When you get your hopes about a job opportunity, rejection can have a huge impact on your self-esteem and job search mojo. Job interview rejection can be very frustrating, especially if you put a lot of effort into preparing, and went through multiple rounds of interviews. But don’t lose sight of the bigger picture and get down on yourself. Years or even months from now you the rejection you experienced from a job interview won’t even be a thought.
Whether you realize it or not, every experience has value. There is a lot of value you can take from a job interview rejection. You can use the experience to improve yourself, whether that be your skillset, interview style or resume. Or you can rest easy knowing the job wasn’t the right fit and pat yourself on the back for showing up and giving your all. It’s all part of the process in your job search. To help you move forward, here are some tips for dealing with rejection from a job interview:
1) Take some time to process the rejection
You don’t want to dwell on job interview rejection for too long, but do take some time to feel your emotions. Do something relaxing, like getting some exercise, taking a bath or watching a movie. Talk to a friend or family member who knows you well and has been supportive in your job search. Reach out to your network to discuss any insecurities about your skills, experience or personality the job interview rejection brought up. Do your best to identify why you are feeling insecure. Chances are that at least some of your insecurities are coming from an irrational place.
2) Request Feedback from the Employer or Recruiter
Following rejection from a job interview, there is no guarantee you will receive feedback from the interviewer, but it’s at least worth asking. Many hiring managers respect candidates that are interested in developing as a professional and are happy to give feedback. There may be some easily fixable issues that you can tweak for your next interview, such as the way you answer certain questions about yourself or showing more interest in the company you are interviewing with. If the job interview rejection came because there are certain skills that you lacked for the position, you can decide if you want to take a class or consult someone in your network to help you improve them.
3) Be More Selective About Where You Interview
While you shouldn’t be afraid to go after job opportunities you think might be a good fit, don’t feel like you must agree to interview at a company just because the recruiter is convincing or the company is a Fortune 500 everyone you know dreams of working for. If you aren’t excited about it or feel in your gut it’s not the right opportunity for you, you shouldn’t risk unnecessary job interview rejection to please other people. You want to preserve your energy for the opportunities you are truly interested in and have the skills for.
If you start to feel like you are lacking purpose following rejection from a job interview, turn your focus away from your career and towards helping others. It will not only give you the opportunity to remind yourself there are people in this world who have it way worse than you, but it will also give you a sense of usefulness and value as a human being. After all, your career isn’t the only thing that defines you.
In the end, what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. Any rejection you experience from job interviews will make you appreciate it more when you land a job that is right for you.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.