For Job Seekers:
How to Deal with Interview Rejections
Sabrina Deltoro, Founder & Recruiting Director
Delson Talent Consulting
March 7, 2023
This current job market is…wild. I hate to use the term unprecedented after COVID, but I’ve been speaking to Recruiters who have been in the game for decades, and they have all said the same thing. After months of hiring pushes and competition to attract top talent, many companies have found that they have over-hired and are, in turn, going through lay offs and RIFs (reduction in force). Given the current market landscape, you may find yourself unexpectedly looking for a new role. The competition is fierce, and there are sometimes hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants for some job openings. With these kind of odds, you are likely to receive some rejections as you start interviewing for your next role.
Dealing with rejection is never easy, especially when it comes to interviewing. You could spend weeks or even months preparing for an interview, only to be told you weren't selected for the position. It's natural to feel disappointed and demotivated, but it's important to remember that getting rejected is a normal part of the job search process. To help you with your job seeking journey, we’re going to discuss how to deal with getting rejected from a role you really want and provide tips for staying positive and motivated while continuing to search for your perfect new opportunity.
The first thing to do when dealing with job rejection is to stay positive. It's important to understand that rejection from a job doesn't mean you're a failure. The job search process can be long and challenging, and rejection is a natural part of that process. There are many factors that go into hiring decisions, and sometimes those factors have nothing to do with your qualifications or experience. It's important to keep a positive attitude and not let rejection impact your self-esteem.
Remember that your worth as a person is not determined by your employment status or the outcome of a job interview. Keep your focus on your goals and your long-term career aspirations, and remember that rejection is simply a temporary setback on the path to success. Keep pushing forward, stay positive, and you'll find the right opportunity for you.
In a recent study conducted by Joblist, 75% of job seekers said they now have their dream job, but, on average, it took three months to find it. Respondents’ top tips for landing their dream job was improving their interview preparation, updating their résumé, and developing new skills that made them more hireable.
It's easy to get discouraged after getting rejected from a job you really wanted, but it's important to stay motivated and continue applying for new opportunities. Remember that every job you apply for is a chance to learn and grow, even if you don't get the position.
Here are some tips for staying motivated during the job search process:
Set Goals: Set specific goals for your job search, such as applying for a certain number of jobs per week or networking with a certain number of people in your industry. Having goals can help you stay focused and motivated.
Take Breaks: The job search can be overwhelming, so it's important to take breaks and take care of yourself. Go for a walk, read a book, or do something you enjoy to help you relax and recharge.
Network: Networking is a great way to stay motivated and connected to the job market. Attend industry events, join professional groups, and connect with people on LinkedIn to expand your network.
Seek Feedback: If you're not getting the job offers you want, seek feedback from recruiters or hiring managers. They may be able to provide insights into what you can do to improve your chances of landing your dream job.
It's important to remember to stay respectful and professional throughout the job search process, even in the face of rejection. Recruiters and hiring managers are simply doing their job by evaluating candidates and making decisions based on what they believe is best for the company they work for. It's important to treat everyone you encounter in the job search process with respect and professionalism, even if you receive disappointing news.
Burning bridges or acting unprofessionally can harm your reputation and hurt your chances of future job opportunities. Keep in mind that it’s a small world in your industry or city, and you never know who you might encounter again in the future. Stay gracious, thank the interviewer for their time, and remain professional in your communication to leave a positive impression.
Leave Room for the Right New Role to Present Itself
One of the most important things to remember when dealing with job rejection is to leave room for the right role to present itself. Just because you didn't get the job you wanted doesn't mean that there isn't something better out there for you.
A few years ago, I applied for a job that I was really excited about. I spent weeks preparing for the interview and felt confident about my chances of getting the position. However, after the interview, I received an email informing me that I wasn't selected for the role. I was disappointed, but I decided to stay positive and continue my job search.
A few weeks later, I received a call from a recruiter who came across my resume online. She told me about a job opportunity that I hadn't even considered before, but was a perfect fit for my skills, experience, and career aspirations. I applied for the job, and after a few rounds of interviews, I was offered the position. Looking back, I realized that if I had gotten the job I originally applied for, I would have missed out on this amazing opportunity, and in retrospect, I realize that the time I spent preparing for that first interview actually set me up for success and helped me land the position I was ultimately offered.
Being rejected from a job can be a challenging and emotional experience, but it's important to remember that it's not the end of the road! Stay positive, stay respectful and professional, and remember that rejection doesn't define your worth or your potential for success. Keep your focus on your long-term career goals, and continue to hone your skills and experience as you search for the right opportunity. With persistence, determination, and a positive attitude, you'll be able to navigate the job search process successfully and find the right role for you. Remember that the right job for you may not be the one you initially had your heart set on, but staying open to new opportunities and remaining optimistic can lead you to an even better fit in the end. Good luck with your job search!