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No one enjoys getting turned down for a job, and if you’ve done a lot of preparation for a role that you really wanted, it can be harder still to accept rejection. 

It is important to remember that the way you handle rejection is just as important as the skills on your CV when it comes to securing a new role. If you allow rejection to knock your confidence and make you doubt your abilities, it could negatively affect your performance in future interviews. But with the right mindset, you can turn the experience into a career development opportunity. 

Here’s how…

1. Don’t doubt yourself

If you’re dealing with rejection from a job, it’s easy for your confidence to take a hit. Being rejected doesn’t mean that your attributes and professional qualifications aren’t remarkable. You may have performed excellently, but there could be other factors at play. For example, there may have been a strong candidate who is familiar with the business.  

2. You are not alone

Every day, countless others face job rejection. You can reach out to others who are currently or have previously been in similar situations. This way, you can share your experience and emotions and get mutual support. There are also various books, podcasts, and YouTube videos on how to handle job rejection to help you bounce back with confidence.

3. Thank the interviewer and politely ask for feedback

Respond by thanking the employer and politely asking for more detailed feedback. Getting feedback on your resume, interview technique or experience can help you to land the next job. Try to stay open to constructive feedback and use it to improve, even if it requires taking a course to fill any gaps in your skillset. 

If the feedback feels a bit superficial or generic, don’t be afraid to ask for a more detailed assessment. You put a lot into the process, after all, and you’re entitled to get some actionable insights at the end of it. If you don’t get feedback, however, understand that it is not personal, the recruiters are also busy meeting their KPIs.

4. Work on what could be better

After every interview, sit down for a few minutes and consider what you thought you could have done better. If you felt that you were a bit shaky with your presentation skills, try presenting to others before your next interview.

Also, for answering interview questions, write down some of the questions that you struggled with and do some research to help you respond better. The point of thinking about what you could have done differently is not so you can beat yourself up over what you did wrong, but so that you can learn from it. Take each interview and each job rejection as an opportunity to grow stronger for the next one.

5. Know your strengths

Although you didn’t get the role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did not have any areas in which you excelled. Try to evaluate the areas you did well. If you were able to receive feedback, ask what areas they believed you did well in. It’s just as important to focus on your areas of strength as it is to focus on your areas of weakness. By focusing on your strengths and highlighting them in future interviews, you will be able to show employers why you are the best candidate.

6. Come Back Stronger

Applying for jobs isn’t easy, especially if you are recovering from a job rejection. However, if you have taken the time to process your emotions, improved where necessary, and learned to highlight your strengths, you will come back stronger and more motivated to get going again. Keep your job search in motion until you’ve accepted a position. While you’re waiting to hear back from an employer, keep sending out other applications.

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