Anyone have advice on what to do to feel better after reaching the final round of interviews only to be told you came up second? I had 5 interviews over 7 weeks for a role I felt was perfectly tailored for me. The company was everything I was looking for. Feeling super defeated. I know I should be proud to have made it this far but I’m just exhausted. I haven’t heard back about any other applications and I’ve been applying to jobs consistently for months.

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Kudos to you on the efforts. Sorry to hear you did not make it through but I leave you with 2 things to reflect on (1) the 5 rounds probably stretched you to test your abilities but it takes grit to complete it, which you did (2) you probably made new friends during those rounds. Be sure to connect with them to expand your network. Good luck, don’t worry good things will come.

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Thank you! This made me feel a bit better. It’s a good idea to connect with them!

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This happened to me a few weeks ago. Made it to a few final rounds only to be rejected. (One of which I really had my hopes up, as I was one of 2 final candidates). After this last one I’m going to take a break and just watch some mindless shows and not do anything for a bit before going back in. I’m getting burnt out from all these interviews.

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I feel the same, don’t worry about needing to rest - it’s necessary

Former recruiter here…

First, congrats on landing all those interviews.

Second, these tips are controversial for some, but they’ve always worked well for me & my candidates.

Tip 1) last question is “ what hesitations or concerns do you have in hiring me for those role?” While you might think you don’t want them to think negative thoughts, if those thoughts are there, you want to know about them so you can diffuse them then and there!
Best case scenario, there is no hesitation or concern and they’ll happily tell you that. The worst thing that can happen is they share their hesitation and you now have the chance to put that hesitation or concern to rest!

Tip 2) Custom thank you emails to each person you interviewed with. When you’re taking notes, mental or literally, you’re going to use this thank you note to either a) articulate the things they said and you’re excited about contributing to or b) if you dropped the ball somewhere and you know it - this is your last chance to clean it up.

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If you think you were the better candidate & you got passed by, then I would believe these tips should be used.

If you felt the interview went well & got passed over - clearly there was hesitation there. I’ve interviewed thousands of people yet controlled my voice & tone and never showed them any concern or hesitation. I was polite & courteous.
So, even if you think it went well, ask them that question and see what happens.

In terms of them responding to a thank you email, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just leave it there - if they follow up to your customized thank you email tailored to specific details in the interview, that’s great - I’d prefer their follow up honestly.

In terms of recruiters ghosting, that sucks.
A lot of things can happen and are happening. 1) recruiters are SLAMMED. Imagine you’re responsible for 50+ different jobs with different skills and they can have between 10-500 applicants per & you need a candidate in their job on day 1 within 60-90 days from the time they post the job. I’m not excusing their behavior but just know they’re busy.
2) recruiters also might be OOO and a backup was supposed to circle back with the candidate - the backup may have dropped the ball.
3) This is brazen, but if it was a staffing firm, you got ghosted because the job disappeared or they didn’t feel like you were a good candidate for this role or their other roles…again, bad recruiter and even worse experience.

There are a myriad of things that can happen.
If you applied directly to a company’s website and interviewed with them & got ghosted, you’re free to call their HR department and ask for follow up. TA & HR leaders get very mad when they find out their recruiters are trash and are damaging company reputation….I’m an advocate of making sure people know if their recruiters suck. I have literally turned down a job offer & promotion because the recruiter sucked so bad - it was a tip to me that the HR of that company didn’t value the candidate experience - if you don’t value me as a candidate you sure as hell won’t value me as an employee.

Don’t despair. Take a break for a couple of days. Then re-set and do it again. This is the prep work that will get you better at interviews. This happened to me many times. After 150 rejections and 50+ rounds of interviews I finally found my dream job.

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Wow that’s a lot! Congrats though. I do feel way more prepared for future interviews now.

It’s about quantity unfortunately from my experience. You’ve got to stick to it and keep pushing forward no matter what happens. Coming in second after all that is a huge accomplishment. Just keep going and someone will accept you. It took me months and tons of interviews where I’d never had to do anymore than 2 before to get a job. The place I’m at now is absolutely wonderful though and you might just be still finding the right place.

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Congrats! Sometimes it takes all that and a bag of chips and also another offer to make you the most compelling candidate. You’re more prepared for next rounds.

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