Dealing With Interview Rejection

You have planned well, sent in a top-notch CV and covering letter, you considered that your experience was exactly what they were looking for, you performed well at the interview but the job offer has gone to another candidate.

You feel robbed and short-changed. We have all been there – even the most successful business people have had to deal with rejection and disappointments – the crucial thing is to bounce back and start again with a fresh application to a new potential employer.

Do not be tempted to launch into a wound-licking phase where there is a strong downward spiral of motivation and lack of positive thinking. Do not be too hard on yourself and look for the positives in the process – to get an interview shows that the employer was seriously interested in what you had to offer and was committed enough to spend time to meet with you and discuss your suitability for the role. Many applicants never get past that point so you actually did well to get to this point.

There may have been some aspect of the “chemistry” in the process that was not right – the employer would have considered this and in the cold light of day review that you are going through now, perhaps you sense this too? Far better here not to have committed yourself to a working relationship that would not have worked out for all concerned. You might have had a lucky escape!

Write down a list of five things that went well in the interview – be honest, be open and look for them, they are there and need to be extracted from what you currently see as a bit of a mess. Then write down five things that did not go so well – again be honest and open in this process. Looking at both lists then ask yourself the question “What will I now do differently as a result of seeing this written down?”  It is well worth saving the paper and repeating the exercise to see how your style and approach is changing and by recording the changes you will get strength from refining and developing your own interview style.

Many organisations offer interview feedback and while you may be in a state of mind where the last thing you want to do is talk to them grab the opportunity and listen to what is said; the feedback may surprise you on how close you were to being successful and if the points raised are a little uncomfortable at least you will know them. (It is always a good thing to do to ask for clarification on the points raised if the information seems ambiguous or unclear in any way).

Always remember that the art of successful interviewing is learned and fine-tuned over time; there is not a scientific rule by which successful interviews run it is all about practice, experience and applying what you have discovered.

Good Luck!

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