With a lot of excitement, you see a notification on your Inbox.
It was the hiring manager from the job interview you went to.
You close your eyes. Your heart skips a beat.
The first 2 words crush you- "Thank You"
For your application. However (Double Crush) we regret (do you actually regret it?) to inform you that you have not been selected.
Yet another rejection.
And for that day, it could feel like the end of the world. And you dont feel like sending any more applications.
But those who are successful have to go through many rejections to get to success. Rejections are not the opposite of acceptance. For many, it is the first step, the stepping stone towards getting that succesful job application.
So how should we deal with job rejections?
1. Accept it as part of the process
Rejections are really hard to take. Whether it be a realtionship or a job you have been aiming for, it might feel like a blow to the gut. But the thing you need to learn about interviewing for jobs is that rejection is the opposite of success. A lot of times, it is the first step towards future success. Many candidates who successfully got the job offer had faced the rejection plenty of times whether it be for that particular job role or in another organisation.
So it is important to face it with the right mindset. Consider this. The face you had been granted the interview meant you had gone further in the job application process versus tens or hundreds of others.
Learn to accept this rejection only as feedback. The experience is trying to teach you what to do and what not to do in your job interview. So reset your mindset, focus on the positives and be ready for more opportunities to come.
2. Respond to the Rejection Email with Grace
It must be crushing to receive a rejection. And all you want to do is to close the email and trash it. But do remember that the stepping stones of success is built on failures. And rejections.
So instead of ignoring the email, use this as an opportunity. By replying the email with grace and gratitude. Actually not a lot of candidates might do that. So you immediately can stand out to the hiring manager. It would seem like you are one to handle rejection in your stride and with a good attitude.
That caveat would make an impression on the hiring or HR manager receiving the email and you could be on the shortlist once again once another hiring opportunity comes up.
3. Ask for Specific Feedback
To do well in job interviews is all about the experience. No matter how hard you rehearse for it, things may not always go to plan. How you imagined saying it never came to fruition. So nothing beats actually going through the interview and learning from it.
So write an email back to the company to thank them for giving you the opportunity and ask them for specific feedback about how you did for the interview. Or better still, ask for immediate feedback at the end of the job interview itself.
You can ask them :
What did you think went well?
What are some areas you can improve in?
These are valuable information
It is easy to jump to the conclusion that you did not get the job because you're just not good enough. But in reality, there may be a number of reasons why you're not hired. It could be that they already had made an offer to another candidate. Or maybe you were just not the right fit for this position. Which has nothing to do with your ability.
There are many cases where a candidate who impressed in an interview did not get selected. But the hiring manager or Human Resources kept their resumes or profile. Becasue it might fit another job opening that would be available in the future. Or they may pass on your resume to another department.
4. Keep Warm with the Organisation
So even though you got rejected, don't burn that bridge. Thank them for the opportunity and keep in touch with the organization. You never know when that next available opportunity may come up. And because you kept a great attitude handling rejection and you kept warm with them, your name may actually come up when they consider which talent to hire next.
5. Iterate your Strategy
Having the feedback is good. But you must also know what to do with the feedback. So every time you get rejected from an interview, do a thorough review of what you think went well and what you would do differently.
Rewind and relive the whole interview process. From the time you first stepped into the organisation. To your first interaction with the interview panel. To the different types of questions asked. For each step, list down your reflections so you know what you should continue doing. And what you could do differently.
These are the suggested touchpoints you can revisit :
Your first interaction with the organisation
Your first impression with the interview panel
The "Tell me About Yourself" questions
The Behavioural questions
The research about the organisation
The Industry-Specific Questions
The Out-of-the-Box Questions
The Questions you asked the interviewer
How you thanked the interviewers
Your overall body language and tone of voice
Job rejection may really hurt when you first open the email or receive the phone call. But if you look at it as a stepping stone, you are accumulating valuable experience for the next big opportunity waiting for you around the corner.
Just like many things in life, in interviewing for the job you will first suck at it before you make it. But as you get to know better, you will do better.