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How to Handle Rejection

30 Jul 2019
Sarah Ferguson

How to Handle Rejection

How to Handle Rejection - advice from your recruiter

Searching for jobs and going through interview processes can be a stressful and anxious time, whatever stage your career is at. It often falls to recruiters to inform people that they have been unsuccessful in their job interviews. Whether this happens at the first stage or after a few interviews, we can appreciate how tough rejection can be to hear. It’s not fun and it’s not easy, but preparing yourself for rejection is an important part of any job hunting process. Doing so will help you avoid any setbacks or knocks to your confidence and allow you to learn from the process and move forward.

Here are a things to remember when handling rejection;

Keep it Professional

If you have been rejected for one particular position within a company, don’t see this as a closed door. Many employers will keep candidates in mind for other opportunities available in the future and will also refer you to other areas within the business as a recommendation. This means it is vital that you handle the rejection professionally and express your interest in any future opportunities that might arise. There’s always the option to keep in contact – don’t be afraid of connecting with them on LinkedIn.

Ask for Feedback

It might be difficult to hear, but it is important to have feedback from your interviewer as this will allow you to reflect on where you might be able to improve your performance. The feedback could be as simple as being more prepared with examples of your experience, how you communicate in the interview, or how you get across your relevant skills. Without feedback you won’t know where you might be getting it wrong. If you aren’t provided with initial feedback make sure you follow it up - employers are aware that it is an important part of the process and helps individuals to prepare for their next interview.

Don’t Take It Personally

It’s important to remember that being rejected from a job isn’t a personal slight towards you. There can be many reasons why you haven’t been offered the position; taking it personally will make the employer uncomfortable and make you look unprofessional. It often comes down to what candidate is the better cultural fit, or a specific area of expertise that another individual might have the edge in.

Don’t Argue the Point

Providing feedback and rejection to applicants is not a pleasant task, but most employers/recruiters will try to be as helpful and honest as possible in order to help you with your job search and future interviews. If you are provided with feedback and reasoning behind the rejection, don’t try and argue with them. Obviously this can be very difficult if deep down you do not agree with the feedback. The best approach is to hold your head up high, take on board what you have been provided with, and look forward to the next interview. For example, if you have been told you do not have the specific level of experience needed for the role, don’t argue that you feel you have. The interviewer has clearly felt your experience may be lacking in areas compared to another applicant and arguing your point will not change anything.

Stay Positive

Take some time to reflect on your experience after you have received rejection/feedback – it can be helpful to have time to process everything before picking yourself back up and moving on. Talking to family members and friends, or having the support of your recruitment consultant, can often help this process. Focus on what’s next and don’t dwell on the past.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you have faced rejection and digested the feedback, use this as part of your preparation for your next interview. We often meet candidates time and time again to go through interview prep and help them to develop their interview techniques by incorporating the feedback they’ve received. It can be a long journey, so always take advantage of help offered, experiences shared, and good sources of information. Best of luck!

  • Sarah Brown, Principal Consultant at Eden Scott

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Sarah Ferguson
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