Believe it or not, learning how to handle job interview rejection is actually an essential step in finding a new job. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’re bound to face rejection at some point in your job search with more than half of candidates facing rejection at the first stage. It’s a natural part of the process, so knowing how to deal with it is an important lesson.
“Don’t let rejection plummet you into paralysis. You’ve got to keep moving.”
7 practical ways to deal with job interview rejection
Don’t just bounce from one interview to the next without finding lessons in each interview. Although you didn’t get the outcome you wanted, there are valuable lessons in every situation, and interview rejections are no exception.
Find a quiet space to reflect on your interview, and write down what you did well, and where you think you fell short.
One of the most effective ways to bounce back after an interview rejection is to ask the interviewer for feedback. They’ll likely be able to offer you insights you weren’t even aware of, and can suggest ways you can do better in your next interview.
Create a development plan
Gaining all this feedback is no good if you don’t put it to good use. Once you’ve established where you need to improve, create a plan to fill the voids. If you’re lacking a particular skill, see if there are any courses you can take or, if you’re still in a job, perhaps you can pick up these skills by taking on more responsibilities.
Revise your answers
Every interview includes those common interview questions, but most interviews also include questions you didn’t expect… and some of these questions might leave you at a loss for words! So be sure to note these tough interview questions down and prepare answers to them for your next interview.
Refine your search
What did you learn after this interview? Perhaps it made you realise that you’ve not got the right skill set for this role, or perhaps you need to go for a less senior position. Maybe you liked the role but you weren’t too keen on the company itself. Either way, use each interview to help you better define what it is you’re looking for.
Hop back on the wagon
Don’t let rejection plummet you into paralysis. You’ve got to keep moving. The more interviews you can arrange for yourself, the better. Try not to put all your eggs in one basket as this will only cause you to feel more pressure. The more interviews you line up for yourself, the less of a loss it will feel if you get rejected.
Don’t take it personally
Most importantly, don’t take rejection personally. It’s not a reflection on your potential or work ethic. It’s simply not the right time or opportunity for you, and everyone goes through this rejection at some point in their careers. So get into the flow of attending and enjoying interviews, trusting that you will land the right role at the right time!
Love your journey
Success is never a straight-forward journey. It’s full of ups and downs, triumphs and mistakes. Remember that each rejection has the power to give you more wisdom and will only make you stronger if you use each experience as an opportunity to learn.