Job interview: Break the treadmill process

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View recent video publshed by Jannet Walsh, “My home, Minnesota” of her native state.

By Jannet Walsh
©2014 Jannet Walsh

There’s a cycle searching for a job that’s like being a hamster on a treadmill.

Learning how to take care of yourself and your job search process is required to stay focused and healthy while searching for work.  Just like an athlete, you have to have a quick recovery period when the outcome is not positive, meaning you didn’t get the job.  If the outcome is great, then you will be celebrating about your new job or maybe even the start of a new career.

Recovering after job interview

Below are a few ideas they I employ during a job search that you might find helpful.  If you have tips to share, please do, so we all can learn!

1.  First, you did not fail, the employer just failed to select you. In other words, it’s the company’s lost opportunity to hire someone that’s talented, like you.  The employer just didn’t get you, along with your skills, talents and potential.

What really might be happening – Remember, the employer might already had someone selected, meaning they knew the person they were going to hire, but went through the motions before you were even called for the interview or before you even wrote a thank you immediately after the job interview.   The process is not perfect, and that’s the way it is.  I’d say all is fair in love, war and even job interviews.

2.  If you were interviewed, call the employer to ask what skill, talent or experience you were missing so you can be qualified the next time you apply for the job.  I even call the employer to ask why I wasn’t interviewed so I can be ready for the next opening.
It’s important to note that you just listen to the response as they make suggestions on how to improve your career and potential future employment with their organization.  Don’t question or interrupt, simply say thank you, and move on.

This will tell you a lot about the organization you thought you wanted to work for.  I have heard all kinds of responses from ‘not having enough Minnesota experience’ to ‘if I hire you, you might try to take my job.’ (Yes, really, from a man that was extremely very tall!)

The response from a nonprofit in Minnesota that helps underprivileged families build homes was maybe the worst, as I couldn’t understand the executive as she mumbled something, and I when I asked her to repeat, she just became nasty.   The lesson learned is how gracious are employers delivering bad news and do I still want to work with this person or the organization.

In the case of another company I interviewed with recently, the candidate, not me, was selected in less than 24 hours of my job interview, meaning the company most likely didn’t get a chance to read my thank you notes, sent to three people I met during the interview, what you should do after an interview.

From the same interview, I received a rejection email sent by one person, but the actual body of the email was from another person, not even present for my job interview.  It was confusing as I didn’t know why another person would be emailing someone else’s email.  It made me think it was not authentic.

Employer tip:  If you send out a rejection email, have the employee’s email match the person that writes and signs their name to the email.  If not, it adds to confusion in the process of a rejection email, and also looks like you and your company just don’t have the process down in a professional way.

3.  Keep looking for job openings, use your contacts for networking
Enlist your family, friends, friend’s of family, friend’s of friends, and anyone you come across along the way.  Make sure you thank them, even send them a thank you email or a real note with your business card in the mail.  Besides, the thank you note or email will be the way you can be contacted with they hear of job openings.

4.  Most Important step:  Do something that has nothing to do with looking for wor
You might need a nudge to forget the last job rejection.

It’s the ‘not doing what you need to do so you can the job done activity’ that is required.  Simply put, give yourself a pat on the back for your hard work, and take a break from looking for work, at least for the rest of the day.  It’s like refueling so you can carry on the job of looking for work.

Activities might include:  Hiking, visiting friends or family, go shopping, cooking your  favorite meal, or just treat yourself to your favorite tea or coffee.

Just be creative, take up your favorite hobby or find a new interest to keep you positive and ready for the next ride on the job search treadmill.

Final Thoughts – Always take the highroad.  If you meet with the executive that gets nasty while trying to learn how you can be better prepared for the next interview, just say thank you, then shout for joy, after you hang up the phone, that you didn’t get hired by someone that doesn’t know how to handle a difficult, but necessary conversation regarding employment.

About the author:
Jannet Walsh loves cutting-edge innovation and using new technology to engage people’s attention in today’s social media world. Her videos have aired on CNN, CNN iReport, HLN, and elsewhere. With a background as a New York Times Company staff photographer, you can find her latest multimedia work at

Jannet is also a Certified Life and Career Coach, Certified Life and Career Coach with training by Jay Block, Executive Career Coach and author,