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turned down for a job

 
Ranch Hand
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I had been going to the rather long and tedious interview process for a company. I had high hopes as I thought I had performed well in the rounds but today I found out I wasn't selected. I would like to know why so that I can improve myself so I don't make the same mistakes. I think this was more to do with my soft skills as I feel I may have a problem in that area. Do you think I could maybe ask the Hiring manager and ask him these questions? Is that done? Could I expect a truthful answer from them?
 
Greenhorn
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Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
Do you think I could maybe ask the Hiring manager and ask him these questions? Is that done? Could I expect a truthful answer from them?



Sending a "thank you" letter to hiring manager after the interview is a good idea, although it is not followed in India. Ideally, you should send such email along with a request for feedback. Try it out. Truly professional hiring manager should give you some feedback on your weak areas.
 
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The way the laws are written in most US states companies generally have a policy of not giving you feedback for fear of exposing themselves to lawsuits.

--Mark
 
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long and tedious interview processes are good experience and are really worth the effort and generally longer interviews shows that you are up there. You also get better with every interview process. There is no harm in asking (verbal) the hiring manager indirectly like "Where do you see that I can improve?". Good luck.
[ March 18, 2008: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by arulk pillai:
There is no harm in asking (verbal) the hiring manager indirectly like "Where do you see that I can improve?". Good luck.



There is certainly risk to the company answering these questions. You can try asking, but don't take it personally if s/he declines to answer.

--Mark
 
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Ok, this probably is culture dependant, but in the Netherlands it is perfectly normal to ask why you were turned down, and yes you will get an honest answer. Sometimes the honesty is even a bit cruell. Sometimes I did not even wanted to hear it, but they phoned me.

I probably have the same problem as you have. I do not make a first impression that makes me look very active and sociable. Although on the other hand almost all companies that did hire me, said that this first impression was not how they saw me after a few weeks.

Nevertheless in job application, you have a lot of people looking at subjective things. Mostly if there are more candidates with a good CV, you are turned down just because they did not like you, or your impression, or your face. And believe me, I know how frustrating this can be, so GOOD LUCK!!
 
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IBM DB2 Java
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Usually ,if I did not get selected in an interview that went well, I would ask the HR person / consultant communicating with me on phone what went wrong. And I would get replies ranging from " we need an xyz skill set / years of experience" or "the project did not materialise".
At times I was even told "you do not know struts or xyz framework".
Maybe if you could understand the concepts, I could put you through another round of interview.

This is how it was for me in India. You could ask for a feedback after the interview. Good luck.
 
Arvind Mahendra
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What I don get is why these jerks invite people for interviews when they don't have an intention of hiring them to begin with. I gave an HR round and now they tell me I didn't clear that one because of lack of experience as well as not having the right education. Is the ability to read not a pre req for these HR people?
 
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Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
I gave an HR round and now they tell me I didn't clear that one because of lack of experience as well as not having the right education.



That may not be the real reason.It depends on many facors:age,your current salary,how you will fit in future teams are also considered.You might have cleared technical interview but if there is big gap in salary of yours and people with equivalent experience working there,you may get rejection.
Age too counts.If people of your age are at 'higher' positions than position you are opting for, HR might give a second thought on your selection.
'Do you fit in the company culture/people and how long you will be able to stay in the company'.This is what HR think.


Obiviously age/position/salary factors can be thoght before you are called.But these things are always decided only after you appear personally there.
[ March 24, 2008: Message edited by: Arjun Shastry ]
 
Rancher
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Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
I gave an HR round and now they tell me I didn't clear that one because of lack of experience as well as not having the right education. Is the ability to read not a pre req for these HR people?



Resumes and CVs are not perfect for conveying what kinds of experience someone may or may not have. Sometimes this only becomes clear in direct conversation.
 
Mark Herschberg
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I second what Ulf said but also wanted to add that you're assuming the job requirements are fixed, quite often they may change. For example, the senior technical staff may argue for technology B instead of technology A, suddenly a great Oracle DBA might be inappropriate because the project is now MySQL. Perhaps they realized they need people with more domain experience than originally expected. Perhaps the project was scaled back, and not instead of a team of 10 developers they want a tiger team of 3 core developers to work out a prototype, so a Swing expert no long seems critical.

I can tell you when I hire I have only a rough idea of what skills I need for each role. Now if you've read my other postings, you'll noticed that I generally hire for capability not skills, still skills do play a role (for some technologies you want someone on the team--not everyone but someone--with some experience in that technology who understands more than what is in the book). on a team of 10 people, I will need one or two with deep experience with the webserver, one will take on the role of a part time DBA, one as the build engineer, a few are more front end focused, a few more back end focused, etc. Now sometimes I might want a sys admin who can double as a DBA, but then last week I hired a mid level engineer who can double as a MySQL DBA, now the requirements for the sys admin no longer require the DBA skills and I'd focus more on the other skills. Or I find a great sys admin who doesn't know the database and so I'll want one of the developers on my team to ahve those skills.

--Mark
 
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
The way the laws are written in most US states companies generally have a policy of not giving you feedback for fear of exposing themselves to lawsuits.



The same is true in Germany, unfortunately. You can still try, of course - perhaps you are lucky...
 
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One question you can ask at the conclusion of the interview that will not necessarily put them on the defensive, and one rarely asked, is:
"Do you have concerns about any of my qualifications for this position, and if so, may I have the opportunity to address those areas further with you?"

This does two things: 1) demonstrates you're interested in improving by being open to feedback; 2) gives you potential weaknesses you can work on for future interviews.

I'm in job search mode right now, too, and I've gone on so many interviews I'm starting to feel like a "professional interviewee". At the end of the day, I would recommend you ultimately don't give up and improve in whatever areas you can.

Ultimately, you don't often select the right job, it selects you. Best wishes with your search.
[ March 28, 2008: Message edited by: Jon Guenther ]
 
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