bouncing back from interview disappointment (WAS: Advice needed for an upcoming interview)

Subject: bouncing back from interview disappointment (WAS: Advice needed for an upcoming interview)
From: Anonymous <anonymous -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 09:38:41 -0400

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First of all, I want to thank everyone that offered support, encouragement,
and advice on this thread. Because everyone was so nice and positive (and
obviously for more selfish reasons), I was hoping to close out this
interview thread on a positive note, but, unfortunately, I did not get
either job. I felt like both interviews went reasonably well. Apparently
however, that was a matter of my own misperception. Several requests for an
explanation of the apparent mismatch between what they saw in my resume,
samples, and, in one case, completed questionnaire and what they saw and
heard in the interview were met with unhelpful euphemisms or long-ago
generated boilerplate. "Not the best fit." "Many candidates did not have
the specific experience..." One place did mention something about wanting
someone more experienced, and, well, I have only been doing this for a
couple of years, so I can't really argue that, I suppose. I also suppose
I'll never really know the real "why" of it. Which, of course, makes the
disappointment and frustration even worse (to say nothing of the blow to
self-confidence).

These were the first two tech writing jobs I've really pursued with serious
intent and what I thought was a reasonably good chance of actually getting
them. I tried to follow people's advice, I researched, I went in with ideas
and questions and things to say about their public-facing documentation,
about project management and documentation, about software development in
general and documentation. I felt good and relaxed and confident. I talked
to people I knew at one company to try to gain even more insight. And
yet--I've come up empty. Thankfully, I have a position right now, so it
doesn't affect my livelihood. But it still stings.

How doe one bounce back from this kind of disappointment? What can be
learned from it? Am I barking up the wrong career tree?
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