Mystery Solved... Here's Why Companies Can't Tell You Why You Didn't Get Picked For That Executive Position

executive job search May 12, 2021

You just finished that final interview for that key position on the leadership team. It went great! Just great!

And then you wait. You wait. You wait.

Finally, the call comes in.

…Thanks so much for your time. We enjoyed spending time with you, you have excellent experience, but…

  • We decided to go in another direction.
  • We’re moving forward with other candidates.
  • We’re looking at some other options.

Whatever the mysterious, veiled statement – with absolutely no insight whatsoever – it’s all the same. What they’re saying is this… you’re not the one.

What? Noooooo. You’re in disbelief. You were certain, absolutely certain that this was it. This was the one!

And here’s what you do. You ask them the question. And then the other question.
Maybe you emerge from your state of shock quickly and blurt it out. Maybe it happens in a follow-up email or phone call.

“Could you give me any insight why I was not selected? What could I have done differently?”

Maybe you could have done something differently. Maybe not.

Truth is… you’ll never know the truth.

You’ll never know because the people at the company can’t tell you. They simply can’t. The Executive Recruiter they hired can’t tell you either.

This is why asking for this type of “feedback to make you better” will do anything but.

Why can’t they tell you?

Here's why...

You Think It's An Opportunity For A Discussion. It's Not!

If they do tell you, you’ll see their reasons as objections for not hiring you. Then, you’ll spend (waste?) the next 15 minutes of their life explaining why you do, in fact, also have that skill, that experience. And that is why they should reconsider you. The door was locked shut, but for some reason, you think it was simply cracked open.

After wasting their time… and yours, you hang up, determined to show that skill, that experience next time. But what if “next time” your next pursuit isn’t interested in that? What if that conversation leads you to feature the wrong part of you? And then you find yourself in a vicious cycle of leading with the wrong skill, the wrong experience, for the right opportunity. It’s not a winning formula for landing your next executive position!

They Might Get Sued

Yes, they might get sued. At least that’s what the company lawyer says. Honestly, this reason is reason enough to never tell you the truth.

To say you can’t handle the truth… well, that’s kind of true. Sorry.

It’s in the company’s best interest to be ambiguous.

And when you’re hiring people, while you want to give them the courtesy you were never given… don’t. You can’t. You are putting your company at risk. As an executive, you need to put the organization’s interest before your own. That’s a big part of your job… if not the biggest.

So now what? What do you do?

Well, for one, quit asking. Quit asking the questions they can’t – and shouldn’t – answer.

Their feedback is not going to “help” you be better in your job search.

You need to be better in your job search before you get to the table, not after!

For more insight on why you’re not landing…

Join the free MasterClass – 3 Reasons You’re Not Landing in Your Executive Job Search.

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