To say that it feels like a kick in the proverbial nut-sack (or for the ladies a left hook across the cutlery drawer) goes without saying.
It sucks hairy balls.
It sucks so hard, Dyson will patent it, make thousands of them in China and do nicely from it.
Inside or Outside
The difference is more noticeable between Internal and External candidacy.
The ball suckage is greater when you are an ‘internal fail’.
Why? External jobs always put you at a natural disadvantage because an Internal applicant should, by some merit, have the edge. You are 50% less likely to feel as disappointed by an External job’s dear John as compared to an Internal dear John.
Why? Expectations are lower. When you have low expectations you don’t attach as much emotional weight, by means of romantic thought, to getting comfortable in performing that role in future. You don’t form an attachment to the idea of being ‘the man’ or ‘the woman’ as strongly.
Things we Humans do When Waiting Post Interview
We do some stupid things that contribute to the post interview rejection ball-suckage quotient.
We romanticize the new salary.
It is nice to think about that uplift to the bottom line. All that improved ‘Utility’ as those Economic freaks like to say. We’ve already considered how we are going to spend that money.
We start making plans.
It is dangerous when you start making plans. It adds to that romanticism I mentioned earlier. All those cherry blossoms soon evaporate when the crushing reality breaks.
We think about rewarding ourselves.
You know what, I’m going to buy that new watch, pay for that streaming subscription service [enter service, holiday or product here] when I get that new job.
Maybe I will take that trip to Australia after all. Actually, no you won’t. It looks like another trip to the recycling centre on Sunday.
We get bolder.
Pre-Rejection: “Hey Pete, you jerk-face, I’m going to be your boss soon. Eat shit and die.”
Post-Rejection: “Hey Pete, you know when I said all that stuff before, sorry bub. By the way, don’t eat shit, it’s bad for you breath. Could I grovel some more. Thanks.”
We talk ourselves up and boast a little more.
Pre-Result: King of the world. I’m the shit. Been doing this for years. In the bag. Doing the strut. Look at me. Winner. Victor.
Post-Result: Excuse me sir, I think there is hair in those balls.
The climb down is inevitably tragic, embarrassing and deflating.
The ball suckage quotient increases exponentially post-rejection, its the law of fluid crynamics.
The Post-Interview Autopsy
It is this ritual we have with an interview. It goes hand in had with scratching our balls after sitting in a leather seat for a few hours. For the ladies this may more involve removing the crumbs from our rack crease as an equivalent. Being inclusive, for all those with belly buttons, we may consider removing the fluff to be equivalent (but only if we’ve got innys rather than outys).
Phase 1: Sigh a breath of relief
Phase 2: Become paranoid about all the questions we answered shakily.
Phase 3: Make a mental image of everything that was said.
Post rejection: Postulate on all those alarm bells and short sentences that came from the interviewer(s).
Car Crash vs Deceptively ‘okay’
In some interviews you have the good grace to know that it was a car crash, in which case, the summary rejection comes as a relief. Validation of your failure can relieve your guilt. If by some means you managed to get the job you’d be shocked and surprised.
It is those interviews where it went ‘okay’ or ‘moderately well’ which provide you with a false glimmer of hope.
You know you are on dicey ground when asked by your colleagues, family and friends, you say; it went ‘okay’.
- Okay is slippery ground. More slippery than a mackerel factory.
- Okay is maybe a side order of fail with a fail topping on rye.
- Okay may mean ‘oh shit’.
- Okay means out of my depth a little.
- Okay means terrible but I will refrain from telling you out of the slim chance that I was being hard on myself in order to not bruise my ego in the short term.
If you felt you rocked it, then failed miserably, the mixed emotion from the rejection doesn’t feel so bad. It really doesn’t. Something about the jump from high to low balances out.
Okay and failed meant that in some way you might feel you were deficient, that you had a chance but wrestled defeat from the jaws of victory, rather than the other way around. Going from the middle expectation to the low point sucks mammoth balls. You were more hopeful but you knew that ultimately you were clutching at straws.
You Were Onto a ‘Loser’ From The Start
The darkest pantheon of an interview rejection is the consideration that you never had a chance. You weren’t going to be victorious no matter how much of an inspirational tap dance you performed.
The thought of being allowed an interview based on “development”, “practice”, or “curiosity” brings you no degree of warmth. It’s that point at which you feel that company should have just rejected your application in the first place and saved you the time.
This is known as the chain-jerk.
The Futility of Feedback (and Why it is Ultimately Bullshit)
Feedback is bullshit. I could end there but for the benefit of this bigger title, let’s delve into this bullshit a little further, shall we?
Feedback is bullshit because despite all those eloquent reasons they gave you as to why you have not been successful, they may just not like your face.
The reason you receive is not always the reason they decided not to hire you.
If external, it could be that the interviewer just doesn’t like the cut of your jib. You could fall into a raft of categories, some derogatory or potentially discriminatory. One of those is the answer. They don’t know you from Adam.
If internal, it could be that off-hand joke you made once, or that cheeky 30 minutes off that did it for you.
Despite a laden CV with all the right skills, you just weren’t the right monkey for their organ. You didn’t grease the wheel. You didn’t lube their banana.
It was that other bullshitter that go it.
The Fallout From Your Failure
There is going to be fallout. There always is. War never changes…
This fallout is more for the internal candidate who didn’t get the internal job. As an external candidate you have the ability simply to move on. You don’t even leave a ripple in the pond.
Your first reaction often with those who got the job are that you now see them as villains, thieves. They took your shit.
We call this Chimp-Life.
Working under the chimp who got that job over you.
This can be difficult. In some cases it is tantamount to finding another job and handing in your notice. Internal vs internal is less likely to generate this outcome as you have a chance of knowing who you were pitted against and if you don’t mind them that much it can be mitigated after some healing.
Internal vs external is different. If an external received a job it essentially tells you that you have no net value for promotion. That situation hurts far more.
Getting fired by the chimp who got that job over you.
Perhaps a more extreme element of fallout, the particularly sharp edged half-life particle, is being fired by the person who assumed “your role”. This is rubbing your nose in the dirt.
When the position you applied for was for multiple positions and multiple chimps, some lame, were luckier than you.
This stings even more. It is like saying that we have 5 spots and in our infinite wisdom we have decided that on all 5 occasions you are still no good. No dice bitch. Business as usual. Hard cheese, go eat a falafel, you peasant dog.
When you’ve been working the department for more than 10 years and still get overlooked, in favour of other chimps.
Is a definite snub. You might as well be told you are incompetent. You just don’t want me to move up do you. You give me all this sauce about better applicants yet you’ve made no effort to help me along. You selfish fuck!
Having applied for the position more than once in the past.
Really means you are not wanted, so don’t try again.
What Happens Post-Rejection From Those Who Know
Friends and colleagues you work with are a Godsend. Those who like and know you will lend support. Those that hate your guts will probably tell you a personal truth that would actually be helpful for next time.
“Ah, it will be your turn next time.” Which you respond to in kind but really want to say: “Fuck you.”
“I thought you had that one in the bag!” which you respond to in kind but really want to say “Fuck you.”
There is no Luck in Interviews
It is all pre-destined.
How do I Know All This?
I’ve been there. I wear the yellowing T-Shirt of shame.