How to deal with job interview rejection

Didn’t land the environment job of your dreams? Farhan Raja, founder of Job Interviewology, offers motivational advice to help you move on.

Didn’t land the environment job of your dreams? Farhan Raja, founder of Job Interviewology, offers motivational advice to help you move on.

Interview rejection - it’s an experience even the most seasoned interview pros have experienced at one point in their career. When you hear those dreaded words: “I’m sorry but you were unsuccessful” from either the recruitment agency or HR, it’s like a rug has been pulled from under your feet. It’s a horrible feeling and no likes to be rejected in whichever aspect of life it may be.

However, it’s vital in this situation that you keep a sense of perspective, because if you don’t then the experience of rejection can forever put you off interviews and affect your overall self belief with regards to your career ambitions. Furthermore, it can negatively impact on your future interview performance.

So if you’re affected by interview rejection, I’ve put together three ways to minimise its impact on your interview confidence and self worth.

See the Bigger Picture!

If you look at any successful person, in any sphere of life they never lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s a little known fact but both Henry Ford and Walt Disney whose business empires are now worth billions initially went bankrupt (in Henry Ford’s case, twice!). Another example is of someone I know very well, who’s currently earning a six-figure income, struggled for over a year and a half before finally breaking in to his career of choice.

What’s common in all of them was that despite the setbacks they never wavered from their long term goal. In the same way, the job offer isn’t your end goal, it’s just part of your career journey. Think about when you were learning to ride a bike, there were many falls, cuts and grazes, maybe even a few tears, but you kept getting back on that bike. Why? Because you had dreamt of riding your bike and going on adventures with your friends or older siblings. If you started to doubt yourself the first time you fell, you’d have never learnt and experienced its joys!

So remember, failure is a fundamental part of one’s journey to success! So don’t fear it, and when it comes, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and keep moving forward, because eventually you will succeed.

It’s all about you!

Interview decision making is always subjective. Every hiring manager has a slightly different preference in what they prefer. Some might like you more, others less so. It’s important to acknowledge that up to a certain point it’s out of your control. Therefore, it’s better to spend your time and energy focusing on things you do have control over, such as your preparation, exuding positive body language and delivering your answers with confidence. Rather than  wasting your precious emotional energy on a fruitless endeavour.

It’s also important to keep in mind that trying too hard to please can actually has the opposite effect. Interviewers will perceive it as fake or insincere. Again, more of a reason to focus your energy on you!

Don’t overanalyse

A rejection of any kind, especially if it’s important to you, can lead to a moment of self reflection and analysis. This of course is a vital process as it helps us to learn, grow and improve. However, being too hard on yourself and forensically picking apart every moment like an episode of CSI will lead to confusion and a loss of self worth. Therefore, analyse your interview performance as if it were someone else’s. This will help you stay objective and will give you a sense of perspective. Secondly it’s important to keep your analysis focused on the following key areas:

  • Were my answers strong enough? And if they weren’t, how can I improve them for future interviews?
  • How were my first and last impressions? Could I have done anything better?
  • How was my general body language? What could have I done better?

Following these simple steps will ensure that any rejection you get, rather than having a negative impact, will instead help you learn, identify problems in a rational way and then strategise your solution, so that you’re able to ace your next interview.

Job Interviewology provides specialist one-to-one interview coaching, courses and careers-related services. Whether you are an experienced environment professional or a graduate, interview coaching can help you become the strongest version of yourself and empower you to achieve your career goals and ambitions.

For a free 20-minute interview consultation with one of our experts at please complete this simple form:

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