How to succeed after a rejection
Job-hunting is tough. It’s full of hard work, introspection, and rejection. While there is an element of resilience and determination required to pick yourself up after a knockback and keep going, there could also be some analysis and preparation work to do to set yourself up for success next time.
How can you reassess your interview preparation and pick up the skills you might be missing to help make sure you get the role next time? Here’s a handy guide.
Reassess your experience
Set some time aside to sit down and really analyse why you didn’t get that job. What skills were you missing? What piece of key experience did you forget to mention? What question were you under-prepared for? Try to put your ego aside and approach these questions without judgement. Ask your recruiter or the firm for feedback to help guide you.
If you don’t have a certain piece of experience that was required in the job description, think about how you can pick this up in your current role. Is there someone at your firm you can go and talk to who could help you broaden your exposure or a mentor you can approach? Perhaps there is a specific course you could do to help upskill yourself and fill the gaps in your experience and knowledge.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Were there any questions in the interview that you hadn’t prepared answers for or were your answers just a bit vague. Could you have practised a bit more?
Go through the job description line by line and come up with an example that demonstrates your ability to fulfil each and every requirement. Write them down and practise explaining each point. If your interview is virtual, you’ll even be able to keep your notes to hand to make sure you don’t forget your best examples.
If you’re worried about remembering everything, pull out a handful of the best, most relevant and useful points, and focus on remembering to mention those. If you’re interviewing virtually, you could even write each one on a post-it note and stick them around the outside of your screen to make sure.
Take control of the conversation
Sometimes an interview can end up being conversational and get off track from the questions that lead you methodically through your experience. In this case, it’s easy to miss out on key points and details that prove to the interview panel that you can actually do the job. It’s just not guaranteed that the questions the panel ask will lead you to every important point you prepared for and researched.
If this happens, it’s absolutely ok (and recommended!) to take control and steer the conversation. An interview is about the panel getting to know you, this is your time to shine! Don't be afraid to jump in and tell them about your relevant skills and experience. Find a way to drop them into the conversation, rather than waiting and hoping to be asked.
At the end of the interview, if there are things you know you have missed out on telling them about, make sure you squeeze them in. When the panel ask if you have any questions for them, this is a great opportunity to drop in anything that has been missed. If you’ve got a key qualification or evidence of skills, knowledge or experience that hasn’t been mentioned, don’t be afraid to tell the panel.
If something important does get missed, give your recruiter a ring as soon as you can, as they’ll be able to follow up and let the firm know.
Don't give up
Schedule a call with your recruiter to help you remedy any of the blind spots you have identified, and make a plan for how to move forward. Rest assured this isn't their first rodeo, and they will have seen candidates get rejected and then go on to get offered another job, hundreds or thousands of times. Your next job offer could be just around the corner. Good luck!
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