I remember walking out of an interview and wanting to drop the mic. I nailed that interview. I covered all bases, wowed the hiring manager, created a presentation that provided them with insights they never thought of, and I left them wanting more. So when I received an automated rejection email I was floored.
What on earth could anyone else have offered that I didn’t offer? I went the extra mile and invested hours of my own time to provide an example of how much I wanted the job, and how excellent I was at my profession.
That was my first mistake.
No one asked me to do that. I wanted to show them I was capable. But much like the eager keener know it all kid at the front of the class to a teacher, sometimes employers don’t want extra anything. At least not at this point.
Rejection is rejection, regardless of how it is delivered or in what context.
It makes us all look at ourselves like we are not good enough. It takes a chunk out of our block of confidence and leaves us feeling wounded. Self-doubt can fester and create a brooding feeling of a lesser worth.
We ask ourselves questions like: What if I’m not as good as I thought? What if what I’m outdated? Is it my experience? Maybe I should have dressed a little differently.
Stop right there self-doubting candidate, and take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror.
You. Are. Awesome.
And you know you’re awesome. If you wanted to drop the mic before, then drop it now. You deserve it.
- It’s not you, It’s just not the right fit.
Just because you weren’t selected for the job or the next round of interviews doesn’t mean you’re not good enough for it. It means it’s not the right job for you. And that is all it means. Remember how you got here, and the long road you traveled to do it.
- Give yourself kudos
Take a step back and look at all the right things you did, and why you thought they were excellent. Make a list, and congratulate yourself for being so proactive and dedicated. You’re doing what you think is best at your own expense. If the employer doesn’t recognize or at the very least acknowledge it, then you dodged a bullet. You don’t want to work for an employer that doesn’t acknowledge the effort, do you? How miserable would that be?
- Ask for feedback for your own self-education (and closure)
If you truly feel that you were a superstar and are still confused as to why you weren’t called back, just ask. Most HR professionals will provide you with feedback. Some feedback is constructive like “we felt you were overqualified, and we wanted to hire a more junior individual at a lower salary” but that example is rare. More than likely you’ll receive something along the lines of “we found a candidate that was a better fit for the role, but you were definitely qualified and we encourage you to apply to future roles as they are posted.” That feedback is not that helpful.
Ask for specific feedback by asking targeted questions. “Was my presentation regarded as useful and impressive, or would you recommend that I do not invest my time in delivering such a detailed contribution at this level of the interview process?”
- Hold them accountable
I highly recommend recording and reviewing your interview experience here
At The Fit First, we believe in promoting employers that invest in creating a better work culture for employees. That includes communication. We hold employers accountable for the way they treat employees. Even though you may not be an employee yet, you are a potential one. Employers should be demonstrating to you why you would love to work for them. If they respond to you in a cold, automated, careless fashion, you can be sure that you would receive the same treatment as an employee.
Share your experience and hold them accountable. Hopefully, you’ll influence them to change or at the very least, warn future interviewees about the type of experience they will have.
- Identify why you wanted it in the first place
Do you have a clear picture of where it is you want to work? Did this role/employer meet those criteria or did you just overlook what you wanted for what they offered?
Chances are, you didn’t really want that job. Actually, I’m going to guarantee you didn’t want that job. I can say that because it clearly wasn’t the right employer or role for you. The right employer will recognize your greatness and how it can add to the culture of greatness they are cultivating. Until then, treat each experience as a learning opportunity, and each rejection as an indication that you deserve and will find something more suited to your needs and experience.
Need some feedback or advice on your job hunting experience? Post a comment below and share your story or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help! (for free)