There comes a time in everyone’s life at least once when the inevitable email or phone call comes that’s usually along the lines of this:
“Thank you for submitting your application for a position to work with us. We appreciate your time interviewing with us. Unfortunately, we’ve decided to go with another candidate and we will not be moving forward with you.”
It’s a professional way of saying, “We don’t want you. Sorry about it.” At least, that’s how we look at it initially. If you’re someone who is experiencing this, especially if you’re dealing with this more than once, I’ve put together some things I’ve learned from my own personal circumstances.
Here’s how to deal with job interview rejections.
Give Yourself Time To Process
Don’t let your pride get the best of you after job interview rejections. You’re hurt that someone didn’t see the potential you thought you had for their company. It’s easy to say, “Well, it’s their loss,” or “I didn’t want that job anyway” when you know deep down you’d be responding differently if you did get the position you interviewed for.
Just like with a date or any sort of heartbreak, you need to give yourself enough time to process your emotions. It’s okay to feel disappointed in yourself or even dismayed that it didn’t work out in your favor. You’re human, after all. It would be strange to celebrate not getting a job you worked hard to get.
You don’t need a full month to get over job interview rejections, but you at least should give yourself a full 24 hours minimum to process any negative emotions that you’re experiencing. Consider treating yourself as a means to cheer up. Maybe a massage or a slice of pie will be a nice way to be gentle with yourself. This way, after your process your emotions, you can start to look at the situation objectively.
Eliminate Toxic Positivity
There is nothing more harmful to you when dealing with job interview rejections than toxic positivity. You might be wondering what toxic positivity is. This is when you are forcing yourself to have a positive mindset during a painful or difficult situation to the point of stifling any negative feelings involved.
If you’re someone who constantly deals with rejection by saying, “Well, there’s always the next one,” you might need to reevaluate your means of thinking. Going through rejection with a positive attitude to avoid dealing with hurt is damaging to your mental health and doesn’t help to improve your situation at all.
Additionally, having people in your life who tell you to “get back out there” or “don’t be a quitter, keep at it” is also negative reinforcement for toxic positivity. The most supportive people are those that listen to you and help you process what went wrong in the situation, versus just constant encouragement that overlooks what needs improvement in order to be better for your next job interview.
Ask For Feedback
Anytime you receive job interview rejections, send a thank you card or a thank you email to the company. It’s a professional courtesy and it’s also a great way to make an impression on them should they decide to rethink their decision.
The point of this, though, is not to hope that they change their mind, but to open a line of communication with them for self-improvement. Feel free to ask them what you could improve upon for future job interviews. Getting this kind of feedback is helpful because an interviewer can tell you exactly what to polish so that you don’t repeat habits that got you rejected in the first place.
Review Your Prepping
Go over everything you did to prepare for the position. Was there anything you could have done differently? Sometimes when processing job interview rejections you’ll realize upon reflection that the little things you overlooked when you prepped may be what ultimately led to you not getting the position you wanted.
Was it lack of sleep? Were you nervous? Did you forget to take notes? Did you do enough research on the company’s values? Did you market yourself beyond what was on your resume? Go through everything you did to prepare with a loved one or a mentor and practice different habits and interviewing techniques for improvement.
Avoid Beating Yourself Up
During your 24 hours of processing, it’s really easy to beat yourself up for everything that went wrong. However, this kind of mindset is counterproductive for improvement when it comes to job interview rejections. There’s no need for toxic positivity, as I mentioned earlier, but on the other end of the spectrum, sinking your teeth into everything you did incorrectly isn’t beneficial either.
Acknowledge your mistakes or lack of prep work as a fault, but don’t deem yourself unworthy of a position of that stature due to a few flaws. There is always room for improvement. Additionally, you may also need to just accept that you may not be what they are looking for and that in itself is a hard pill to swallow, but if you worked as hard as you did for the job and still didn’t get it, this is something you must learn to accept gracefully.
Do Some Research
One great thing I learned for dealing with job interview rejections is to Google how other people deal with it. There are many advice columns that were helpful to me and even gave me the healthy encouragement I needed to press on. It’s also a great thing to do if you don’t get any feedback from the company you interviewed with.
Look up company reviews and see what employees have to say about working there. Sometimes hearing other input from people who have experience with the company can help you figure out what you can do for self-improvement in order to get a similar chance either with the same company or an affiliated one.
Look into resources online that help you prepare for interviews. There are many services that will help polish your resume or help you practice being comfortable in an interview setting. You can even find mentors and recruiters out there that are willing to work with you to help you get the position you’re seeking and to provide honest feedback on your progress.
Don’t Continue Applying Just Yet
This sounds strange, but make sure you are prepared to move on to the next application. If you didn’t learn anything from the previous experience, you have nothing to carry with you to ensure your next interview is successful. Remember, job interview rejections can be great learning tools. Use them.
Got any other tips for dealing with job interview rejections? Let me know in the comments!
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