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Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Handle Rejection

t's tough handling interview rejections, and I can't blame anyone who's been in that position.  You spend hours preparing for the interview.  After the interview, you think you got your dream job.    But then you find out that you didn't get the job.  At that point, you ask, what went wrong?  Here are my top tips on how to cope after an interview rejection:

    * Don't take it personally.  There could be a thousand reasons why you didn't get the job, and many of them may have nothing to do with your interview performance.  They could range from the practical to the absurd.  For example, they may have decided to cancel the job position due to a bad economy, or they are looking for someone with an MBA.  Or maybe the hiring manager was having a bad day.  Even if the hiring manager or recruiter tells you specifically why they didn't give you a job offer, there could be 10 other reasons why they choose someone else.  So don't torture yourself.  Maybe the interviewer's dog ate your resume.  Whatever the actual reason may be -- stop guessing.
    * Be professional.  If you get a chance to talk to the recruiter or hiring manager about the rejection, do it professionally.  Politely ask for feedback.  Keep in mind that it's difficult to give bad news, so don't get upset if you don't get a straight answer.  If they do give you honest feedback, don't react negatively.  You can ask nicely if there's anything you can do to address your weaknesses.  If you get a "yes," it's a green light to present more evidence.  If it's a "no," then resist the temptation to prove yourself.  You want to keep the conversation as professional as possible.  Who knows?  You could be their backup candidate, so don't jeopardize your chances of being the first person they call if their #1 candidate declines the job offer.
    * Learn.  Log.  Let Go. offers an excellent technique called Learn-Log-Let Go to 1) learn from the experience and 2) move on.  By jotting down the lessons you learned from the experience, it helps move those thoughts and feelings out of your head.  You can always refer back to the experience, but there's no need to carry it around.  Once you put that behind you, you can move on.   And the sooner you move on, the sooner you can prepare for the next job interview and get the job.

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