How to deal with Interview Rejections

Interview Rejections can be tough to digest, especially if it keeps happening over and over. Repeated Rejections break your heart and damages your willpower. So, after a certain time, it’s very normal to feel depressed, negative, and unworthy of yourself. Not only freshers but experienced ones also have to go through job rejection. When a candidate goes through this, he/she needs to know how to handle it, otherwise for many serious job seekers, the failure of getting their dream job can turn into a nightmare. So, how do you overcome the rejection in a job search?

How to deal with Interview Rejections

Stop taking it so personally

Those that take job interview rejection hardest are those that take it personally.  I get it.  It can feel like they’ve rejected you as a person.  That’s your emotions talking. The reality is, there are lots of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with who you are as a person.  The main one being…somebody else likely had a closer fit to the skills they were looking for.  That doesn’t say anything negative about you.  It doesn’t mean they didn’t like you, or didn’t think you could do the job well, someone else appeared to be a closer fit.

Remember, interviewers make decisions based on any number of reasons, and have many internal biases that they are completely unaware of.  It could simply be that the selected candidate may have appeared to be a better cultural fit.  It’s not fair, but that can be the case.

There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback

Once you’ve got past the initial disappointment of job interview rejection, it’s time to learn and grow from the experience.  Every interview can teach you something new about yourself, about your strengths, and about what you need to work on.  Whenever you do an interview, I encourage you to take 10 minutes to think about and note down:

  • What I did well
  • How I would be even better next time

You need to focus on what you did well first of all.  Why?  Many of us have a tendency to go straight into critical mode, and fail to recognise all the good stuff we did.  We then amplify the things we didn’t do as well as we’d like and drown out all of the good.  That will chip away at your confidence.

When you recognise the things you do well, and do it as soon after the event as possible, then you’re more likely to repeat and improve that behaviour.  Only then should you focus on how you could have bettered your performance.

Ask for Feedback

You should always ask for feedback.  Treat this as a learning experience and understand how you can grow from it.  Feedback will help you grow your awareness of what you did well and how you can improve for the next time.  Make sure that you take on board what is said, and use it as an opportunity to get better.

What did you learn from the experience that you need to develop more skills or expertise in?  Were there questions you found a little challenging to answer?  I was rejected for the first management position I went for.  There were two of us who got to the second interview, which took the questions to a whole new level.  I struggled with it big time!  Once I got past feeling humiliated, I could see that I’d done very little to get any management experience.  From that point on, I asked to lead more projects, and take on other responsibilities.  The truth was I wasn’t ready for this job, and it would likely have been a disaster had I got it.  What can you do to develop what you need to progress?

Reflect on Experience

When you experience a ‘no’ in your job search, take the opportunity to turn it into a learning experience. Is there anything you wish you would have done differently throughout the hiring process? Did you learn anything about yourself? i.e. interview skills you need to work on, job responsibilities you do/don’t want to do. Take what you learned throughout the process and work on applying that to your next interview experience and become an even stronger candidate. Did the hiring manager give you any feedback? Use that too!

Focus on the next best alternative option

If you lose a chance of getting your dream job or company, you cannot sit down and sink thinking about it. Even if you are feeling disappointed don’t let the feeling stay for long. Quickly, prepare a list of what is the next best option available to you and apply for that. If you are very much particular about the company that you applied for, you can ask the employer when is the next opening for the same job position available and once you know about it you can immediately start preparing for it.

Talk to your Parents or Friends

For some people job rejection may not be easy to handle. They must not think too much sitting alone. They should talk to someone they are close to. They can also talk to those who have gone through the same situation in life. They can share their experience with them. One can also read or watch success stories of those who faced a lot of failures and then kept on moving in the direction of their goal and ultimately achieved it successfully. The idea of doing all this is that despite job rejection, you must stay motivated or find ways to stay motivated if you are not able to do it on your own.

Move on

This is very important. You need to move on with life. There are lots of opportunities available in the world. In the same industry also there are few top companies to work in. If it was your first or initial few rejections then you should only learn from the failure and move on. Remember that life goes on no matter what and if you keep working on your skills, you will do great eventually.

Overall, the success-mantra for overcoming the grief and disappointment of job-interview rejections, is knowing how to move on. You must constantly remind yourself of the fact that your life does not stop there. Recognize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Never think of quitting before your goal is achieved. Keep up a positive mind and hopeful attitude.


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