Whether it’s being picked last during P.E. at school, watching as your new puppy runs into your brother’s arms rather than yours, or getting those four big red Xs on Britain’s Got Talent, we have all had to deal with rejection at some point.
When it comes to job applications, rejection can be difficult, especially when you have spent hours deliberating about what exactly they mean by ‘IT literate’. Unfortunately it happens to most of us at some point. So what follows is a pathway on how to turn that rejection into success!
(You can also always sneak a few dog biscuits into your pocket next time you’re in competition with your brother.)
‘We regret to inform you but on this occasion you haven’t been successful’
The phone call arrives a few days after the interview. You listen for signs in the employer’s voice as to the outcome, hoping that you have got the job. And then those dreaded words. You slump into your chair and half-listen as they carry on talking.
Maybe it’s an email or, even worse, nothing at all. So what do you do?
Feedback – Don’t take it personally
At this stage the last thing you may want to hear are negative comments about why you didn’t get the job. The feedback will often contain positive comments as well as areas for improvement. So do listen to the feedback and make notes so you can reflect on them later. Try not to take the feedback personally. It will focus on the evidence you demonstrated in application and interview in relation to the job and not be an attack on your personality. Feedback may be given on the phone or you may need to request it. Always, always ask for feedback following an interview. It isn’t often possible to get feedback following an application, however you can still request it. If you have applied to UniJob you can ask for feedback whatever stage you get to in the application process.
Now it is time to look through your application and think about the interview again. There may be a few moments when you cringe remembering how you answered the tricky questions but it is a useful time to assess your own strengths and weaknesses. As you go through the answers to each interview question, think about the feedback and see if you can figure out how the interviewer may have got that perception. If feedback wasn’t available, look through your application and think critically about sections you could have developed further. Or ask someone else to look through it with you. Think about areas you could improve on in future applications.
Once you have assessed your application and interview, remember to celebrate your strengths as well as looking for ways to develop those areas for improvement. If you have missed out because your computer skills aren’t up to scratch, look for a computer course such as ECDL or similar. Find situations through work or your social life where you can develop your organisational skills if that is what held you back. Read up on the topic or speak to an industry expert by arranging a work shadowing visit. Or maybe, if you think you have all the skills and experience needed, you should focus on whether you evidenced it properly at the time. Attending an EYE training session on applications, CVs or interviews could be the answer.
Take a deep breath and continue on the journey
Remember you have survived. Learn from your mistakes, take a deep breath and focus on the next application. Prepare, research the company and continue on the next step of your journey towards a successful career. Good luck!