Job interview rejection is hard to handle, in fact it is a lot harder to accept than having your resume rejected or not being asked in for a first interview. You worked hard to get your resume past the resume screening robots, ticked off all the right steps to make sure you were invited in for a first interview and then you impressed you future employer with your well prepared answers and insightful questions. The job should have been yours, but then the polite rejection email arrived.
At this point, most job candidates feel pretty deflated. They take a few days to feel sorry for themselves, look back over what they could have done better then dust themselves off and move on. It’s not a bad strategy ,but there are a few things you can do that will make a difference and actually improve your chances of landing the next role.
You need to stay positive and stay connected.
- Stay Positive
Yes this is easier said than done, but always keep in mind the famous quote by American Businessman Bo Bennett…
“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit if success.”
Job interview rejections are a fact of life, and if you learn from them, they make you better prepared for the next job interview. Consider the process a good practise session and focus on the next interview.
You made it all the way to the final round which means you are doing more than a few things right. Take the time to look back and see what you could have done better and learn from it. If it is appropriate, ask the recruiter or the interviewer what they felt you could have done better or what you may have been missing.
- Stay Connected
Surprisingly, very few people think about sending a thank you note to the interviewer after a job interview rejection. Yes I know it seems odd to write a note saying ‘thank you for rejecting me’ but that’s not actually the point of the note. The point you want to make is ‘I was great, don’t forget me’.
It is a huge time investment for any employer to recruit for a role so if they have 2 great candidates in the final round they often don’t want to lose either one. They can forward your details onto another department, put you forward for another role, mention you to a friend at another company or keep you in mind for an upcoming role. You throw all of these opportunities away by not staying connected and it is as simple as sending a polite thank you note that goes something like:
Thank you for taking the time to interview me for this opportunity….
I was particularly impressed by …..(you can refer to the company and the particular role)
I am obviously disappointed to miss out on this wonderful opportunity but would greatly appreciate it if you would keep me in mind for any future roles where my skills were appropriate.
All the recruiters we spoke to said they received very few letters of this kind and so when they did receive one, it really stood out. People who take the time to stay connected also remain top of mind for key decision makers.
Whilst it is tempting to just quietly move on with life after a job interview rejection, it is actually much more beneficial to leave a lasting impression. Stuff happens, chosen candidates change their mind, existing employees move on, new opportunities open up and new roles are created.
All of these represent opportunities for you if the employer still remembers your name. Make sure they do and stay positive, you got to the final round which means you are way ahead of the hundreds who did not.
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