facing rejection

So, you got some bad news. The interviewer called and said someone else was chosen for the position. First, take a deep breath. Recognize that at this point you have two options: Feel sorry for yourself and let it affect your self-confidence, or learn from the experience and move on. You will find that the second of these choices will be most helpful to you now and in your job search.

Try to remember that every experience is a learning experience. If you find yourself facing rejection after a job interview, try to focus on what you learned from the interview and what you can take and use in your next one. It may also be helpful to remember that you are not alone in this situation; many people face rejection from interviews each day. Know that if you didn’t get the job, it wasn’t the right one for you.

Here are the five main points we will cover in this post to help you handle rejection after a job interview:

  1. Don’t take it personally
  2. Negativity breeds negativity
  3. Ask questions
  4. Learn from the experience
  5. Stay in touch

Don’t take it personally

Don’t let the rejection you may feel after a job interview affect your self-confidence. This is easier said than done, but remember that if you were not chosen for the job, it was not the right job for you. This single interview does not determine your self worth or professional worth. Just because you didn’t get this specific job does not mean you are not a talented, outstanding professional with much to offer. It may help to remember that you are not alone in your feelings of rejection. Many people face rejection from job interviews each and every day. What will set you apart from them, however, is how you handle the situation.

Negativity breeds negativity

Many situations in life can cause us to have negative feelings about ourselves or others. One such situation could be interviewing for a job and losing it to someone more qualified or experienced. Often times, however, our negative thoughts can lead to more failure in the future. Focus on the positives rather than the negatives of the interview.

woman working

Ask questions

If you have the opportunity to ask questions after finding out that you did not get the job, make sure that you take it. Even though it may be hard for you to ask, remember that it will help you know what you can improve for your next interview. There are two important questions to ask at this time:

  •         What skills were you looking for?
  •         How can I improve?

Asking these two questions can give you some answers as to why you were not chosen for this particular job. This may give you some closure about the situation and help you move on. More importantly, though, it will let you know what you can do better in your next interview. No matter what the interviewer’s answers are to these questions, remember not to be negative or defensive.  It is best that you respect the decision rather than voice your opinion or seem angry so you don’t burn any bridges with the interviewer.

Learn from the experience

Again, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to view each interview as a learning experience. You do not want to count on getting each job for which you interview, or you will be very disappointed! Remember that job searches often include many interviews with many different people. The key is to learn from each one, improve yourself, and try to do better the next time. Don’t focus on your negative thoughts or let the rejection affect your self-worth. You are still the same talented person you were before the interview: now you just have another experience under your belt.

Stay in touch

You should try to stay in touch with the company after you interview, even if you were not selected for the job. Keep in contact with someone from the company on LinkedIn, other professional networking sites, or via email. Checking in now and then will allow you to stay on their radar screen in case a new job opening comes up for which you are qualified.

You also never know if the person who was hired for the job will be successful in the position. The same job may come available again soon or in the future. This is another reason you don’t want to burn any bridges if you find out you didn’t get the job. Stay in touch and on good terms with the company to increase your chances getting hired there.

Thanks for tuning into our post on facing rejection and our series “After the Interview”. If you would like to learn more about teaching workplace readiness skills, click the free trial link below.