How do you take a no?

So, you get to interview for a great role. You are really excited about this opportunity. You think you are the perfect match!

The hiring manager then calls me, and I have to let you know that, unfortunately, you were unsuccessful in moving to the next step or getting the role.

How do you react?

Although most people are okay, some examples of what I have had to deal with include:

  • Swearing at me;
  • Swearing about the client;
  • Anger;
  • ‘Why?’ asked rudely, and comments such as, ‘Well, they are missing out on the best candidate’.

Of course, you are disappointed; however, hopefully, you have received some feedback from the client via me on the reasons why and you can then address that area for next time.

This is the part of the role that I do not enjoy; however, there usually is only one person who can fill a role.

Except for sometimes:

Recently, I had a client ring back, and the candidate I had placed was unable to take on the role. It had all been signed off over champagne just the week before. However, he was offered an opportunity internationally that he and his family could not refuse, and he accepted.

Bad for the hiring company but an excellent opportunity for the candidate.

The hiring company asked me to take another look at the candidates that had been interviewed.

Of the runners-up, one had been incredibly rude. His skills matched, and his experience was great; however, how he had taken the ‘no’ earlier that month had been rude and abrupt.

I found his attitude incredibly negative, and he commented that the client essentially ‘did not know what they were doing’ by not taking him on.

So, do you think I would consider him in the next round?

In the past, I have mentioned that you are being ‘interviewed’ all the time and that soft skills are equally important to clients.

The candidate’s soft skills, inferred to me in that moment, were precisely the opposite of what my client was looking for, and therefore, he would not be suitable for a management role.

Communication: I thought this person would cause conflict and problems in how they spoke with their colleagues and people.

Emotional Intelligence: They did not self-regulate their emotions and showed a lack of respect for what had been an extensive and professional interview process from my client.

People must move on from a role or not accept an offered role for many legitimate reasons.

Just make sure that you maintain your composure the next time you get a no, or you may end up regretting it.

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