How to Survive Job Interview Rejection and Come Back With Success
Success often starts with failure, and most people have experienced at least one particularly bad job interview: the kind of job interview that makes them shiver with embarrassment and question their decision to ever interview for another job again. However, if you harness it correctly, it is that one bad job interview that can teach you how to succeed the next time.
Landing the interview for your dream job can be one of the most simultaneously exhilarating and daunting experiences, particularly if the memory of a recent rejection is resonating in your mind. Here are a few top tips on how to overcome those feelings of rejection and harness them to turn your next job interview into a success:
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Listen to Feedback
Criticism, even if it’s valuable and constructive, can be difficult to hear. However, the very best thing you can do is ask your interviewing panel for feedback after you receive a job rejection. Candid feedback is essential for your career development, enabling you to hone your interview technique and make positive changes that will lead to your next success. By letting an interviewer know that you are keen to receive their feedback, you are showing that you are committed to your self-development and that you want to be the best you can be: often this determination to self-improve can impress recruiters who look for candidates with great attitude, as well as those with great ability. Listen to feedback, make changes where necessary, and approach your next interview with confidence.
Many people are resistant to change, and it is natural to be apprehensive and nervous about interviewing for a new role and leaving the comfort zone of your existing career. This is especially true if you’ve recently taken a career break in order to start or raise a family, after a period of ill health, or any other set back that employers may, rightly or wrongly, consider to be a risk factor. Because of this resistance to change, many people view a single failure as a sign that they shouldn’t stretch themselves or interview for any more new positions. If you’re in this situation then the best advice is to be brave, and to have confidence in your own abilities: reach for your next goal, strive for that next big success. Failure is a natural part of success, and very few journeys are without it, so keep striving and keep applying for jobs and attending interviews until you get to where you want to be.
Don’t Take it Personally
No matter what your career, an important mantra to remember is “it’s just business”. When you have a bad interview and receive a job rejection, the company are not rejecting you: this isn’t about your personal attributes or how the interviewer felt about you. Your skillset, the skillsets of the other individuals competing for the role, the specific goals and targets of the company at the time of your application and even their financial position will all help define whether you receive a job offer. You’ll find it much easier to move on and approach your next interview with confidence if you don’t take each rejection personally and recognise that a job rejection is merely a decision that your skillset isn’t a good fit for their specific company goals, rather than an outright rejection of you. Move on and find another company that is the right fit for your skills.
Take the Positives On Board
Just exited a terrible interview where you felt that every aspect of the process went wrong? It’s natural to be angry, frustrated, and to dwell on your failure for a little while, however holding on to rejection isn’t healthy and very rarely leads to success. Take a day or two to contemplate what went wrong and then shake it off, leaving that particular failure behind you. Don’t blow your rejections out of proportion or let them define who you are. Even the very worst interviews will teach you something about your interview technique (and what not to do next time!) so take the positives on board from each interview, and then leave it behind so that you can move on to the next one.
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