6 Ways to Take Job Rejection in Stride
No one likes to lose out on job opportunities. Finding out a company doesn’t want to move forward with you in the interview process can be disappointing. Salespeople like to win, and during the job interview, it feels personal. Emotions rise and when bad news comes your way, the destabilizing feeling of rejection sets in. If we're not careful, we can become demoralized, angry, and even behave less than our professional best.
How do you take losing in stride?
Six Keys to Moving on During the Interview Process When You’ve Been Told “No Thanks.”
Tip #1—Don’t fight the bad news.
When’s the last time you’ve changed someone’s mind about anything? People don’t really change their mind when they are interviewing. If they are looking for Jim Carey and you’re Tom Cruise, you won’t get the part. It may feel personal, but it’s not. If you are known for your sense of humor, and they are looking for someone who’s super serious, then you won’t get picked. The key is to go to a company that can use your talents, strengths, and well-developed skills.
Tip #2—Apply any feedback you receive.
If you’ve been told you talk too much, you didn’t close the deal, or you looked nervous during the presentation, you should contemplate the feedback and apply it to your next interview. Ruminating on it will only bring you down.
Here’s how you should look at it: Feedback as an opportunity to improve.
It’s a very powerful opportunity. You don’t have to apply it. But you should accept the feedback and if you’re going to ignore it, it should be by choice. Don’t let it anger you or put you on the defensive. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee or lack talent. Chalk it up as a learning lesson and don’t let your ego become bruised.
Tip #3—Acknowledge that interviewing is an investment in yourself.
You’ll notice all the time you spend researching companies, talking to hiring managers, and meeting with executives adds up fast. The time it takes to find a new job is substantial. If you’ve invested a significant amount of time in your search with few results, it can start to become frustrating.
However, you won’t get the job you don’t interview for.
No one else will invest the time in your career for you, so you have to realize that when you’re in the job market, you’ll spend a lot of time working to get the right job. By the way, don’t feel bad, it’s simply part of the process.
Tip #4—Consider the people you meet along the way part of your professional network.
Because the people you meet through the job search process may become colleagues, co-workers, or even friends down the road, you should be careful not to burn bridges over less than positive feedback. Treat everyone you meet with professionalism, respect, and courtesy. You never know where you’ll meet again. A lot of people will tell you that they’ve met hiring managers years later under different circumstances. Hopefully this inspires you to remain professional with those you meet during the interview process because you may in fact meet again.
Tip #5—Remember your manners.
For more than 4,000 years manners have been affecting how we are perceived. Manners count during the interview process, too. Thanking the professionals you’ve met during the interview process demonstrates expertise, competence, and dedication. It allows you to end the interaction on a high note and leaves a lasting positive impression. So remember, manners are a virtue.
Tip #6—Prepare to face disappointment.
If you’re lucky, 80% of the interviews you go on will be productive. Although from time to time, you will meet with employers who you can’t see the value you have to offer. It’s going to happen. And when it does, it’s helpful to remember it’s part of the process. This kind of interview experience can be discouraging, but you’ll need to plan for it, and recognize it’s typical and move on.
The question is, how do you manage your mindset?
It’s clear that interviewing for jobs can be stressful. If you can find ways to reduce the rumination and negative feelings that come from being rejected during the process, you’ll have more energy to find your dream job.
Not all interviews will be a smashing success.
But you can make the most of them, develop relationships with the people you meet during the process, and learn more about yourself and how others perceive you. Pay attention to your mindset. Don’t let discouragement or negativity set in. If you keep working at it, new opportunities will present themselves and one will be just right for you.