Dealing with rejection

18 August 2020

By Julia Samuel

Dealing with rejection

For our recruitment team there’s one aspect of the job, that despite years of having to do it, never gets any easier. Telling someone that they didn’t get the job.

For some of our candidates, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise as they had an inkling during the process - or actually it turns out that they thought the role or the organisation wasn’t going to be the right fit for them, after their interview.

For others, who’ve set their hearts on a particular job, who felt like the process couldn’t have gone any better and are already secretly excited at the prospect of starting the role – a rejection comes like a bolt out of the blue.

It’s a sad fact that, unfortunately, not everyone gets to be ‘the one’. If you’re someone who finds it hard to dust yourself off and to continue with your job search, here are some ways that can help you deal with rejection, or at least put it into perspective and make improvements, where you can, for the next time.

Take a deep breath

On getting the news, you might feel like venting, bursting in to tears or are just simply stunned in to silence. However you’re feeling in that moment, try and take a deep breath, remain professional and don’t shoot the messenger.

Take some time and resist the urge for any knee-jerk reactions – chances are you’ll feel and react differently once you’ve let the decision sink in, and you’re able to think about the situation logically.

Understanding why

It’s natural to want to find some closure or understand the reasons why things didn’t turn out the way you were expecting.

If you didn’t receive any feedback, or just weren’t in a position to take it in when you got the decision – ask.

Your gut feel might be to walk away from the experience and bury your head in the sand, however most hiring managers will want to give guidance that may help you in your search for work, going forwards.

While some things might be difficult to hear, or not what you were expecting, these are the areas you can work on and make improvements, for the next time.

There will no doubt be positives to take from the experience too. Make sure you take these on board and don’t just focus on any negatives.

There was a ‘better fit’

As well as your skills and experience, your personality and values are important to hiring managers too. Hearing that someone else was a ‘better fit’ means it can be difficult to pinpoint what you could have done differently.

It might be that the chemistry was better with another candidate, or you simply weren’t on the same page for any number of other reasons – things that may be tricky gauge from an interview situation.

If this is the feedback you’ve received, don’t take it personally. It could be a blessing in disguise if the hiring manager didn’t think the organisation, role or wider team would be a good fit for you in the long-term.

Leave things on a positive note

Despite what you might be feeling on the inside, it’s always best to dig deep and leave the process positively. Getting in touch to thank those who were involved from the hiring organisation, for example, smacks of professionalism. Venting on social media, does not.

Hiring managers remember great candidates when it comes to future recruitment, and may well get back in touch, when there’s another relevant opportunity. It’s equally easy for them to remember candidates, for the wrong reasons, too.

Be honest with yourself

If in your heart, you know there were things you could have done to be better prepared for the process – learn from that too.

This doesn’t mean raking over every minor detail however if there were questions you found difficult to answer in the interview – whether they were about your skills and experience, knowledge about the role you were being interviewed for or more general information about the organisation itself – it’s a good idea to make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare thoroughly, next time round.

Talk it through

If you’re with a recruitment agency, the consultant you’re working with is a good sounding board for any questions or concerns you may have, no matter what stage of the process you’re at.

As well as talking to you in detail about a role and the organisation before your CV gets across, our team will always arrange a pre-interview chat with you to make sure you have all the information you need and can answer any questions you have or help with any nerves that might be creeping in!

Be kind to yourself

Despite the fact that you didn’t get the job, remember that you were one of just a handful of people to make it through to the interview stage, which is a big plus, and you can do it again.

You may already in the process for other opportunities, or have to start your search from scratch. Either way, there IS another job out there with your name on it.

If you’d like one of our team to help with your search for work, get in touch!

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