I think every adult in America knows the struggle.
The soul-sucking, confidence draining, emotional roller coaster of a search that is interviewing for new jobs.
After my last round of interviewing, I was so happy to be done with the circus of applying for new jobs. I thought, I found a really great employer with great benefits. I could see myself having a long and prosperous career with them.
That turned out to not be the case at all.
Shortly after I was hired on, I heard stories of the manager level employee purge that happened last year. I thought, well, all companies have to trim the fat at the top (or middle). This doesn’t affect me.
Oh how wrong I was.
Recently, my employer announced a rebadging initiative. The vast majority of IT employees at the company will be let go from my employer and hired on to do their same jobs with a contracting company (for presumably less money and benefits). I am not in that group, thankfully. My job is safe.… for now. I don’t know if it will continue to be that way.
2 weeks after I was hired at the new company, a different company reached out to me. Would I be interested in working for them, even though I just changed jobs? I said sure, and applied because why not?
I made it through an initial round with that company before the interview process stalled. My attempts to contact the IT recruiter failed. It took reaching out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn to get an answer. Their priorities changed and they weren’t hiring the position anymore. A week later, I got an email confirming that. No biggie, I wasn’t looking anyways.
Then another manager reached out to me. Would I be interested in a position with them? I waffled, but after hearing more about the position, decided it was worth my time to interview. I cautioned the manager I didn’t have all the skills they were looking for. He assured me that was ok, that they looked more for culture fit than the skills listed on the job posting.
The interviews seemed to confirm that. They asked me about my skills and thought processes in 4 grueling interviews in a 2 hour block. I thought I did well!
3 weeks went by before I heard back from the recruiter. Instead of reaching out with a job offer, they asked me to do another round of interviews. I thought that was a bit strange, but accepted. After all, another round of interviews was better than a rejection.
In the end, it didn’t matter that I took a day off from work for the interviews. They picked someone else they thought was a better fit. But hey, they’re a young growing company and they might have something that’s a better fit for me in the future. So of course, I’ll stay in touch and add them to my LinkedIn network, where they can join the other recruiters who want to stay in touch, because that might be better in the long run than not adding them to my network.
I think there are two main things bothering me about this whole affair.
First, I warned them upfront I didn’t have the exact skills they were looking for. Why assure me they didn’t care when they actually did care in the end? Why waste everyone’s time in interviewing me if they went with the candidate that had the skills they were looking for? It just doesn’t make sense.
Secondly, I’m getting really sick of having these amazing jobs dangled in front of me like a fat, juicy carrot. They include incentives like free meals, free snacks, free cold brew and beer on tap, unlimited PTO, annual bonuses, RSU’s, generous retirement benefits, and higher pay. I want them all! To have them repeatedly offered and then snatched away is cruel.
I don’t know why I’m good enough to get all the way through the recruiting process up to the offer stage.
I’m lucky enough to be employed during this search. It’s disheartening now, but downright stressful when you really, really need that job. I haven’t been seriously looking for new jobs, but that changes today.
I need to harden my heart, lower my expectations, and leverage the crap out of my networks. I already have people offering to refer me to positions. I am incredibly grateful to be surrounded by amazing, supportive friends and family while looking.
I took one night off to wallow in self-pity. I talked to friends, ate more candy that’s supposed to be for Halloween than I should’ve, and just generally moped around.
My LinkedIn filter is set to “Open to new opportunities”. I’ve applied to a few jobs and fielded a few calls from interested recruiters. I’ve let friends and former co-workers know I’m looking.
The time ahead will be better than what I’m experiencing now, no matter where I end. Who knows, maybe this job didn’t work out because a better one is just waiting for me to find it. Here’s to the search for a new job!
If you’re looking for a better position too, good luck to you!
Kristen | The Frugal Girl says
Ugh, that sounds so frustrating. I hate that they wasted your time like that, and I hope the next round of interviews you go on results in, well, results for you!
