Published May 1, 2003
A question that has been bugging me...
When you apply for a job within your organization and you are turned down, do you seek out the reasoning on why you were not choosen or do you let it be.
Find out why and be willing to work on yourself if you were passed over due to some persoanl deficit.
I agree with heynurse, if you find out why, you may be able to "fix" the problems they had with you in the reason that you were not chosen.
sometimes, the decision makers will not tell you how they reached their decision
llg, PhD, RN
Perhaps instead of asking, "Why didn't you pick me?" or "Why did you pick so-and-so instead of me?" you should ask ... "What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate in the future?"
The first 2 questions might make the person being asked a little fearful of setting themselves up for a lawsuit and/or charges of discrimination, etc. Also, they might feel hesitant to discuss the details of the selection process in order to protect everyone's right to privacy.
However, the "What can I do to improve my chances ..." question or ones similar to it might receive a more complete answer. It is more like asking for career advice than anything else. It's not challenging the decision or putting the person asked on the spot. I think you would get better results with that type of questioning.
Nurse Ratched, RN
Great stuff, llg. Agree 100%. Moonshadeau - it speaks well of you that you want to know how you can be a better applicant. It's frustrating to try and reconcile things when we feel we are so very right for a job, but the person awarding the job doesn't see that.
jnette, ASN, EMT-I
Originally posted by llg Perhaps instead of asking, "Why didn't you pick me?" or "Why did you pick so-and-so instead of me?" you should ask ... "What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate in the future?" However, the "What can I do to improve my chances ..." question or ones similar to it might receive a more complete answer. It is more like asking for career advice than anything else. It's not challenging the decision or putting the person asked on the spot. I think you would get better results with that type of questioning. llg
Wonderful advice ! This would be exactly how I would go about it !
It would be tactful, appropriate, and sincere. Plus you would gain the information you want/need to improve your chances in the future. Hope you will receive a satisfactory answer. :)
I think a lot of times the one getting chosen is decided BEFORE the job is even posted. But the hiring powers need to go through the motions.
Originally posted by Rustyhammer I think a lot of times the one getting chosen is decided BEFORE the job is even posted. But the hiring powers need to go through the motions.-Russell
Sometimes, that is true. But in my experience, it is only partly true most of the time -- and that's not always a bad thing. People in the business of hiring are usually "on-the-lookout" for promising candidates for future new hires. They also may know ahead of time when their current employees will be leaving -- so they are already evaluating the potential replacements even before the job is posted. That's only natural and not necessarily an indication of any sinister or discriminatory. Good leaders know who the "up and coming" talented people are within their organization.
People interested in getting a promotion or any other job with a competitive application process would be well-advised to exhibit the behaviors desired by those who do the hiring on a daily basis -- and not wait until jobs are posted to suddenly taking a serious interest in their careers or in how they are perceived by the leadership team. In an in-house promotion or position change, the leadership team's overall impression of your general abilities and behaviors on the average workday usually counts for more than any single thing you might write on your resume or say in an interview.
Other times, the outcome of a competitive hiring process surprises everyone -- even the person who made the final decision. Sometimes, candidates shine during the process in ways that you did not expect. I've seen that happen many times, too.
moonshadeau, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, APN, NP, CNS
Though I wasn't chosen, I really don't have any hard feelings about it. I try to follow a que sera sera kind of mantra and am a firm believer in fate. I would like to know what I could have done better, I just didn't know if it was acceptable to ask within the organization that you work in. I was going to send a email to the director of the position that I applied with thanking them and asking them to consider me in the future. But like I said, I held off on it due to the fact that I didn't want to step on anyones toes if it wasn't proper ettiqute.
Fortunately/Unfortunately- however you look at it, the scenario will probably be more prominent in my area. There are actually very few jobs for nurses within the hospital setting. My hospital boasts a 2% vacancy rate. We will see what the future holds in regards to that.
Several years ago I worked in long term care. I applied for a dayshift position (I was working nights) on a different unit. The nurse that was chosen was a relatively new nurse and a guy. I went to the manager who I interviewed with for the day spot and asked for feedback. I don't feel I was confrontational but wanted honest feedback as to how I could prepare myself for a position in the future.. This manager was very nice to my face and said that the other nurse was so enthusiastic and she wanted to give him the opportunity on her unit. Nothing constructive was said. She thanked me for my interest and said I was welcome to apply when another position opened on her unit. I thanked her went home and went to bed. The next day after working nightshift, I was asked to meet with the DON. The DON screamed at me and accused me of harassing the other manager. She said I was never to question the decision of any of her managers. I was shocked at her reaction as I felt I had been sincere. My manager told me to write a letter of apology to the DON for wasting her time with such matters and the other manager for questioning her decision. I did write the letters - very professionally done. Needless to say, I kept a low profile and held out until I found another job and then left the facility. I really enjoyed the residents and had a good rapport with them - also my peers and the nightshift supervisors. I really didn't dislike the job but because of sleep problems and some other issues I wanted a day position. Also, the DON constantly looked for things to blame me for and write me up. She insisted on writing my evaluation and didn't allow the nightshift supervisor to give any feedback - everything was her opinion. The nightshift supervisor was very understanding and let me know that my evaluation was not her opinion.
I agree with RustyHammer that often the decision of who is offered a position has been made beforehand and the interview process is a formality. I'm certain in this situation this manager had already decided who would be offered the position.
I don't think I will ever ask for feedback again in this type of situation. Now I am happy with my current job and hopefully won't be in this situation again.
"you should ask ... "What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate in the future?"
Exactly the right approach.
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