Didn’t get the job – how do I bounce back?
Check out Part One of our three part series – “I didn’t get the job – why?”
Part Two – I didn’t get the job – how do I bounce back?
So … you didn’t get the job.
If you find yourself stuck in a rejection rut. Remember, while a job rejection might seem like the end of the world, it’s really an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the job search process and improve for the future.
Whether you’re a job hunt newbie or an experienced reject, use the following tips to help you survive job interview rejection and bounce back.
Remember That It’s Part of the Process
It’s a hard fact that you’re not going to land every job you apply for. No one does! Coming to grips with this fact and learning to accept rejection as part of the process will help build your mental and emotional armour.
Plus, once you let go of the need for a guaranteed outcome, you open yourself up to a world of other possibilities—other jobs, opportunities, and companies that could be an even better fit. For example, one of my clients recently bagged an informational interview with her dream employer. The hiring manager for that position explained it wasn’t a good fit, but my client responded to the rejection with resiliency and persistence—continuing to look at the company’s listings weekly. When she found another opening that was a great fit, she was able to use her contacts to secure an interview, and she later received an offer.
What could I have said differently? Was my handshake strong enough? What was wrong with my follow-up email?
You can drive yourself crazy replaying the scene over and over again in your head, ruminating about the reasons you received a rejection. But the truth is, stewing in your own disappointment only serves to keep you stuck in the past and renders you useless in the present at the exact time you need to rally, pick yourself up, and charge forward to snag a dream job.
Whenever a remorseful thought pops up, remind yourself that it’s entirely unproductive. On the other hand, taking action is the numero uno best strategy for leaving rejection behind. Resilient people often enlist others in their success, asking for feedback and help when they need it.
Try this: When you’re turned away for a position, follow up with the hiring manager to ask how you can improve for the future. It might feel awkward, but sending a simple note asking how you could improve your interviewing skills or qualifications is actually quite common. And by incorporating this type of learning into your job search process, you’ll be able to continually position yourself as a stronger candidate in the future.
A fresh approach
Don’t carry interview baggage around with you. Approach each new job opportunity with a fresh perspective and a positive attitude. Tailor your CV to best match a new opportunity and fully research and prepare for a new interview. If you made mistakes or felt unprepared in your last interview – learn from this but don’t keep it at the forefront of your mind, it will only make you nervous. Every company and hiring manager is different and will have a different idea of the ‘ideal candidate.’ Keep a fresh approach while remaining true to your personality and experience.
Keep learning and developing
Your confidence can take a hit when you get a rejection, so it’s important to work hard at keeping your morale and motivation levels buoyant.
Especially if you’re not in current employment, it’s a good idea to keep your skills sharpened and your experience up-to-date. This may take the form of a part-time training course (if relevant), a charity project, mentorship or a voluntary position in a company of interest. By keeping professionally active in this way, you can aid ongoing development, boost confidence, give yourself a focus outside your job hunt and provide a discussion point in your next interview.
Maintain a positive attitude
Even those of us with the thickest of skin can start feeling deflated, so it’s important to stay positive. To help, look at accolades you’ve received from previous positions, review your resume and don’t be shy in saying, “Wow, I’m impressive!” Encouraging self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, reading uplifting books and listening to inspirational podcasts will put you in the mental state of mind to carry forward and help ensure you’re exuding confidence in your next interview. Be sure to retain your sense of power in evaluating the employer and realize that, yes, you are indeed in demand.
Tune in next watch for our final part of our blog series – Didn’t get the job – how do I get feedback?