Valuable lessons to be learnt from a job rejection

One of the hardest things for people to deal with is rejection. When you’ve followed all the rules to writing a winning CV and stuck to the formula of how to impress your interviewer, naturally, you’ve walked out of the interview feeling confident that the job is yours. Then comes that email, or, if you’re lucky, a phone call, that crushes all your hopes and dreams. No matter how it’s worded, what you understand is “you’re not good enough and you’ll never be good enough.”

Take a step back for a second. There are any number of reasons why you didn’t get that job, so try to think rationally and don’t give yourself such a hard time. You might have been up against hundreds of other applicants and the job might have been given to someone who had a little more experience than you. Although it’s easy to feel dejected, the most important issue at hand is that you still need a job, so pick yourself up, be positive and try again.

Wherever possible, ask for feedback so that you know if there are things you could improve on the next time you’re invited for an interview. Once you’ve come to terms with it, it’s important to see any kind of rejection as a life lesson to better yourself the next time round.

We can all learn valuable lessons from rejection, such as:

Know what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at
Interviewers will often ask about your weaknesses. You need to be honest here and own up to things that you find challenging, yet in a positive way so that you show self-awareness and willingness to improve. Saying you have no weaknesses is not only hard to believe, but also arrogant.

Don’t be overconfident
Following on from the point above, it’s important to be confident in your interview, but never arrogant. There is often a fine line between the two, but make sure you don’t cross that line as, even if you do possess all the skills required for the role, if you’re arrogant about it, you won’t do yourself any favours.

You are more than just your CV
It’s all very well showing your qualifications and experience, but employers don’t want a two-dimensional employee. They’re looking for someone who not only has the necessary skills, but also someone who will fit in with the company. Therefore, make sure your personality comes across in the interview, with just the right amount of eagerness and confidence.

Tell your story and sell yourself
Your interviewer has already read your CV, so you don’t need to spell it out for him/her. Expand on your achievements and go into more detail about what you learnt and how you can bring this experience into play at this company. Unless you have a really long CV (which is never recommended), chances are there is more to you than what’s written down, so here’s your chance to really sell yourself.

Always ask questions
Interviewers expect you to ask questions. When they ask if you have any questions for them at the end of the interview, usually they aren’t just being polite, they’re testing to see how interested you are. You don’t need to wait until the end of the interview to ask questions, however; ask them throughout the interview and you will look eager and more determined.

There’s always a silver lining
Although rejection is upsetting, every cloud has a silver lining. Perhaps you would have found it hard to fit in with the team, or, more realistically, perhaps you didn’t get that job because another even better job awaits you. Stay positive and remember that everything happens for a reason.

Keep your options open
Even if this may sound like your dream job and you may think you are the perfect person for the role, this is never a guarantee that you will succeed in getting the job. Don’t put all your hopes and dreams on this one role, but, rather, keep your options open and interview for other roles whilst you wait to hear back.

Keep calm and carry on
As all of the above points infer, rejection makes us stronger, as we can learn from where we went wrong and make sure that next time we don’t make those same mistakes. Have a clear idea in your mind of how you can do better, digest any feedback you may have been given, and, with a positive attitude, get straight back into it!

Links International specialises in recruiting the best talent across a range of functions in Asia. To speak to one of our team about how we can help to take your career to the next level, please contact us now.