Resilience in The Face of Rejection
No one likes to be overlooked or rejected at job interview. As we move forward with our career plans for 2020, one of the areas that we need to build resilience around is rejection. I recently presented at the Australian Association of Social Workers, WA branch and one of the topics that came up for the students was, “How do I deal with rejection after my job interview?”
It often happens that you will not get the first job you apply for and you receive your “unsuccessful” notice. Sometimes the employer does not get back to you after the interview to let you know whether you’d been successful or not. Even after following up, no one gets back to you and you are left wondering.
In these situations, being resilient helps you deal with and stand up to the rejection. Here are some strategies on how to deal with the disappointments and rejections of job interviews.
1. Expect Rejection
You will not be successful at every job interview within your career. Rejection is inevitable and sometimes expecting the worst, can help you not to take it personally.
Here are some tips:
- Be prepared to accept that job interviews are a competitive process
- Learn to accept that you need to be persistent
- Accept that the interview is an opportunity to meet other people and to learn more about other organisations and their expectations
- Accept that the interview is an opportunity to learn more about yourself, your skills set and how you communicate under pressure
2. Self- care
Allow yourself to bounce back from rejection and the disappointment by venting your frustrations.
- Get your vent buddy
- Be your own best friend
- Give yourself time to refresh your mindset to become a better version of yourself
- Create a list of your successes and wins that you can look at and relish on whenever you feel down and rejected
- Reward yourself for your wins, because you deserve it
- Tap into your support network
- Build alliances and network with other professionals
- Acknowledge that you were good enough to get to the interview, while the majority didn’t
3. Ask for feedback
It’s not common for interviewers and HR managers to give you feedback on your application and interview. Most of the time, you need to ask for it. And you should. A simple email thanking them for the meeting (even after being rejected) can be your way to ask them for feedback.
Here’s what you do and not to do with the feedback you receive:
- Do use the feedback to improve on things you can improve on and upskill so that you’re better armed for the next interview.
- Avoid using the feedback to feed more negative thoughts which create self-doubt and fear.
- Do use the feedback to look at other areas of development and improvement.
4. Reframe rejection in an interview
Another way to help you deal with rejection is to reframe it into something positive, something that can help you improve. Here are some ways how you can use rejection with a positive twist. Use rejection:-
- to develop resilience
- as a learning experience
- to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses
- for personal development and self-growth
- to boost your self-confidence because rejection means you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone – you took the first step towards improving yourself and expanding your limits.
Resilience is a skill that can be useful in many situations. Not everyone can easily bounce back after rejection, but most individual have a natural tendency to continue fighting and trying even after several failures. Focus on being resilient. Keep moving forward, using your setbacks and rejections as a steppingstone and a launchpad for your 2020 success.