6 Tips to Overcome Interview Rejection Funk
Let's face it, rejection sucks! We go through painful lengths to ensure the absolute lowest possibility of having to be on the receiving end of any kind of rejection, especially when we are trying to make our next big career move.
Think about the last time you were preparing for a big interview. How many hours did you spend preparing in advance of the big day? How many times did you practice your pitch? How long did it take you to prepare a SWOT analysis on yourself? How much time did you spend researching the employer, their pain points, their industry, the competitive environment? You may have even set up meetings with your mentors and people who work on your dream team to understand what it takes to be the perfect fit. And then the big day comes, you get all the most amazing positive signs that the job is yours, and then…
"It was a really hard decision, and after careful consideration, we decided to go with another candidate."
Ugh. Death. Kill me now. But you will not die today. You will not give up today. You will move past this and march triumphantly forward to your next interviews. Because you, my friend, are fearless.
But at this moment, you need to be reminded of your fearlessness. Here are 6 ways to get out of your funk:
Give your pity party a time limit. That's right-- go right ahead and bury your face in your pillow and scream. Eat half a pint (Half? Who am I kidding?) of your fave Ben & Jerry's. Mope around for a max of 24 hours, and then you're done. When it's time to come out of your cave, give yourself a pep talk, and get out of your head where your self-doubt grows. This works for me--do a countdown. I literally prepare myself to launch by counting "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, lift-off" when I need to move on. This works!
Work it out of your system. Get out of your house, and blow off some steam. Take a walk, or run. Head to the gym for some quick sets. Punch a bag. There's something amazingly therapeutic about physically working off your frustrations, and doing it outside of your home is ideal.
Have plans B - ZZ. That's a lot of backup options, but I think you know what I mean. While this role and company may have been your top choice, be sure to continue to apply for opportunities. Keep preparing, keep learning, and more importantly, discover that other employers and roles are just as good as your Plan A--maybe better!
Ask for feedback. Until you know why the other candidate was selected, you're probably going through every possible replay of your interview, and that is painful! Ask the employer for feedback, and they will give it to you when they can, especially when you're still fresh on their minds. Be gracious and open to it so you can learn how to improve or what to change for next time. Objective introspection is necessary, not subjective wallowing in your misery. Trust me, feedback is good.
Help others succeed. It may not seem like it, but helping others and volunteering your time is a great way to get out of your funk. Someone you know may be applying for the same company -- help her! Maybe share your insights on how to improve interviewing skills with others on your social networks. Continue to offer referrals or introductions to people in your network. Helping others while you're getting over your own rejection reminds you quickly that you're not alone in this process while giving you a chance to share a victory with someone else you care about. Your confidence will soar again.
Remind yourself that you did your best. The employer picking someone else does not mean that they didn't like you or that you weren't good enough. Don't overthink or over personalize this setback. As a former recruiter, it killed me having to break the bad news to my best candidates that they didn't get the job because it's hard to explain to someone why, although they were perfect, someone else was selected. And this is true for you, too. Your preparation certainly paid off because you made a great impression.
Yes, interview rejection sucks. But it's not the end of the world. You will land your next big opportunity, and getting yourself out of your funk will make the process so much easier.
All the best!