It’s Not Personal, It’s Professional – Bouncing Back From Interview Rejection

Interview Rejection


Whether you sense the apologetic tone in the hiring manager’s voice or catch sight of the opening email line “unfortunately, this time you haven’t been successful in your interview for xx job”, interview rejection can be tough.

But don’t let the sting linger; here are some pointers to help you bounce back from interview rejection

See it as a learning experience

The word interview comes from Latin and middle French words meaning to “see between” or “see each other”.

Interviews are a great practicing ground to pitch yourself, your experience and to prove your ability to carry out a job. They present an open playing field for you and the employer to “see each other” and measure up to see if you are a mutual match. Gain insight into their company culture, expectations of you, find out what type of management style you’ll be working under, and overall whether you can see yourself setting up home there for the foreseeable.

Understand how important company culture is, as well as how the human brain ticks when it comes to decision making with these great reads:Tribal Leadership and Thinking Fast and Slow.

Practice and refinement

Each and every company has a different interview process and each hiring manager will have a different interview style.

Whether it’s a structured, unstructured, competency, group or behavioral; all interview experience is valuable. If you find yourself nervous negotiating pay or you get tongue-tied at the thought of presenting in front of a boardroom of exec staff, interviews give you the chance to practice and refine that interview technique.

All these skills that I have

You’re practicing skills even before you shake the interviewer’s hand:

Research into the company, its history, size, structure, turnover, the role and your team

Presentation how you dress and present yourself,your body language, speech, eye contact and delivery can create an instant impression.

Amy Cuddy is my go-to inspiration and will help you understand the value of power poses and body language tricks to give you an uber-confidence boost before your interview.

Sales- you’re selling yourself and your skills. Faced with a competency based interview? Tell the story of how you smashed performance targets, won new clients or outshone rival companies in a competitive market.

Reminder of how far you’ve come- keep a learning diary listing your key projects and achievements; call upon it when you want to prepare STAR examples in time for your next interview. Learning diaries also make you realise what you’ve learned and how far you’ve come in your career- because we don’t take nearly enough time reminding ourselves what we’ve achieved!

It wasn’t for you

When you accept a job offer, you’re not only taking a job, you’re starting a relationship with the company you’re joining, your colleagues, your manager and potential clients.

A big believer that things happen for a reason, like with every relationship there needs to be a mutual understanding and exchange of needs. If you’re not quite a perfect match, that’s okay, this relationship wasn’t meant to be. There are plenty more fish…I mean jobs out there 🙂

Identify gaps

Did the stronger candidate have experience or sought-after skills that you didn’t have? Had they been more enthusiastic, did they come prepared with stats, a portfolio or evidence of their work? Feedback from the hiring manager or agency can highlight any skill and knowledge gaps. Your job now? Working out how to plug those gaps.

Get yourself back on the market

Hopefully you didn’t take yourself off the market before a job offer was made, but if you did, snap back and get yourself out there again. Look up local, regional and national recruitment agencies in your industry, introduce yourself, be enthusiastic, show you’re keen and see whether they have any upcoming opportunities- your proactive approach will be memorable, trust me!

Post your CV on job boards, keep networking and set up email job alerts.



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