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Turned down after a job interview? How to survive a rejection

Turned down after a job interview? How to survive a rejection

You may find yourself replaying it over and over in your mind and becoming really self-critical. It might even put you off applying for other roles. It’s easy to lose perspective, but by thinking objectively, you can use the experience to learn and develop so that you are successful the next time round.

Remember the positives

First of all, you were invited for an interview in the first place. That means you are employable and that you delivered a strong application. The rejection you experienced might have come down to the fact that the company already had a strong candidate in mind and that the interview was a legal formality, or perhaps another candidate simply had more experience than you. While you weren’t successful on this occasion, the chances are you will be on another. If you gave a good interview, take confidence from that and bear in mind that it probably wasn’t the right fit for you.

Get some feedback

It can be painful to hear the reasons why you didn’t get the job, but it’s worthwhile asking the hiring manager or HR officer for feedback. It might be that you’re repeating the same mistakes in every interview. If so, changing something small could be the key to getting the next role you apply for. Maybe you weren’t dressed smartly enough or didn’t give enough eye contact, for example. Alternatively, it might be that you didn’t have sufficient experience or failed a test you were set. If that’s the case, you may want to undertake some additional training to get over these hurdles. Try not to take any feedback personally; instead, learn from your mistakes, try to put them right and keep applying for new opportunities.

Prepare well

It probably won’t be long before you’re invited for another interview, so use the time to prepare yourself. Updating your interview wardrobe or practising your answers with a friend might give you a confidence boost. The more knowledgeable you are about your chosen sector or role, the more likely you are to get a foot in the door. Spend time researching key companies and stay up to date with important industry developments. Use social media to demonstrate your interest and commitment to the sector, as well as keeping an eye out for suitable vacancies. If you need to gain more skills or experience, find out what training opportunities are available or take on some voluntary work that will help in your development.

Don’t give up

If you keep getting knocked back and you’ve done all of the above, you’re probably feeling pretty low. It can seriously affect your confidence and motivation if the answer is no again and again. But as they say, “You have to be in it to win it.” Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself won’t get you the job you want. Stay focused on your job search, ask for support if it’s needed, concentrate on looking after yourself and build fun things into your day so that it’s not all doom and gloom. You’ll be glad you did once you finally receive the job offer you’ve been waiting for.