As an independent worker, you’re accustomed to interviewing often to line up your next opportunity. Even so, learning that the hiring manager is down to considering you and one other person can be nerve-wracking. We’ve taken it from Lisa Kroulik, a writer for jobble.com, on what she thinks you should do in situations like this. The best approach at this stage is not to make any assumptions about the outcome. Just allow the process to play out. Because we understand this can be challenging, we offer three tips below that can help as you wait out the almost hired dilemma.

Try Not to Compare Yourself to Anyone Else

You don’t know the other candidate, so trying to picture him or her in your mind and comparing yourself unfavorably is an exercise in futility. Be sure to chase any negative thoughts out of your mind as you wait to hear the employer’s decision. Until then, here are some factors that employers state helps them make the best choice when deciding which gig worker to bring on board. When skills and experience are equal, here is what 300 hiring managers stated they would consider in order of frequency of response:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Person’s fit for company culture
  • Sense of humor
  • Commonalities with the interviewer
  • Whether one has more education
  • Someone already employed
  • Best dressed

Would it surprise you to learn that enthusiasm got nearly half the votes in this survey? Employers naturally gravitate towards people who express excitement over the opportunity and not just the paycheck.

Realize How Far You Have Already Come

Consider how many other candidates you beat out to get to the point of being one of two candidates up for serious consideration. That it itself is something that should give you pride. Of everyone else who applied for the independent work opportunity, the employer saw something in you and only one other person that made both of you worthy of consideration.

Almost Hired? Ask for Feedback When You Come in Second

Hearing criticism is never easy, even when it’s constructive and not meant to hurt you in any way. Nevertheless, the best way to learn why the other person got the job and you didn’t is simply to ask. The worst the employer can do is not respond to your request.

When the interviewer or recruiter does take the time to respond, thank them for the feedback without any hint of defensiveness. You will have time later to consider whether the constructive criticism was valid. If you take an honest assessment of yourself and don’t agree with what you have heard, the position and company may not have been a good fit for you. Otherwise, take the feedback under careful consideration to help you do better next time.

Remember that no one gets everything they want in life want in life, and all you can do is keep plugging away when an interview ultimately doesn’t go in your favor.

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