Help! A bad job interview has destroyed my confidence

Dear Aunty,

A few months ago I was asked to interview for a different job at my company. I work as a Payroll Assistant and was asked to interview for the role of Junior Accountant. This was an amazing opportunity for me and I was led to believe that the interview was a formality as the boss knew me well. During the interview I was surprised at the difficulty of some of the questions but I was even more surprised when I was told that the job would be given to someone from outside the company.

I feel like I have been cheated and my confidence has been destroyed.

What should I do?

Aunty says,

I can understand your frustration and I can see how this could make you feel cheated. I often think that it is more difficult being interviewed by someone you know. You tend to relax too much and lose the sense of nervousness and anxiousness that you need in order to stay alert and focused. The lesson here is to never assume that you will be given a job as a matter of formality. You never know what skills and experience other candidates will have so you have to prepare for every interview as best as you can.

So what do you do now?

We all have setback in our careers the most important thing is to learn from this setback so that you do not make the same mistakes in the future.

Start by finding out exactly why you were not offered the job. What skills and experience did the successful candidate demonstrate that you did not? Was it a problem with your interview technique or are there genuine gaps in your accounting knowledge that need reconciling?

As you get on well with your boss ask for a quick chat so that you can discuss the interview and why you were not chosen. Try to remove the emotion and upset from the situation and see it as a way to learn how you are perceived by others and how you can improve for the future. You never know this chat could be the best learning opportunity of your life and if you handle it with maturity and professionalism you will surely impress your boss.

I hope that this information will be of use to you and others in Zambia and wish you all the best for the future.


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