Receiving a rejection after a job interview can be a really tough and disheartening experience, especially when you had your heart set on the position, and it felt like ‘The one.’
It’s perfectly natural, and super common in 2023, to feel a mix of disappointment, frustration, and self-doubt. However, it’s important to remember that job interview rejection is not a reflection of your worth or abilities – it’s simply a part of the job-hunting process, and how you handle it can significantly impact your future success.
In this blog, we’ll explore how to deal with being rejected from a job interview and turn it into a stepping stone toward your next opportunity.
1.Allow Yourself to Feel
First and foremost, it’s essential to acknowledge your feelings. It’s okay to be disappointed, upset, frustrated or angry about the rejection. Suppressing these emotions can stall your ability to process the experience and move forward constructively.
Give yourself permission to feel and express your emotions in a healthy way.
2.Push for Feedback
Once you’ve had a chance to process your initial emotions, consider reaching out to the interviewer/ recruiter/ HR. Politely request feedback on your interview performance. This feedback can provide valuable insights into areas where you might need improvement and help you understand why you weren’t selected. It shows your commitment to growth and improvement.
It must be said, despite wanting to gain feedback for their candidates, sometimes Recruiters will not be given it. Even when pushing themselves some companies tend not to be forthcoming with feedback.
3.Learn from the Experience
Use the feedback you receive as a valuable learning tool. Identify the specific skills or qualifications that you may have been lacking and work on improving them. Every rejection is a chance to grow and become a stronger version of yourself for future opportunities.
Remember, even the most successful people have faced setbacks in their careers. In many ways it’s what makes them successful.
Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial during this challenging time. While it’s natural to feel discouraged, try to stay focused on your long-term goals and believe in your abilities.
A positive outlook can help you navigate the job search process with the right amount of patience, resilience, and determination.
5.Lean on Your Support System
Your friends and family are there for you during the ups and downs of your career journey. Share your feelings with them and allow them to provide emotional support and encouragement. They can help boost your morale, remind you of your strengths, and offer valuable perspectives.
Sometimes and outsider looking in can highlight and unlock something you may have missed.
Job hunting can often be a numbers game. It’s not uncommon to face multiple rejections before landing your dream job. Stay persistent in your efforts, apply to more positions, and keep refining your skills and resume. The more you put yourself out there, the greater your chances of finding the right opportunity.
7.Network & Connect
Continue networking, both online and in person where possible. Industry events or webinars can be wonderful networking tools.
Engage in meaningful conversations on professional platforms like LinkedIn.
Building a strong professional network can open up new opportunities and provide you with valuable insights and advice.
From a Recruiters perspective, you have to be smart about how you ask for help. Make it a two-way street and offer your knowledge/ advice in return for the advice you require where possible.
8.Tailor Your Approach
Take a fresh look at your job search strategy. Are there different companies or industries you could explore? Does your CV scream out you are an ideal candidate? Are you investing enough time to prepare for interviews?
Be open to tailoring your approach based on your experiences and feedback.
9.Build your Resilience
Resilience is the key to bouncing back from rejection. Understand that setbacks are a part of everyone’s career journey. The ability to persevere in the face of adversity is a highly valuable skill that will serve you well in the long run.
During challenging times, it’s essential to prioritise self-care. Engage in activities that help you relax and destress – get out for a walk or run along the beach, chat with friends, listen to music, meditate, or take part in your own enjoyable hobbies. Whatever can help you decompress and take your mind off something that is troubling you.
A healthy mind and body are essential for staying motivated and maintaining a positive outlook.
11.Set Smart Goals
Use this time to set new goals and aspirations that are more manageable and achievable. Reflect on what you truly want in your career and create a roadmap to achieve those goals. Sometimes, rejection can be a catalyst for redirecting your efforts toward a better path.
12.Celebrate the Small Wins
As you continue your job search, celebrate small victories along the way. These can include successful phone interviews, positive responses to your applications, or constructive feedback from networking connections. Recognising and celebrating these wins will boost your confidence and keep you motivated. Baby steps as they say.
My Final Thoughts
In conclusion, job interview rejection is undoubtedly challenging and deeply frustrating, but it’s not the end of your journey. It’s just a detour on your path to success.
If you’re not seeing progress or you’re feeling down about rejection, never ever take it personally. The 2023 market has been super tough and super competitive, so you’re always up against other candidates who will go that extra mile. To give yourself the best shot at any opportunity, you have to show the most relevant and suitable version of yourself throughout the application process.
To do that, you must remain positive.
Stay committed to your goals, keep improving, and keep moving forward. Your resilience and determination will ultimately lead you to the right job that aligns with your aspirations and skills. Remember that every rejection is a clue in solving the case, as it brings you one step closer to your next opportunity.
For confidential career advice is one of our specialist areas, please reach out to myself or one of my expert recruitment consultant colleagues at Abrivia.