Rejection after a job interview may leave many candidates anguished and depressed. Rejection is not a positive experience but honestly, there is no need to be depressed about it. Treat it like a normal outcome of the job search process. There is no reason to take it personally and get upset about it. Most of the times, candidates are not able to deal with rejection maturely and end up losing their self-confidence.
You must understand, to land up in your best job, you ought to get rejected in the previous less worthy job. You can significantly learn from the experience and improve for future searches. Moreover, career is not a matter of selection or rejection in an interview. It is a growth path spread across 30 to 40 years. Look at the bigger picture and move forward.
Job rejection: Not an end of your career
It is important that you do not perceive job rejection as a failure. Failure is when you stop trying; not when you do not fit in the window of an employer’s job requirements. By thinking positively and practically, you will be able to analyze the situation and gain from it. Such an approach will help you improve on your shortcomings and understand the job search market better, so that you can make it through future searches.
Use rejection as a means to develop resilience and work on your improvement areas. Understand the market and see where you fall short. Maybe you have the skill set but were not able to present yourself fully. Maybe you have the skills on paper but were not able to demonstrate it during the interview. Think about it. The employer is never happy to make you go through the entire process and then reject you. The employer’s purpose is selection, not rejection. Hence, you just weren’t the right candidate and must have given the employer few reasons to hire you. It is important to understand where you lacked in the complete process. However, if you are sure that you performed to the best of your capabilities and demonstrated your most appropriate skills for the job, if you are sure that your resume was professional and that during the interview you presented all evidences to prove that you are the best candidate,there might be a possibility that you were over-qualified for the job. If that is the case, there is no need to be worried or sad about it. It means you deserve a better job or company and you will get there when the time is right.
Understand the employer’s perspective
Before the economic slowdown, employers were more lenient in hiring. A candidate matching more than 50% of the criteria was hired and requirements were not stringent. However, after the global economic crunch, employers have been extremely tight on their hiring budgets. Hence, they tend to be more careful while selecting candidates. There is a huge cost associated with ‘hiring a wrong candidate’ that employers can afford to tolerate no more. Hence, you must demonstrate your skills, abilities and qualifications to the fullest and prove that you are the right candidate who matches all the requirements of the employer. As already mentioned, no employer would invest time in ‘rejecting’ a candidate. The purpose of conducting a complete job selection process is ‘selection,’ not rejection. Thus, be compassionate about the employer’s decision and try to understand what went wrong.
Were you focused?
Most of the times, it happens that candidates apply for every job suggested by head hunters or job search engines. It is important to perform your due diligence before appearing for the job selection process to understand if a job opening is suitable for you. You could be under-qualified or overqualified for the job. Remember, an employer is looking for the most appropriate fit and you stand a strong chance of rejection if you are under-qualified or overqualified.
Be focused in your search and apply only for the jobs that suit you completely. Look at the all aspects of the job – travel, skills, abilities, competencies, experience, etc. When you meet all the criteria, there is less possibility that you will get turned down.
Cope-up with rejection
Below are a few tips that will help you deal with rejection positively and professionally.
1. There is nothing personal about it. Never perceive a job rejection as a failure or your personal rejection. It is not the end of your career either and employers don’t hate you.
2. Do not relate job rejection to your past failures. There is no pattern to failure. You did not suit the requirements of the employers – that’s all about it.
3. Take responsibility for the rejection and do not blame it on others. Never push your rejection on your current employer, stress given by your spouse or family, or pressure created by the interviewer.
4. Do not doubt your strengths and work on your improvement areas. Do not think too much about why you were rejected as this can leave you distressed and give you a negative feeling about your own skills and capabilities.
What you can do in the future
Remember, job rejection is not personal. The job market is always good for deserving candidates. Hence, instead of blaming the employer or yourself, focus on building your capabilities. This way, you can ensure success in future interviews. Think about what you could have done differently. It could be simple things like an impactful resume, formal dressing during an interview, and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer or a professional method of doing a follow-up. Think about what you could have done better so that you do not repeat the same mistakes in the future.
Even upon job rejection, do not forget to send a thank-you note to your interview. This will make you desirable for future openings and give a sense of positivity in you to your interviewer. Do not express that you are sad or feeling depressed about it. A short, simple thank-you note that says you appreciate the interviewer taking time out to speak with you – will do the job! Remember, END means ‘Efforts Never Die’ and a NO stands for ‘Next Opportunity.’ Stay positive and move ahead.