CAREERS BLOG: Top 5 tips for handling rejection

UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark greenCareers blog written by Nicola Haydon, Graduate Intern: Marketing and Information Support, Careers

Being rejected after a job interview (or anywhere in the job application process for that matter) is completely normal. Everyone has some sort of rejection story, and whilst it can hurt and knock your confidence, it’s important to bounce back and stay resilient so that it doesn’t affect your future applications. Here are five top tips for handling rejection:

1) Don’t take it personally

It’s easier said than done but there are often a number of factors involved including timing, office politics and circumstance. You might have been up against an internal candidate, who has already proven themselves, or there might have been another candidate on the day that just impressed slightly more (but on another day you would have got it). In these circumstances all you can do is accept it wasn’t meant to be (this time) and move onto better things!

2) Put yourself first

It can be easy to panic when you’ve been rejected, and start applying for another role immediately, but you won’t be at your best if you do this. Take some time to process your emotions, have a cup of tea or some chocolate, and do a different activity (like exercise) for a while. You’ll start to feel a bit better, and will be in a better place for hitting the applications again.

3) Ask for feedback

It can be difficult getting some employers to disclose information on why they have rejected a candidate, but some companies are happy to offer constructive feedback which you can use to enhance your chances in the future. If you can’t get feedback, analyse the situation yourself, but try not to spend too long dwelling on it.

4) Be prepared

Reflect on your approach and give yourself the best chances with future applications. If things went wrong at the interview stage, have a mock interview with an expert to help polish your performance for next time, or check out some of our online resources. In Careers we can also offer CV and application reviews ahead of applying for any role.

5) Just keep swimming…

In the words of Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming!”. Everyone experiences rejection; you just need to be able to move onto the next thing without it affecting you too much. Work hard at keeping your morale high, and try and ensure your skills and experiences are up to date. If you are not in work, take a short course, volunteer or do some work shadowing to give you a discussion point at your next interview and assist your ongoing development.

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