It’s a fact – rejection is painful. But in today’s competitive job market, unless you have everything going for you (and we mean everything), get used to it, because at some point along the way you will almost certainly experience it.
You may have slogged your guts out in preparation for that interview you really wanted, but the chances are that you were rejected for a number of reasons.
Finding out what those reasons are and working on straightening them out will bring you a wealth of benefits. Not only will your chances of interview success for the future increase, but you will develop better coping strategies – a vital tool if you are going to reach the top, as there will be plenty of peaks and troughs along the way.
To use the old cliché, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link – so find out what your weak points are and make efforts to strengthen them.
Here are The Big Choice’s top 6 recommendations to ensure you can cope with job rejection.
1. Find Out What Went Wrong: It’s very difficult to stay objective in the face of rejection. You will probably look back on a failed interview and struggle to remember what went wrong, especially if the interview was several weeks ago. Give the organisation a ring and ask what they didn’t like about your application or interview. It’s likely that the problem will be quickly remediable. You might find out that you simply need a little more work experience or that your answers were a little too clichéd. Whatever the reasons, you won’t be able to build on past mistakes unless you first find out what those mistakes are.
2. Don’t Blame Others: A responsible and professional employee takes a responsible and professional attitude towards their mistakes. Owning up and accepting the blame when things haven’t gone according to plan allows you to objectively analyse your mistakes and move on, whilst making sure you know what not to do for the next time. Likewise, don’t beat yourself up about it. Everyone makes mistakes – they form a vital part of our learning curves.
3. Know That You’re Not The Only One: Recent research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters 2011 Summer Survey indicates that there are 83 applications on average for each graduate vacancy. That means for every 83 people that apply for a job, 82 of them will face rejection. So you’re hardly in a minority.
4. Be Prepared: Facing competition like that means you are statistically likely to not get the job. That doesn’t mean that you definitely will be rejected, but failing to plan for the worst will make it all the more of a shock if it does come. Have a back-up plan – not only will it keep your mind occupied but it will give you motivation for working on your mistakes before the next round of interviews. We all know the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket in case a CEO crushes them all, taking with him the metaphorical embodiment of your future hopes and dreams ”, or something like that…so take heed.
5. Don’t Take Rejection Personally: Your job interview wasn’t a personality test (that’s reserved for when you first meet your in-laws), so rejection isn’t a reflection of anything negative about you. Think about it – you didn’t get the job because you didn’t fit the company’s requirements. But for all you know that company might have been looking only for people that can tow the line and don’t have any sense of individual self-worth. Just because one company doesn’t value your assets doesn’t mean many more also won’t.
6. Be Resourceful: It may be tempting to add that company name to your list of arch enemies and plot its eventual demise, but before doing anything quite that drastic, give them a ring. The successful candidate may have had a change of circumstances and for all you know, you could have been number 2 or 3 on their list. They may be able to accommodate you somewhere else within the business, or point you in the right direction of other similar vacancies. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So get asking.