Kristen | The Frugal Girl recently posted…Stitch Fix September 2019 | I’m going to sell a few things
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
Thanks Kristen! I appreciate the support 🙂
Katie Camel says
Gwen, I’m sorry you’re frustrated. I remember well how frustrating and draining the interview process is, but here’s another perspective. You took a job you were interested in enough to stay for the long haul and are not in desperate need of a new job right this minute. Not only are recruiters reaching out, but you’re getting through several rounds of grueling interviews. That says a lot about you, your capabilities, and how they view you.
In all honesty, you have no idea why you didn’t get the job that claimed they were more interested in a cultural fit as opposed to skill set. The other candidate may have been a cultural AND skill set fit. The other candidate may have had an inside connection. Who knows? There’s no way of knowing what really happens in the hiring process. Sometimes it all comes down to one person’s gut, another time it’s office politics. Either way, it’s out of your control. All you can do is smile and say, “Next.” They obviously know something you don’t about the situation and that’s okay.
You took your current job expecting a long future with your company, but that reality quickly changed. There’s no guarantee that what looks good on paper now at these potential new companies is going to continue indefinitely. What’s promising today isn’t necessarily promising for tomorrow. So don’t get swept up by all that pie-in-the-sky stuff.
I remember going through this process before finding my current job. I would literally cry every time I heard another nursing school classmate got a job and I didn’t. Afterall, I was older, single, and had no one to help me with the bills. I had also been extremely aggressive in my job search. I walked into countless nursing homes and hospitals dressed professionally with a resume in hand, and I kept a spreadsheet documenting all my applications, interviews, and follow-ups — I DESERVED A JOB!!! I can’t even tell you offhand how many interviews I did. At times I was devastated when I didn’t get certain jobs, and I was horribly embarrassed to work catering jobs to pay the bills at 32 — I had two college degrees and a corporate career in New York City behind me!
But you know what? The stars aligned. I got a call to interview for a job I didn’t think I wanted, but I interviewed anyway. I had had so much practice interviewing before that call, that I nailed the first round. Then I nailed the second round. When I did the second round, it was like I was in charge and not the roundtable of people interviewing me. And I felt at home around them — I knew it was the right place and I was excited! I’m still there 7 years later. It took months to find that job. And a lot of tears. But then I cried tears of joy when I was finally hired.
Keep your head up and keep trying. The right job for you is out there. Make sure you’re patient enough to wait for it, so you recognize it when you see it. You’ll be just fine — in fact, you already are. 🙂 Big hugs to you, Gwen!
Katie Camel recently posted…Paying Off The Mortgage Or Investing The Cash?
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
All of this interviewing has made me really good at interviewing, at least. I’ve also turned down a few offers as I knew the company and/or expectations for the job wouldn’t be a good fit. That good fit is out there, I just have to keep looking for it!
Max @ Max Out of Pocket says
Agree — I actually used to work for someone that recommended interviewing once a year or so with an outside company to keep interviewing skills sharp. I thought it said a lot about him as a mentor/manager.
My wife was looking for a new job a few years ago and I was shocked at how much employers ask of you now. Not only are there more than one round of interviews, but sometimes they would send assignments for her to do at home! That’s hours of additional work. Who has time for that? I was almost convinced that these companies were using the “homework” to harvest ideas from people for free and not hiring anyone. Employers have too much power. It’s a wonder they can get away with all of this.
Norm recently posted…Ridinkulous Quarterly Exepenses: Q3 2019
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
One company wanted me to do a ‘skills assessment’. It was all kinds of business math and they didn’t give you nearly enough time for it. I thought that was pretty bogus. Another company had me write an email to an executive as though I was working for them and needed to take their computer. I write well, but there are too many variables to consider when writing a business level professional emails. So, yea, I agree with you. Interviewing can be bogus these days.
Young FIRE Knight says
Job interviewing is definitely not fun, especially when companies string you along like that. Sorry you’ve had to go through that, but I guess one positive is that you’ve kept your interview skills in shape so you’re better off for these nexts ones you’re going for! Good luck!
