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Turned down for what?

By Nashelle Hird

Last summer, I applied for several jobs with the hope of getting more experience to build my resume. I sat down and reviewed my then current resume and decided it was in dire need of a facelift, so I set to work. By the time I was finished, my resume was looking great and I was feeling on top of the world.



As a Communication and Digital Media Studies student, I looked for positions that could help me build my skills in the field. I found a great job posting from a government organization, completed the application and submitted. After some weeks, I received an email with a request for an interview! Ding Ding! I had hit the jackpot. I was getting a job and I was going to make money and gain experience.


Or so I told myself.

It was a phone interview and so I put my best voice on and I sold myself as I had never sold myself before. I wanted this and I was determined to make them want me.

But they didn’t. I received an email the following week stating that they had decided to move forward with another candidate.

Bummer! Here I was making plans for my pay cheque and then this…


Well, on the bright side, I had gotten an interview, which meant I had more practice in that department. That was a plus, right?

Still, I questioned why I hadn’t gotten the job. Was it something I said? Was something wrong with my resume? What was I missing?

I was curious and so I decided to ask.

Fun fact: when they said curiosity killed the cat, they weren’t lying because when I heard the reason, I died... from laughing.


The interviewer gave me her phone number and a time she would be available to speak. When I called her, it was a very pleasant conversation until… I popped the question. “What would have made me a better candidate? I’d like to know so I can work at improving in that area for future job opportunities.”

To this day, whenever I tell this story, I still laugh when I remember her response.

“Well, honestly, you were an excellent candidate. You had the skills, the knowledge and the interview went well. I just felt you would be bored in our office.”

Excuse me… What? Pardon?


That was one of the most profound “WTF?” moments I have ever had in all my years.

You know when someone’s breaking up with you in a relationship and your partner goes “It’s not you, it’s me” and you go “huh?”

Yes, that was me. Mind-blown I tell you. Mind-blown.

I didn’t get the job because I’d be bored. Because the hiring manager assumed I’d be bored. After writing my heart out in my cover letter and bursting with enthusiasm in my interview… Well damn…


Though amused, I was disappointed. But it didn’t end there for me. Sometime after, I got an interview with a great organization and I got the job. A job that connected me with great professionals, paid me more and was more accessible from my home. And the next morning after accepting that offer, Yahoo Finance called me for an interview, which I ended up turning down.

From rejection to being in ‘high demand’: The Autobiography of Nashelle Hird.

Sounds good. I like it.

Well, let me not get ahead of myself here.

The point is, the next time you go for an interview and you don’t get the job, there could be a chance you really were a great candidate. Sometimes it really isn’t you, it’s them. Reflecting on it now, maybe it was for the best. Maybe I WOULD have been bored. And maybe, that was just not the organization for me. I trust the universe. From that experience, I learned that delay really doesn’t mean denial. Rejection is just a message to wait because there’s something better for you.

As you complete any job application or prepare for an interview, sell yourself as best as you can. But if you don’t get the job, don’t be too hard on yourself. Accept rejection gracefully. When you’re done feeling down, jump on Indeed and search. Keep trying. The job for you is out there. You just gotta find it. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, it finds you.