Whether you didn't get a first interview, called back for a second interview or didn't get the job at the final stage, being rejected during job hunting can really knock your confidence going forward. While rejection is not pleasant, it can be blown out of proportion and viewed as a sign of failure. If you allow rejection to knock your confidence and make you doubt your abilities, it could negatively affect your performance in future interviews.
However, instead of being viewed this way candidates should consider any feedback they have received, both positive and negative to build on their strengths and areas that need improved.
It is never a pleasant experience, particularly if you have faced several rejections so far in your job search, it can be easy to feel disheartened. This can especially be the case when you have been well prepared for the interview and felt that it went very positively, yet the final outcome is not what you were expecting.
If you do face rejection on your job search, there are a few things to help you remain positive.
Ask for feedback
It’s important to remember that you are not going to land every job you apply for. No one does! Realising this will help you learn to accept rejection as part of the job search process. Don't assume the worst. It is more than okay to ask the interviewer for more detailed feedback about your interview and application so that this can help you improve in the future. You could ask for areas where they felt your strengths are and identify any points that could need improvement.
It is not personal
Job rejections are not personal, many people blame their ability or how they performed in the interview as the reason they were not successful. Very rarely is it that your performance is the reason for your rejection. Being fully prepared and trying your hardest is the best you could do. During the hiring process, there are some things that are just beyond your control. For example, you could have performed perfectly, but the other candidate might have slightly more experience than you.
Thinking about your next steps after rejection is important, you might decide to take some time away from job searching or apply for your next potential role. We understand that rejection is tough, having to tell candidates everyday that they have been unsuccessful is not easy and we empathise fully with them. Below are a few ways you can prepare your next steps after rejection.
Clear your mind
With any new job opportunity, approach it with a fresh perspective and a positive attitude. If you made mistakes or were unprepared in your last interview, you should consider ways to learn from this. Take each interview as they come and try not to worry about what you done in a previous interview, it will only make you more nervous.
Keep learning and developing
While nobody likes rejection, it is important to keep your head up and move on. Consider it as a learning opportunity to better yourself for your next interview. Once you have received any feedback, take time to reflect on the interview and the feedback you have received. Ask yourself things like, did I prepare enough? What areas did I do well in? What could I have improved on? It is also important to remember that the preparation of the interview itself might not be the issue, but that parts of the interview have caught you off guard and you are not sure how to react.
Work hard and stay motivated to help you get your dream job. It is good to consider taking online courses that can help develop your skillset and stand out from other candidates. To prepare and motivate yourself for your next steps, you could consider noting your accomplishments, strengths, and contributions and reminding yourself about them as a way of recognising your ability to succeed when faced with a challenge.
You might consider a new way of doing your job search, before you might have done it alone and applied via job boards or directly on the hiring companies website. LinkedIn is a great way of making it known to recruiters and companies that you are actively looking for new opportunities. It is also a great idea to get in touch with a recruiter or recruitment company (like us, Nine Twenty Recruitment!).
Recruiters already have access to many roles, a quick chat with them letting them know your skillset and what you are interested in can potentially lead to an interview for you. Once you get to know a recruiter, they understand exactly what it is you are looking for, saving yourself time on applying for jobs that aren't suitable to you.
At the very least you, during the interview process you should feel as though you have learned something. We all learn from our experiences, and interviewing is no different. One thing to remember is that, even though a job rejection might seem like the end of the world, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about yourself, interviews and the job search process and improve for the future.
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