Young FIRE Knight recently posted…The Safe Path
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
Yep. It’s rough. At least this company let me know I didn’t get it, unlike some companies we know 😉
Ghosted by a hiring company is not an awesome experience. Also, leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth should that same company have opportunities down the line.
morjax recently posted…Let’s Play Path of Exile S02E10 ► Hardcore Solo Self Found HC SSF
I’m in the same boat as you right now. I’m also looking to move cities, and 75% of the time I’m totally qualified, but the hiring team is choosing someone that is currently located in that city. The market there is tough for an outsider to break into. It’s been a six month slog, but it feels like an eternity.
Last week I did a 2 hour interview that went well and even asked at the end if there was anything they were concerned about with my resume or my background and they said no, that I was exactly what they were looking for. A week later I get a call asking if I wanted to take a pay cut and get a lower level job at the same company which was a hard no. Then I Asked about the role I had interviewed for and they said “oh we are going with someone else who’s a better fit.”
I was pretty upset because they led me on, but now I’m close to getting an offer with a better company and I love what they do. It’s not set in stone, but I’m in talks to make a trip to their office next week. So fingers crossed that comes through!
Moral of this long comment is that something will come along when you least expect it and it will be the perfect job that you never knew you wanted. Stick with it. Perseverance is key!
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
Yeah that’s bogus. Companies suck, and relocating just makes things even more complicated. I hope this one works out for you! Good luck!
Lisa Mills says
Boy could I relate to this post. RN here, and long story short I had a similar situation where I met all the qualifications for the dream job, made it all the way through and then nothing. I knew these people, knew the unit and was an obvious shoe in but was never told why I didn’t get the position. It took a year of applying to multiple jobs to finally land on the patient population I wanted. It sucked balls, which is why I really enjoyed your post because it isn’t false positivity. Sometimes we just need to admit when something sucks, it gives us the space to breath and then move on. I’ve been at that job for almost 3 years now and really love it. I fully believe you are going to find something that fits you well. Until then though keep pushing through knowing that there is a whole world on the internet rooting for you girl!
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
I recently read an article on toxic positivity and how it didn’t really let people honestly express their feelings, almost as if they weren’t allowed to say what they were really feeling. I feel I have a duty on the blog to share the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s not fair to only share the highlights of my life. If people are going to follow what I do and try it themselves, I want them to have a realistic picture of what that’s going to look like. I don’t want people thinking “Gwen quit her job and could move to another city to be with a long-distance boyfriend and start a business, why can’t I make it work???” when the truth is I couldn’t make it work either.
Thank you for the support!!
Optimism and positivity are good things – in moderation. Trying not to feel or express anything negative is not a good thing. To me it suggests denial, and a failure to understand oneself deeply; everybody has emotions beyond feeling happy, though many people seem to try otherwise…
Morjax recently posted…Let’s Play Path of Exile S02E10 ► Hardcore Solo Self Found HC SSF
Money Sonata says
It truly sucks to go through so many rounds of interviews for nothing. It waste time and gets your hopes high unnecessarily. A new blog post over at The Purple Heart blog shares some cool tips about aceing job interviews that you might find helpful. I sure did! Good luck.
Money Sonata recently posted…How To Make Money On Pinterest With A Blog
First of all I just wanted to say I love your blog! I can definitely relate to many of the topics you post about.
This one touches a chord with me in particular. Last year I was in a really bad situation with the company I was employed with, so I started interviewing for lots of companies. Some were positions I applied for, some were positions a recruiter was assisting me with. Having about 5 years of experience, it was like night and day when I was right out of college. It’s incredibly difficult to even get an interview right out of college, but once you have some good experience, pretty much every company I applied for at least talked to me in the initial round of interviews.
