A Publication of WTVP

4 Ways Not Getting a Job Can Still Be a Win

The interview experience may provide hidden opportunities—even if you don’t land the job.

by Cheryl Hyatt, Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search |
Job interview illustration

The disappointment of not being offered a job can negatively color your perception of the entire experience. However, there are many hidden opportunities in each job interview. Here are four ways you can be declined an offer and still be a winner:

  1. Practice makes perfect. Even the most seasoned professional spends a tiny fraction of their time interviewing for jobs. Each interview is a chance to hone your interviewing skills and be more comfortable in a high-pressure situation. That will not only serve you on future interviews, but in your next job.
  2. Deepening your knowledge of the industry. Whether you’re interviewing with a new institution or digging deeper with your current employer, interviewing will expose you to new aspects of your industry or sharpen your current knowledge.
  3. Learning more about yourself. By articulating your experience, values and vision to a new company, you will understand yourself better. It’s possible that interviewing for a job will confirm the direction you’re pursuing—or conversely, it may show you what kind of job you don’t want.
  4. Expanding your network. You will meet interesting people throughout the interview process. While they may or may not end up as colleagues, they can blossom into contacts. We once interviewed an individual who was so likable and competent that, while we did not offer them the job we were interviewing them for, we passed their name on to a colleague we thought could benefit from their skillset. That person turned a rejection into a referral. You never know when you will see your interviewer again at a conference or event. Lay the groundwork for a fruitful connection. PM

Cheryl Hyatt is a partner with Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search. Learn more at