How to deal with rejection during job interviews
How do you deal with rejection?

How To Deal With Rejection

What can you learn from rejection?

Taking rejection and learning from it

No one likes rejection, but in the job market, it’s important to keep a sense of perspective, even when it feels like you’re seemingly getting nowhere. Always remember that, in most instances, there was only one position up for grabs. This means that out of numerous candidates, only one was going to be successful. If it wasn’t you, that doesn’t spell failure – it just means you weren’t the right person on this occasion.

None of that helps when you’re in the midst of a job search where every opportunity seems to slip through your fingers. But persevere – learn from what’s gone before and keep trying.

Find out why you weren’t successful

If you’re using a recruitment agency, ask them if they can go back to basics and help you look at your CV and covering letters to see if there’s anything you’re missing. Is there information on there that could be highlighted better? Are there any gaps in your skill set that you can work on, or train for?

Recruitment agencies work with employers to find out exactly what they are looking for in a candidate. They should be able to identify any areas where your skills, your application or your presentation needs work.

Also, if they are willing to give it, ask the employer for any feedback they feel able to provide. It could have been anything from a gut feeling or a sense that you might not fit in with the company culture, to an obvious gap in your qualifications for the role.

Whatever feedback you receive, try to stay positive and objective and look for ways you can improve your chances next time.

The most common areas that need work

Lack of preparation – if the feedback suggests you didn’t demonstrate a good understanding of the employer or the role, it’s a sign that you need to do more preparation beforehand. Find out as much as you can from your recruitment agency, the employer’s website and the internet in general before you apply. Use that knowledge to tailor your application and then go into the interview armed with as much information as possible.

Technical skills – if your skills were not right for the role then it wasn’t for you. If the role was one you aspire to, look at gaining further qualifications to get you to where you need to be to make the career move you’re looking for.

Interview style – job interviews are nerve-racking, few people feel confident and comfortable in such a situation but feeling well-prepared will help. Try to stay calm, and believe in yourself and what you have to offer. Remind yourself that you got to this stage through what they already know about you, now is the time to show them the person behind the CV and application form.

Rehearse some standard answers – examples of where your skills have proved invaluable, or where you dealt with a challenging situation – so that you come across as someone who can think on their feet and articulate their strengths.

Whatever happens…

Follow up the interview with an email to thank the employer for their time and ask for any feedback. This shows that you’re interested and committed to your personal development, even if they aren’t planning to offer you the role.

If you are not successful, try not to feel rejected. If you did your best and gave a genuine picture of the skills and strengths you have, then you didn’t get the job simply because they preferred another candidate. Keep looking and try to learn from each experience.

If you were successful – then congratulations!

Hannah Hewitt
July 12, 2022
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