Why Don’t They Like Me?! Dealing with Rejection Whilst Job Hunting

6th July 2020
Why Don’t They Like Me?! Dealing with Rejection Whilst Job Hunting

Like most adults across the WORLD, I have been unemployed and I have struggled to find work. On numerous occasions, I have applied for jobs only to be rejected at the application stage without being notified. Even worse, I’ve been rejected multiple times after an interview, which I spent days working towards and most likely bought an outfit for that was overpriced and probably (most definitely) made me look like a frumpy politician.

Like a scorned lover, I have never felt keen to dig into the wounds post interview and ask for feedback and instead felt inclined to block their number, delete their emails, and eat my emotions. However, I’m here to tell you that this feeling is completely normal but it’s 100%, not the healthiest approach.

I’ve learnt over the years from my own experience and also from the candidates I’ve supported into employment that being rejected is not the end of the world and in fact, the learnings from these experiences can catapult you into an even better opportunity in the near future.

So you’ve been rejected, what now?!

You’ve just found out you didn’t get the job and all you want to do is forget about the experience, but instead, I want us to search for feedback to learn from this experience. There are two people that we need to ask for feedback for this to be beneficial to you: Yourself and the Employer.

Let’s start with You! (It’s me, not you)

It’s time to be honest with yourself and ask some pretty tough questions to see if there’s something you could’ve done differently and dare, I say, better?

1) Did you do your homework?

I think we’ve all had an interview where we’ve not prepared and 99.9% of the time it shows. I once worked for apple and a candidate didn’t know what we did… Doing your homework is so important to show your genuine interest and make you stand out from the crowd. Before stepping into an interview, you ideally want to know the following:

  • What does the company do?
  • What impact does the role I’m applying for have on the organisation?
  • What are the company’s values/vision?
  • Go in with 5 questions to ask and employer, ask at least 3! (Shows a genuine interest)

2) Were you genuinely interested in the role? The organisation? And can you see yourself working there?

Going for a role that you are not interested in shows almost instantly. Unless you’re a superb actor, then there’s no point going into an interview if you really don’t want to work

there. If the employer picks up on your lack of enthusiasm, they will simply stop listening and stop imagining you working for them and will not pick you.

Also, ask yourself ‘Did you really want to work there?’ I once applied out of desperation for a role where they described the culture as ‘Work hard, play harder’ and I cringed at the thought of sitting in that office with a competitive bunch of suits, discussing changes in the stock market. I declined the interview immediately upon offer and saved myself from hell!

3) Did you dress the part?

Look upon the website at the image on the employers, ask your interview contact, or make a better-safe-than-sorry judgement call and go in smart for your interview. Not all interviewers will expect a suit and so please do your homework before turning up as you don’t want to stand out for all the wrong reasons.

If you simply cannot afford a new outfit, there are some brilliant organisations including the jobcentre, which will help you for free! This does depend on your location, so please google for your area, or get in touch with us and we might be able to point you in the right direction.

If you’ve come to the end of these questions and still feel that you did your best, it’s time to look to the employer for feedback.

The Employer (Ok, it’s definitely them!)

1. At Application Stage

This will be the trickiest to acquire – you always have the right to ask but that does not mean you will hear anything back. If you’ve come through us and you’ve been rejected at application, we will always give you feedback if you ask.

2. At Interview Stage

This can be the most beneficial feedback to shape future interviews. It might be painful to hear but usually, you will find something useful for this feedback: Perhaps you could work on your body language? Seem more enthusiastic? Your skills are better suited to a different role?

Maybe you were perfect for the role, but someone internally got the position. Sending an email showing your thanks for the chance to interview and requesting feedback shows maturity and the ability to listen and learn from your own experiences. Remember, that this will never be the only job advertised with the organisation, so make sure you leave an amazing last impression!

Sometimes it’s just not meant to be!

Sometimes you will try your best and you won’t get the ‘position of your dreams’ but I promise you, another opportunity will come along sooner rather than later. If you have given it your all and are unsuccessful then you cannot be upset with yourself as there was

nothing more you could have done and at the end of the day, like any good friend will tell you: ‘it really was them and not you at all!’.

Happy Job Hunting!