If you have never suffered rejection, (Believe it or not some of us haven’t!! What’s up with that?) I hope you never will. Most of us have suffered rejection at some point in our lives. From the young love who dumps us to the job interview that bombs, rejection brings us dashed hopes, confusion, embarrassment, and a big question mark: “Why?”
Leave it to Winston Churchill to give us a pick-me-up after rejection. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” When we’re close to giving up, perhaps because of a few rejections in job search, let this be a mantra. Then, take an objective look at your interviews, and forge ahead.
What you need after rejection is a change in perception about what rejection means. It’s usually not just about “No.” Consider this action plan to heal your ego, and then come out swinging:
First, if you want a benchmark for your rejection rate, this published author would like to remind you of the number of times writers suffer rejection. (Like, constantly!)Then there are filmmakers, actors, basket ballplayers,(Michael Jordan figures he blew 9000 shots.) and Colonel Sanders. Realize, like sales, every time you’re rejected you’re closer to “yes.” It’s a numbers game. Rejection gives you the impetus to hone your interview presence.
Second, debrief interview specifics with an experienced job search coach. It’s an objective review. Perhaps you didn’t crash and burn. Every interview has a backstory that can drive results.
What if one interviewer didn’t want to participate but was told to? Couldn’t their disgruntled disinterest skew the results?
What if there’s a company employee who’s been promised the job, but corporate executives want to “go through the outside interview process” before giving him/her the title? Imagine their angst about a potentially stellar outside candidate who shuts them out? Either way, bodies will litter the playing field.
Next, take a look at what rejection really means. It rarely means you’re unqualified, and holds valuable lessons for your next interview. Tom Hopkins, author of When Buyers Say No, (You’re selling yourself!) says in Success magazine, the message of a “no” can be one of these things:
- Could the interviewers be confused? Maybe they’re not sure about what you bring to the table. Could you be more concise in your next interview?
- Is now not a good time? If a work issue demands grinding days and pressure is on the interviewer, perhaps he/she can’t focus. You might be a great candidate, but they’re too distracted.
- Do the interviewers like you, but aren’t sure? Maybe there’s a small thing about you giving them hesitation. Perhaps you were closer to acing the interview than you think.
- Is there a back story? See “debriefing” paragraph above.
Finally, Perhaps it is you. Ouch! However, you’ve probably interviewed people who weren’t the right candidates! Give it your best shot next time.
Tom Hopkins says, “no’s” let you create new pathways to where you want to go. I like the expression, “When one door closes, another opens.” An open door awaits you. Go find it!