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Please,please help desperate and so disillusioned

(11 Posts)
Madondogs Sat 25-Jun-11 14:54:37

I work in the NHS, I am currently working full-time, part clinical role and part specialised role . Last week I had an interview for a full time post in the specialist role . I have been working in this role for a year, and was the only candidate with any experience,in the
The interview comprised of a presentation and questions. I felt that the interview went really well and ( without wanting to sound arrogant) my presentation was excellent.
I heard on Monday that they have given the job to another candidate.......apparently they agonised over the choice, but chose her in the end.
I am devastated, while I did not expect to automatically get the job, to be told that my presentation was excellent ( scored full marks, no other candidate did) and so was my interview , I cannot believe I did not get the job. I have had a debrief, and asked what the other candidate did better, but they could not say.To make matters worse, they cannot tell me what is to happen to the job I am now doing.
I have had nothing but good feedback from colleagues and other professionals since I started the job ,and everyone is shocked that I did not get the job.
Since Monday I have not slept, and have a permanent tachycardia, I cannot eat and cannot focus or think of anything else. I honestly feel that my career is over, please could I have some advise, sorry this post is so long

Bue Sat 25-Jun-11 18:54:44

I'm sorry to hear that, Mad. Really, they couldn't give you any feedback on why they went with the other candidate? Is there someone on the hiring committee that you feel comfortable speaking to off the record?

Madondogs Sat 25-Jun-11 22:04:12

The thing is,this is the second time in 6 years that I have had a traumatic work experience. 6 years ago there was a reorganisation that required re-applying for your job at a certain level of seniority. A small group of people, myself included were not even selected for interview. No reason was ever given, despite a long drawn out campaign involving unions and government ministers- although senior management left. I realise anyone reading this could think I am some sad paranoid person, but aim sure that anyone familiar with the machinations of NHS management will understand. Unfortunately, they tend to employ people who reflect their values and will not rock the status quo, and I do not fit that-mould, however dedicated and conscientious I am.
Please reply as I am desperate for some advice as I am literally at my wits end. Thank you.

WhoAteMySnickers Sat 25-Jun-11 22:34:17

I can totally understand why they won't tell you "what the other candidate did better", you actually need to ask what YOU could have improved on or done better. It is unprofessional to discuss another candidates performance, your feedback should be all about you, not them.

Sometimes, when you've got two outstanding candidates with nothing between them in terms of qualifications and experience then it will come down to personality and who the panel thinks will "fit in" better with the department/team. I've seen it so many times and it sounds like that's what happened in this case.

I get the impression you thought the job was in the bag and your confidence has taken a massive knock. I hope you are feeling a little better now.

WhoAteMySnickers Sat 25-Jun-11 22:37:46

Oh just re-read and you were the only candidate with any experience, so previous experience wasn't an "essential" on the person spec, otherwise the other candidate wouldn't have even been shortlisted for interview?

Teenytinytoes Sat 25-Jun-11 22:47:35

Sounds really unfair when you did so well and had all the experience. I think they should be able to give you feedback against criteria they were selecting against otherwise how could they justify anything if they were suspected of any sort of discrimination? I believe candidates even have a right to see the notes made by a panel at interview. Do you suspect politics again? If so I wouldn't have thought there's much you can do without going through another big fight which might be even more upsetting. Hope you get helpful feedback.

Madondogs Sun 26-Jun-11 01:26:01

As I stated in my first post I did not think I would automatically get the job, but given that I did so well at interview, was the only one with any experience and the consequences of not getting the job mean that my current role is defunct, means that I believe the decision to be unfair.
Obviously this is not life or death, and I do realise that I am very lucky to have a job. However , without wanting to seem overly dramatic, I feel as though my career is over. I truly love my job, and have always considered myself very lucky to earn a living doing something that I enjoy so much.

GrendelsMum Sun 26-Jun-11 20:48:24

I'm sorry to hear how upset you are, and how ill it's making you.

I was once in the situation of having 2 extremely good candidates for a post, one of whom on the surface of it had all the relevant experience. However, the interview panel agreed that the experience that the other person could bring to the job would ultimately be more valuable for the team. The experienced candidate was very surprised and upset not to be offered the job (she phoned me to talk through the decision / interview afterwards) - but in this case, it certainly wasn't a matter of politics, but rather having a truly outstanding candidate with skills we wouldn't have expected to obtain at this level. As someone else says, as an interviewer you can end up in the awkward position of only being able to say 'you were good, but x was a better fit'.

Icoulddoitbetter Sun 26-Jun-11 21:07:52

OP I really really sympathise with you. I work in the NHS too as although this has never happened to me (due my severe lack of ambition!) I have seen it happen to other people I know. A couple of years ago a locum in my team applied for her role on a permenant basis after doing the job brilliantly for well over a year. They gave it to someone else, she was gutted. They were both super-experienced, and excellent candidates, but the interviewers just saw something in the other candidate that appealed to them in terms of their "future vision" for the team. It's happened to someone I know recently, loosing a job they've had for years, and it's awful.
Take heart in the fact that you gave an excellent interview, and everyone has given you great feedback on your performance, as this means that another interview panel will see this shine through.

PrincessOfWails Mon 27-Jun-11 11:59:29

OP this is awful, and I've been there too. (I'm in HE - is that better or worse than the NHS these days?!) I can't suggest anything helpful, other than try not to obsess about it too much - but I know it's easier said than done, because often in careers like this it does matter; my career is something I've worked years for and I feel undervalued etc etc. (And I'm still obsessing 1 year on after my job interview when it was given to someone with half my qualifications...)

So, so sorry.

Madondogs Fri 01-Jul-11 11:50:20

Thank you everyone for your kind replies .

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