How to Manage Interview Rejection
There’s rarely anything people hate hearing more than the word “no”. Psychologically, the word “no” leeches us of energy, whilst “yes” seems to pump us up (just watch the Wolf of Wall Street :).
So if you’ve interviewed for a few roles and been unsuccessful it’s only natural that your confidence about the whole process might have taken a nosedive.
So how do we manage it?
Most advice articles will hurl superlatives at you like “stay positive” and “you just have to keep at it”. Whilst both offer good advice and you do need to stay positive AND keep at it, they don’t necessarily make you feel better at the time.
There’s no miracle answer unfortunately – but some of the things we generally advise to keep in mind include:
Don’t Take it Personally
It can be hard to do – when you’ve met with an employer and told them all about yourself and what you can do, you make a connection, good or bad. When they turn around and say no – it can almost feel like your being “unfriended”.
It’s not personal however, it’s business and each rejection could be a blessing if it teaches you how to learn from your mistakes. Once you can see the rejection logically and in an “how can I improve light“, the emotional side of it disappears. The best thing you can do is fix whatever prevented you from landing the role.
Try to remember that often, there can be as many as 100 applicants for the one position – unfortunately, only one person can get the job. Whilst you may not be the perfect fit for one company, you will be for another.
Ask for Feedback
Some companies have a “No Feedback Policy”, but most don’t. If you can, ask for specifics on where it was that you went wrong, whether it was qualifications, technical skills, experience or cultural fit.
Once you know this, you have a better chance of succeeding in every subsequent interview you attend.
Take Time for Yourself
Most people have activities or hobbies that they enjoy and that make them feel good about themselves. Ironically, these are usually the first things that disappear out the window when we are stressed.
Make sure you try to take some time out of the job hunt to do something you enjoy and that makes you feel good about yourself. If you like to exercise, get out and about. If shopping relaxes you, buy yourself something nice. If you love spending time with your friends, organise a catch up (often a good one as friends will offer support and pump you up).
Do whatever it is you need to do to give yourself that little extra boost of confidence.
If All Else Fails?
Take a break. There’s nothing wrong in taking some time out to refresh and put your head back into a positive space.
In recruitment we see job markets go through busy periods and quiet periods. If you’ve lucked out and are feeling down about it, it could be that you’ve hit a time when your sector may be dry of new jobs.
Once you’ve had a break, you can almost guarantee that the next time you tackle the job market, you’ll be energised and rearing to go.