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Lessons you can learn from job rejection

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by Rayhaneh Tehrani | 10 December 2018

Being rejected from a job can really affect your confidence levels; you’ve gone from the high of a potential job opportunity, to the low of being of being turned down. This can be very disheartening, especially after all of your preparation, not to mention the pressure of going through the whole stress-inducing interview process.

So what can you learn?

Well first of all, you shouldn’t view rejection as a negative. I’m a firm believer that if you did all you could, then this opportunity just wasn’t for you, and it means that something better is around the corner.

Often there may be a whole host of reasons behind why you weren’t selected for the role that aren’t even as a result of your performance – there might have been an internal candidate, or simply another candidate who performed slightly better than you on the day. It could be anything that might never even become apparent, so you shouldn’t always take it personally.

Instead you try to look at the situation objectively. You should look at the experience as an opportunity to learn and to grow, so that you can ace the next interview and land yourself your dream job.

Wherever possible, I would always advise that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for positive and negative feedback when you have failed to secure a role. Although negative feedback can be harsh, it’s usually the best way you can help yourself to be more successful next time. If you know which areas let you down, you know which areas to focus on next time.

The best thing to do after any interview is to make a note of the questions you were asked. This way you know that if you struggled on anything, you can go away and research it, so next time it comes up you have the relevant knowledge. For niche sector-specific interviews (for example childcare law, or employment law) the same main topics will usually come up in most interviews, as they will be current and topical – so use the opportunity to develop your technical skills where you know you’re lacking.

If the feedback was that your answers were not detailed enough, then use the chance to practice your interview questions and elaborate on them. There is a fine line between being clear and concise, and coming across as not having enough knowledge.

In addition to the negative, ask for positive feedback too. This is great as it helps with your self-esteem if you’re feeling slightly down after being rejected for a position. If you know what you’re good at, you know what key areas to highlight at your next interview.

As a recruitment team we will always do our best to prepare you and help you through the interview process. We can help you with interview preparation as well as send you interview guides. If you’re not used to interviewing and want some guidance, we can practice the interview process with you – all you need to do is ask! 

If you would like some help securing your next role or would like more advice on what your next step should be, feel free to contact me by emailing rayhaneh.tehrani@sellickpartnership.co.uk or you can call me directly on 0161 834 1642.