How to deal with rejection: lessons to learn from shocker interviews

January 31, 2017
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So you’ve prepped, rehearsed and think you performed relatively well in an interview. But then shock horror, you didn’t land that dream job. What now? How can you turn negatives into positives and learn from experiences of rejection? What do you need to do to build resistance and keep trying? Here’s a few things to think about.

Think positive

The easiest thing to do when you get rejected from a job you had your heart set on (and you probably spent hours preparing for) is to sink into negative thoughts and self-doubt. By all means have a moment to feel disappointed, you’re human, just don’t dwell on it for too long. Be resilient and move on to the next, ASAP.

Rather than thinking about your possible weaknesses, try to identify what was missing from your previous experience so you can deliver an improved performance the next time. The thing is, interviews are all about practice, and the only way to get that is to have a few rejections under your belt.

Ask for some feedback

Most people will probably avoid this for two reasons: first; because no one actually wants to hear all the things they’re not very good at and second; because we don’t want to ‘pester’ or sound desperate. Perhaps a bit of self-pride getting in the way.

But you really should. No one is going to do a better job of explaining how you could do better than the person who actually made the decision. And don’t feel like you’re pestering – remember that you gave up a lot of time and effort to show your interest in them.

Pursue more than one opportunity

Of course you’ve got to be super passionate about the role you’re going for to be in with a chance, but if you’ve spent a couple weeks in the run up to an interview pinning all your hopes on one job – you’re only going to feel more disappointed and lost if it doesn’t go your way. Keep your options open and until you get that offer letter – put yourself forward for every available opportunity before you miss out.

Take a moment to reflect (and even reconsider)

So you didn’t get the job. Stop thinking about everything you might have done wrong and think about the things you know you’re good at. Have you ever thought that maybe you’re going for the wrong job or wrong type of organisation? If your personality and skills don’t fit with the role or organisation, you’re going to have a hard sell. But it’s OK, there’s something out there for everyone – you just need to get on and find it.

Remember it’s all part of the game everyone’s playing

When you feel like beating yourself up, take a moment to remind yourself that everyone’s in the same boat. There (probably) aren’t many people who can say they’ve landed every job they’ve gone for – first time. It’s a numbers game, so get yourself out there and keep trying.

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