Career Corner: September-October 2006

I've just been told I won't be hired for the sales and marketing position that I really wanted. When I asked the hiring manager why she didn't hire me, she told me she didn't think I was interested enough in the position. But it was my ideal job. Is there anything I can do?

Before considering strategies to retrieve this lost opportunity, or find a different "ideal" job, it's worth figuring out what just happened.

When a job involves sales, an employer will undoubtedly look to see how a potential employee sells himself in an interview. The interviewer will observe your body language, what examples you choose to give, and your general demeanor. However, it's what you say in your closing that's most important.

If you didn't think you had an opportunity for a closing, reconsider. Were you asked if you had questions? You can always turn a question into a brief statement. This is the time to reinforce your qualifications and why you want the job.

So what about your current situation? If they haven't filled the position, persuade the hiring manager that you really are the employee she needs. It's worth being a little persistent for this type of job.

If the job is no longer open, your message should be a little different. Wish her luck with her new hire, but make certain she knows that you want to be actively considered in the future because you know the value you can add. Ask whether the hiring manager would mind hearing from you once a month. Then be sure to follow up on the schedule to which you've committed. Your last call will be the one where you accept their job offer or tell them that you've decided to take a wonderful opportunity somewhere else!

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