to you.