Job Interviews: How to Deal with Rejection

by Grace Clark

Getting rejected from a job never gets easy. No matter how long you’ve been in the work force, being passed over for a position always comes as a huge disappointment. The fact of the matter is that interviews are tough and the market is competitive. You may be extremely qualified, but more than likely there will always be a candidate more qualified than you.

One usually knows how well they performed when they walk out of an interview. You may come out totally confident, wanting to twirl and sing out.  You may come cursing yourself for that one answer you gave or that one silly question you asked.

Waiting is the hardest part, but eventually you will find out whether or not you got the job. This period can last a few days, even weeks. Don’t hold your breath if it’s been longer than a month. Ideally though, you’ll receive a competitive offer and you start the next chapter of your professional career!

However it’s just as likely that you’ll receive a tough phone call or, more than likely, a rejection letter.

Recovering from rejection is tough. In its most serious form, people stop looking for work altogether. The worst part is you may never find out the reason why you were rejected. You might have some vague idea, but the interviewer isn’t exactly going to call you up and tell you what you did right and what you did wrong.

You can try to solicit feedback but, more than likely, you won’t get it. Hiring managers are busy and they can’t bother to provide feedback to every candidate rejected.  You can let the dark clouds roll in and ruminate over every word and action from your interview. Maybe your answers were too lengthy? Maybe the interviewer abruptly cut the interview short? Or maybe everything was perfect and you did everything right. It doesn’t matter. The point is you to get the ground running and get back out there!

Rejection is most difficult for anyone unemployed or anyone who is desperately looking to leave their current employer because it seems like something (anything!)  is better than being out of work or working at a place you hate. But you’ve go to be honest with yourself. Listen to your gut. You’ll know if you want a job because you actually really want it versus wanting a job because it’s better than nothing or better than your current employer.

Either way, rejection stings. Taking care of your most physical, mental, and emotional needs will be the best way to shake off that sting. Be resilient. Sure, it’d be nice to nail our first interview right out the gate and get our dream job. But let’s be real: this rarely happens. Try to look at every rejection and every interview as an opportunity to hone your skills to get better. That way, when that perfect job comes along down the road, you’ll be more than ready!

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