Tips on Surviving Job Interview Rejection and Bouncing Back

  | 5 min read
job interview rejection

Missing out a job after the interview can be a devastating experience. Most of the people reading this have experienced being rejected after a job interview. They say you won’t land all the jobs you will interview for. So what do you do if you are rejected, especially from an interview of a position that you really wanted? How do you learn to get up, dust yourself off and continue with the journey of building your life and career. How do you not fall into the trap of feeling that you are useless and you will never land a job in your life? Here are some tips that you can use when you have been rejected after a job interview.

1. Stay Positive & Don’t Take it Personal

job interview rejection stay positive

It is important to remember that you didn’t get the job not because you were a terrible person. You are a worthy human being just like everyone else and you are here because you have a purpose to fulfill. Remember not to blame yourself and focus your energy to reflect on your strengths. In order to stay positive you can do a number of things

  • Take a walk in a quiet place where you can let go of your negative thoughts. Being enveloped by nature around you is the best way to inject some happiness into your life.
  • Meditate, exercise or pray. There are people who enjoy connecting with the Higher Power through things like meditation or prayers. There are others who will take it out on a punching bag in the gym or a run around the block or park. It helps to focus on something else apart from rejection.
  • Speak to a loved one and tell them how you feel so they can assist you during this difficult time. Don’t be alone because you will feel even more miserable.
  • Cry if you have to. They say crying is the antidote to life’s troubles. Let the pain out. Don’t bottle it in. This will help you to let go of the pain and frustration.
  • Write down how you feel and throw away the paper in the fire as a sign of letting go of the pain.
  • Listen to uplifting songs. Binge on Emeli Sandé Extraordinary Being during the process and see how you will feel afterwards.  

2. Ask for Feedback

Job interview is an achievement that not everyone gets it. Take consolation in that fact. So after a rejection it is advised to ask for feedback. Listen with an open mind and don’t be defensive. Try not to take it personal if they say something that hurts your pride. With a pen and paper and jot down the points for future reflection. Some candidates might feel the impulse of sending a nasty email. The strength of character is shown during the time of adversity. Don’t let your anger control your actions.

3. Tackle the Issue That Got You Rejected

job interview rejection tackle the issue that got you rejected

After you have received feedback, come up with a plan and timeline to address the different items. Perhaps, you were told that you lacked expertise in the technical aspects of the job. Maybe, you were not a strong candidate because of your communication skills. At this juncture, include questions that you can remember which you had trouble answering them during the interview. Create a plan of action to solve them so when you go for a similar interview in the future you can come on top. Some of the action points will require a longer period to be addressed and others can be rectified quickly. Put them into the two different boxes and come up with different strategies for each. Remember, one interview rejection is the preparation for another job offer.

4. Continue With the Search

After rejection, get up quickly and continue with the job hunt. The tip for this is to make sure that you don’t put all your expectations in one job. Have other irons in the fire. Ensure that your online professional profiles are up to date and that you are reaching out to the right people in for opportunities. Create an Excel sheet with jobs that you are applying to, according to their deadlines so you can prepare all relevant documentation beforehand.

5. Never Burn Bridges

job interview rejection never burn bridges

You might be rejected today and hired next year by the same company. The HR Manager might be working for a company that you will be applying to six months later. For this, never burn bridges. Unprofessional emails and bad impressions after the rejection can last a long time. Be courteous in regard to your communication and always indicate that you will be happy to hear from them in the future about a similar position.

It is imperative that you handle job interview rejection like a champ so you can maintain a positive attitude. It will help you continue with the job search seamlessly. Remember to see what works for you during this difficult and always remember that your silver lining is not far.

Stephen Swai
Stephen Swai is a Marketing Manager with a passion for using words to inspire, educate and transform.