That’s kind of where everything just halts. While I was always able to get past recruiter screens, the technical interviews were killer. Like you, I was always missing at least one skill and I’m upfront about that in the beginning. I think what I learned the most from all of these interviews is that if you are missing a skill, and it happens to be a top/critical skill they need, it is only ok to not have it if you are 100% in literally everything else they are looking for! So I can answer about 8⁄10 of their technical questions correctly, but unfortunately since I missing that one skill they really need, anything less than 10/10 just isn’t going to be good enough. But why waste each others’ time?
But one interview in particular was with a really prestigious company with the most amazing benefits you’ll ever see. I had in total 4 interviews with that company, getting past their recruiter, manager, technical screen, the last interview really did just feel like a formality, like at that point they were going to make me an offer that I wouldn’t be able to refuse. I recall the hiring manager even saying at the end of it all, “I hope we will get to speak to each other again real soon!” and I saying the same. I didn’t get the job. At first I was very upset. Then I find out they hired the other candidate (The only other one to get past the technical screen), and I also found out they had 12 years of experience as compared to my 5. Then I was angry. At the very least, why bring me in for that last interview? If they knew the other candidate had that much more experience and was a good cultural fit, they knew they were going to hire them over me. If something came up in the last interview with the other candidate, then they can bring me in for an interview, but to bring me in anyways for the formalities and then get rejected was frustrating. 5 vs 12 years of experience is like a welterweight going up against a heavyweight, it’s not even the same weight class! They obviously needed someone with that much more experience and technical knowledge, I couldn’t ever compete with that. Which is another thing I learned in that last job hunt. While I’m told I perform at the level of a 10 year engineer all the time, I still only have 5 years of experience and in an interview that is technical, that still shows. I’m results driven but in interviews it’s like they don’t care about that, after all, they can only really evaluate you by your technical knowledge, of course I’m not going to know as much as a 10+ year engineer! So I learned also to not waste my time with such positions, give it another couple years. That’s two things I’m keen on though when I look at job openings, their top skills, and years of experience. Even if they say it’s ok I don’t have that one skill or I don’t have as much experience, in reality it is not going to be ok, because at the end of it all, I simply don’t have the technical knowledge of a 10+ year engineer!
Fortunately I was able to find a job with another company so I was able to get out of my awful situation. But I definitely want to wish you all the best on your future endeavors! Job hunting takes a long time and it is draining and frustrating, but keep at it and never give up! You will find a better opportunity!
Despite all the struggles, and you still hold your hope for a better chance of getting the best job. I would just like to congratulate to you beforehand. Thank you for sharing. Today I’m just inspired by your story.
Gwen [Fiery Millennials] says
My favorite quote is by Albert Camus: “In the depths of winter, I finally learned there lie within me an invincible summer.” Better times are ahead if we keep the faith. I try to live by this philosophy every day.
Abdul Majeed says
It truely sucks to undergo so many rounds of interviews for nothing. It waste time and receives your hopes excessive unnecessarily. A new blog put up over at The Purple Heart weblog stocks a few cool pointers approximately aceing task interviews which you would possibly locate beneficial. I certain did! Good success.
How’s your job hunt going? I kinda can relate to what you went through, although, I didn’t go through numerous interviews, it was only one. My friend informed me that they have a job opening and asked if she can send my CV to her boss. I agreed and waited for a feedback. That was in April or May I think. I was only updated last month regarding the job application. I took 2 tests and passed both of them, qualifying me for an interview. I got interviewed on skype and waited for an update for about a week. I didn’t receive an email, but instead I got a chat from my friend through messenger saying that they chose a different candidate since he “needed it more”. Apparently he was jobless for months.
It was fine, I understand since I still had a full-time job and just wanted a part-time one for extra income. However, even though I tried not to get my hopes up, it still stung a bit. It somehow made me feel that my skills and knowledge wasn’t enough, considering I already tried applying for a different job position at the same company last year and didn’t get hired as well. Not to mention, the pay would have been double the amount of my full-time job if I got hired. I’m trying to look at the bright side and not let this get to me longer than it should. I know there are other jobs out there, I just need to be patient.
Kenn recently posted…Habits to Survive Office Politics