Your job interview preparation went well.

You recorded the mock interview with a friend and fixed whatever aspects of the interview you felt you were weak in.

The company was researched from top to bottom.

You prepared a strong case as to why you were the best candidate for the position, you asked thoughtful questions during and at the close of the interview.

Your skills and qualifications seemed to match what the employer wanted.

The employer would be a good fit for your skills and there would be room for advancement.

You sent a focused and well-written thank you letter the day after the job interview.

In other words, it seems that you did everything right.

Then you get the bad news — a letter of rejection, or after you make a follow-up phone call, the company tells you it has hired someone else.

You are left wondering where you went wrong.

Rejections fall into three main areas:

•   The employer feels you won’t be able to do the job;

•   You lack a key skill or qualification; or

•   You will not fit in with the culture of the department or the company.

Ask for feedback

If possible, call the interviewer, thank him again for his time and ask him — in order to help you in your future job search — why you were not chosen for the job.

Most interviewers will not tell you anything productive, but occasionally they will answer the question.

For example, you were not hired because your interview skills were lacking, or the person hired had more experience or had worked in the industry while you came from another industry, and so on.

Listen politely to the interviewer’s concerns, indicate you understand and again thank him for his time.

Follow up with a letter addressing these concerns but remind the interviewer of your qualifications for the job.

Perhaps you can list an accomplishment that directly bears on the No. 1 challenge in the job.

Indicate your continued interest in the job. This places you in an excellent position if the person hired stumbles or quits.

Rather than go through the whole expensive recruiting process again, the interviewer will remember you and give you a call.

Or perhaps the workload has increased and he has another identical slot to fill — again you may have another job opportunity.

Fill the gaps

Now go back and study the possible reasons for rejection.

If it is because you might not be able to do the job, you need to examine how your skills would fit the job requirements.

Also, you might improve on crafting your stories of relevant accomplishments.

If you appear to be missing a key skill or qualification and it seems to be a requirement for a number of possible jobs, how can you overcome this problem?

An immediate course of self-study, getting together with your mentor for his ideas, signing up for an appropriate course at a local college, attending a seminar or workshop should add the appropriate weight to your experience.

You also should take a critical look at your job and other experience.

Perhaps a job you performed for your local Chamber of Commerce will be an acceptable substitute.

Your challenge is to package and communicate the skill so it satisfies the needs of the prospective employer.

Project the right image

Regarding the conclusion that you might not fit in with the corporate culture, that is a difficult objection to overcome.

It can be partly set aside by more research of the company.

Uncover individuals who recently left the company (search on LinkedIn) and speak to them about the corporate environment.

Do what you can to project an image and work ethic that would more closely fit the company culture.

Use every rejection as a chance to learn and improve your job-hunting strategy.

What you learn can be properly reflected in your resumé, cover letter and interview. As your skills increase, your chances of finding and accepting the right job will go up too.

Article by John Groth, who has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers and more job-hunting strategies at http://careersafter50.com. Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Groth