Everyone prepares you for the interview, the dos and the don’ts while interviewing but no one ever teaches, or prepares, you on how to react to a REJECTION!
Being a Recruiter I have to reject candidates on a daily basis, and as much as I can understand that it’s not the desired outcome, how well a candidate takes it will differentiate him/her from a bad candidate.
Recently I have had an example of just this, and as difficult as it can be, it is still an area that requires practice… and certain skills.
If you allow rejection to knock your confidence and make you doubt your abilities, it could negatively affect your performance in future interviews. Please bear in mind the following when receiving a rejection for a job you have interviewed for:
1) It is not always ONLY about you:
The decision of rejecting you is rarely based solely on your performance. If you were well prepared and tried your best, there’s not much more you could have done. Many times it is not even in your control! There may have been a very strong internal candidate who is already familiar with the business, or another candidate with slightly more industry experience than you. These are things you cannot change; they’re beyond your control! Focus on the things you can influence!
2) Rejection is not feedback:
It is perfectly acceptable to politely ask the recruiter or employer for more detailed feedback about your interview in order to help you improve for your next interview. Having said this, please also remember, interview feedback will not always be very helpful for you to improve yourself for the future. This could be because of various reasons: Confidentiality of the recruitment process, the simple fact that someone else gave off an extraordinary impression etc. As recruiters, we try to follow up on interviews and give feedback to candidates wherever possible (most of us). However, we are only able to pass on the feedback that’s provided to us – which is not always forthcoming from busy employers. Also as a tip; if the feedback is that someone else has simply done better, take it positively, as it means you could be selected should things not work out with the first choice candidate etc.
3) Learn what you did do well:
Ask them what you did do well. Instead of focusing on went wrong, try and find out if there were any aspects of your application that were highly appreciated. If this is the case, focus on your strengths. Put an emphasis on these in your next interview, and know where you can be extraordinary the next time, and be the number 1 choice moving forward.
4) Take a fresh approach:
Don’t take it personally! Approach each new job opportunity with a fresh perspective and a new approach. Tailor your CV to best match a new opportunity and fully research and prepare for a new interview. If you made mistakes or felt unprepared in your last interview – learn from it! Every company and the hiring manager is different and will have a different idea of their “ideal candidate”. Have a fresh approach while remaining true to yourself.
Please remember Recruiters are here to help you at every step of the interview process and want you to get the job, as much as you want it yourself… but there is only so much influence we can have in your interview successes.
CEO & Co-Founder