Job hunting can be an exhausting and demoralizing experience. The struggling job market around the world has created a glut of qualified candidates, many of whom are vying for the same job. Looking for a job means not only having the right qualifications, developing a solid CV, a killer cover letter and extremely sharp interview skills, but also having to outperform other candidates – many of whom are perhaps more qualified on paper than they are. you.
Unfortunately, even after all of this, rejection is possible, even likely. Rejection can be hard to deal with, especially when a job you really want (or need) is at stake. So how can you handle that rejection and turn it into something positive?
Attack it head-on
Although results (and circumstances) vary, sometimes it is possible to turn a “no” into a “yes” and overturn a rejection. If your potential employer calls you and says they're going with another candidate, ask them why and try to find an opportunity to highlight any skills that might give you the edge over the other candidate. Don't make emotional calls or sound desperate – give the employer a real, tangible reason why they really should hire you instead.
Develop your plan
While it may seem awkward to ask an interviewer for feedback, a good strategy for honing your job interview skills is to get an honest assessment of your performance. If the interviewer wishes, ask them to list how they feel about your strengths and weaknesses during the interview, so you can use this data to refine future interviews. Make sure the interviewer knows you want constructive feedback, even if what they have to say won't skyrocket your self-esteem.
Practice your pitch
Once you have data on how you could have improved your interview, use it to prepare for the next application process. Sit down with some stationery, figure out your skill set strengths and weaknesses, and figure out how you can maximize your positive attributes and offset your weak spots. If you have the time and resources, consider consolidating some of these pain points with software training, online courses, or research to get you up to speed.
Don't Blame Yourself
It can be hard not to self-depreciate when you're doing everything you can to land your dream job and still get rejected. But in truth, sometimes a rejection is not about you at all. Often perfectly qualified candidates, who might be perfect for the position in question, are turned down due to circumstances completely invisible to the candidate. An employer might be able to relate better to another candidate, or have some sort of history with that candidate, or any number of a thousand little things that can lead to not getting hired.
Don't make it personal
Even more important than not rejecting yourself is not rejecting it on others. Don't get defensive with the interviewer or take to social media to publicly complain about the employer who rejected you. Don't burn your bridges by showing resentment or anger at being rejected. Try to keep in touch with this company, if you can. You never know if that other candidate might not work.
Above all, the best thing you can do after being turned down is to stay positive and not get discouraged. Keeping your energy positive is key to maintaining your sense of well-being, which you'll need to be effective in a job interview scenario.