Handling Job Rejection

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Published: 23 Apr 2015      

Walking away from a job interview only to find that you have been rejected for the post a couple of weeks later is an extremely demoralising experience for anyone. At its worst it can make people feel like there is no point in continuing their search for a job, especially if it isn't their first rejection.

Unfortunately it is a hard pill that everybody who is in the market for a new job will need to swallow at some point or another. The key for job hunters is to not allow yourself to get dragged down and instead to focus on moving forward and looking for the next position that you would like to apply for, while learning from the experience.

It can still be tough though, so here are a couple of things to keep in mind should you ever find yourself in this position.

Always Listen to Feedback

While many recruiters and employers will simply send a standard letter to inform you that you have not been accepted for a role, there are some who will go into detail about why the position didn't go to you. This is extremely useful information and should always be taken in the spirit it is intended, rather than as an acknowledgment of any perceived failings.

Read the feedback you have received and consider how you can change your interview technique for the next job. Also consider the fact that there are some aspects, such as your competition and a range of other factors, that are less a mark against you and more situational issues that happened to get in the way.

Speaking about you...

Rejection Isn't Always About You

In fact, in the majority of cases you may have done absolutely nothing at all wrong during the interview process itself. There are many different factors that go into the decisions made by employers. Where you are located can be a factor, plus there is always the distinct possibility that there is a strong internal candidate who is primed for the position thanks to the prior experience with the company.

The point is that one rejection should not be a signal that you need to change everything about your interview technique. Certainly consider any feedback you do receive, but also ensure that you remain confident in yourself at all times.

Don't Hold a Grudge

If you experience rejection in any aspect of life it can be all too easy to become upset about it and allow the experience to shape how you handle similar situations in the future. At worst this can lead to a defeatist attitude that saps your confidence and makes it much less likely that you will land a role.

What you need to do in this situation is learn what there is to learn from the experience and then wipe the slate clean. Start fresh and consider every interview you have as an opportunity. Even if it doesn't result in you getting the job, it is still an opportunity to learn and to find out what employers are looking for. The more experienced you become the more comfortable you will be, so take the rejection and turn it into a positive at all times.


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