Rejection; something each and every one of us struggles to accept.
It's really difficult not to take it personally, especially when it relates to a job interview that you have spent days preparing for. We automatically think that we have failed, and this can be felt as a significant impact on our confidence.
However, when you change the way you view rejection, it can present an excellent learning opportunity, which may help you succeed in future job interviews.
We know how difficult it is to view rejection as something positive, so we're going to talk you through five ways on how to beat it and turn it on its head. Stick with us on this one!
1. Ask for Feedback
The first thing to do when you’re told that you haven't been successful in securing the job, is to ask why. It’s tempting to just shut down but asking for, and receiving feedback is essential for professional growth and future success.
Feedback from your recruiter, or the employer, will help you to identify the skills that you need to work on, as well as specific parts of the interview that you were weaker at. This immediately gives you a foundation to build upon; something to walk away with and work on so that when your next interview comes around, you will know the answers and have the relevant skills.
If you ask for feedback and don’t receive much, do not be afraid to ask for a more detailed account of how you could have performed better. This knowledge is crucial to your development; you will have spent so many hours preparing for the interview and deserve some thorough feedback in return.
2. Reflect on the Interview
Now that you've received and absorbed the feedback, it's time to take a moment to reflect on the experience. Each interview is a learning curve, and every single one provides new and unique learning opportunities, alongside challenges.
Look back and think, does anything jump out that was obviously a weaker point? Did you stumble over a question they had asked? Did you go into the interview thoroughly prepared? Have a notepad and some paper while reflecting, and write these things down while the memory is still fresh.
It's important to consider the things that went well, too. Did you say something about yourself that they loved? Were they really impressed by a certain skill or qualification? These things should also be acknowledged, as you will be able to repeat and expand on them in subsequent interviews.
Once you have thoroughly reflected on the experience, you will have a clearer understanding of what you will need to do to prepare for a future opportunity, giving yourself a strengthened chance of success.
3. Build Resilience
It's crucial to build resilience following application rejection, especially if you're relatively fresh to the job-hunting process. Possessing this quality will help you to handle rejection and remain positive through future interviews and setbacks.
Something that you need to remember is, as hard as it is, don't take interviews personally. At times, the job market can become saturated, filled with equally qualified people who are as keen for a new career opportunity as you are.
It can be an incredibly competitive arena, so to reach the interview stage is an achievement in itself.
With this in mind, rejection is not always a reflection on your abilities, nor is it usually a reflection of you as a person, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are 'less than', it just means that the right job hasn’t found you yet!
Above all else, don't lose hope. Building resilience now will help you so much in the long run, especially as you will likely face future career disappointments or setbacks. What matters is how you handle these situations, and this will be something your future employer will be looking out for too. Use this experience as an opportunity to work on your resilience and bounce back stronger! The confidence you’ll gain from this will shine through in subsequent interviews, and will surely help you secure your next role.
4. Decide Your Next Steps:
Don't let rejection get you down! We know it can be a huge hit to your confidence, but it's important to look forward and not backwards.
If you decide to continue your career search, make sure you keep in touch with your recruiter and keep your passion for finding something new, active. If you utilise LinkedIn, perhaps post on there that you are open to exciting new opportunities or add a filter to your profile picture so that potential employers are instantly aware that you're seeking work.
If you feel like you need a break from the job search, we understand. It can be an emotionally draining process, and you need to make sure that you're looking after yourself and your well-being first and foremost. Remember to notify your recruiter if you’re taking a break so that they know to hold off the search until you’re ready to start up again
5. Refine Your Search
Once you've taken time to reflect on the experience, it's a good idea to sit down and re-evaluate what it is that you, yourself, are looking for. One way to look at rejection is, instead of thinking that you didn't fit the role, perhaps the role wasn’t the best fit for you.
Look back at the various job specifications and identify the areas and skills that you thought were applicable to yourself, whilst additionally noting down those that you feel you didn't strongly identify with. This will clear up exactly what you’re passionate about, where your skills lie, and what doesn't interest you.
Once you have completed this process, you can then refine your job search to suit your skillset, interests, and experience, which will lead to you finding a role that fits perfectly with your values.
We're so sorry that you’ve experienced rejection, but we hope that this blog will give you everything you need to get back on track with confidence and resilience. Remember that rejection is never as personal as it may sometimes feel. It simply means that there is something much better waiting just around the corner.
If you need any advice or help regarding your job search, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Work Wales. We’re more than happy to help you with whatever stage you're at; from writing your cover letter to preparing for an interview, we're here for you every step of the way.