Kate is wondering if she could have altered the outcome after her second interview by contacting someone she knew inside the company where she was interviewing.

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Kate’s Question:

I have some follow-up questions regarding my second interview and what I could have done differently.

I was 1 of 2 finalists for my dream job and did not get it despite the fact that the recruiter said the company “loved me” and would have moved forward with me despite this other candidate.

I can’t help but wonder what I could have done or said differently, and would love your thoughts on the following so that I absolutely nail the next job.

1) I noticed on their web site that their VP of sales used to work at my existing company. Should I have called this person up ahead of any formal interview and asked for an informational interview to learn more about the company, job and hiring manager?

The VP would have been my colleague at this company. (Ironically – he and I held the same position where I work now). Since the job came through a recruiter – I was reluctant.

2) Upon leaving the first interview, the primary decision maker invited me to call if I had any further questions (there was a whole round of second interviews after this). Should I have taken her up on this just to forge more of a relationship with her?

3) What about bringing industry reports or articles from the Wall Street Journal related to the job to the interview?

What are your thoughts? Do you have any interview tips and answers that will help me for next time?

Don’s Answer:

I’m sorry to hear you did not get the job, but it’s best to treat this as a learning experience and to move on. You’ll be that much better on your next interview.

The only reason I ever became good at interviewing is because I had been turned down for many, many jobs and I wrote this guide to help people avoid the same frustration I went through.

As for what you could have done better, it’s very difficult for me, an outsider looking in, to say anything, but I’ll do my best.

As for calling the VP of sales, I might have, depending on how well I knew him. Perhaps if he was someone I worked with on a daily basis, I probably would have. If I just knew him in passing, probably not.

When job opportunities come through recruiters, I am cautious to break the chain of command and almost always follow the lead of the recruiter, because the recruiter is the only one who should have contact with the company.

After leaving the first interview – should you have called?

If it were me, I would have asked at the end of the interview if she would mind if I followed-up her in week. But yes, it would have been a good idea to call her, not with any questions, unless you had some, but just to touch base and see how things are moving along.

But was this the reason you did not get the job – absolutely not.

It sounds like there were other factors they based their decision on that were out of your control. In my past, there were many jobs that I was perfect for, and they would have hired me, but there was that someone else they liked just a little better.

Usually, the person they hire instead of you has a better network of friends than you, which is the best way to get hired.

They probably knew this person, or someone from this company already knew them and they had a slight insider edge over you.

The Complete Interview Answer Guide is filled with second interview tips and answers. Inside, Don shows job seekers how to answer interview questions with 200+ sample answers. The questions in the guide are designed to answer questions from different viewpoints and to show job seekers how their answers may be interpreted by an interviewer.

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