INTERVIEWS / FEB. 18, 2015
version 3, draft 3

How to Strategically Handle Job Interview Rejection

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Job interviews are a very tricky affair. It’s something that we rarely approach with a smiley face because time and time again, the majority suffers rejection. And sure, recruiters try their very best to make the rejection as polite as possible, but that comes nowhere close to numbing the painful scars of Job Interview Rejection...

Cut me some slack!

Of course, it’s quite rare to ace a job interview simply because it’s an exam with no definite answers. In any case, recruiters don’t want to be outsmarted by robotic and obvious questions:

  • So basically, they choose to design challenges that make it inevitable for one to show their true colors.
  • And when the job seeker realizes that they’re facing unfamiliar ground, they ultimately result to their individual personalities as the only viable option.
  • Unfortunately, you end up showing too much and before you know it, the recruiter has already put your name in the rejection list.

What’s wrong with me?

This is a question that job interview rejects ask themselves quite often:

  • Maybe the apparel choice wasn’t right. Or maybe the level of confidence wasn’t good enough.
  • Worse still, one might conclude that they’re downright weird.
  • Unfortunately, this brainstorming affair only serves to numb our guilty conscience without any concrete deductions.

I guess I’m destined for job interview rejection after all...

If you’ve quit looking for jobs, then I’ll presume that you’re in this category. And for some reason, you might be absolutely correct:

  • It could be because the rejection has become so frequent that your mind is clogged with every possible way that a job interview could possibly go wrong.
  • And guess what? You find yourself deliberately committing to this error because you don’t see the point in striving.
  • After all, failure seems imminent and unavoidable. That being said...

How, then, does one strategically handle job interview rejection?

#1 Focus on the psychological mind game behind the job interview

It’s obvious that you want the job. It’s also obvious that others want the same job as you. Consequently, this competitive scenario is bringing about a tricky mind game that requires you to deal with several psychological huddles, such as:

  • You’ve got fear: And that’s okay. After all, you’re human, so these things happen especially when we feel vulnerable. You badly want something and yet one wrong move instigated by fear may crush your job interview prospects in an instant.
  • You’re in a situation that heightens your sense of insecurity: First, you look at the competition and realize that things are about to get thick. All you see are worthy opponents and no ’walkovers’. This definitely heightens your sense of insecurity while undermining your self-confidence and optimism.
  • It’s quite tempting to second-guess yourself having been intimidated by the competition you’re facing: Some candidates come out of the job interview smiling while others have that familiar expression of disappointment on their faces that shows sheer rejection. You might even decide to get feedback from them and as a result, you start second-guessing your strategy. Then at some point, things go haywire, panic strikes and the same old disappointing story is repeated all over again.
  • You might betray your true character for imitation: Remember that recruiters can sense imitation a mile away. They can detect rehearsed a job interview performance and rejected you in an instant. Of course, to avoid looking rude, they’ll have the courtesy to avoid bruising your ego by listening to you and asking a few questions just for the sake of it.

#2 Deal with past rejection trauma

It hurt in previous sessions and you’re afraid that it will hurt even more this time round. There are even mistakes you’ve unfortunately personified and accepted. These are flaws that will inevitably show up if you don’t deal with them. For instance:

  • There are body language signs that might betray your bravado.
  • Such are the kind of signs that may arise from past rejection trauma. Note them down and think of ways to avert them.
  • Practice and consult if you must, but remember strategy is key here.
  • The point is to avoid taking rejection lying down. Instead, focus toward harnessing that positive energy required to deal with past rejection trauma.

#3 Have a "Bring it on!" mentality

It seems likely that you’ll be rejected all over again. Obvious advice would thus be that it’s pointless to attend such job interviews. Well, here’s some daredevil advice for you:

  • It’s not like you’ll die once you get rejected. So stop lying down, pick yourself up, and face the rejection instead of running away from it.
  • You may not be the ultimate champion but at the end of the day, you’ll have gained impeccability in your own eyes.
  • It’s all about acknowledging the fact that life is basically a learning experience, irrespective of the final outcome.

I’ve addressed failure extensively in my previous articles in a bid to change our derogative perspective in regards to it. In the end, there is nothing more beautiful in valor than rising from the ashes of a losing battle. As Margret Thatcher once said, "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."

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