Job Interviews: Handling Rejection
by Jamie Caesar, HR Recruitment Assistant
Within Human Resources we see tons of candidate resumes with great experience, solid work history, and licenses/certifications all apply for one position... coupled with great professional references and great communication skills during the interview.
However, there is one position available and only one person can be hired. You're notified you weren't selected for the position. Does that mean you didn't interview well? Of course not!
When there is a group of candidates with equal qualifications and experience, how is a decision made? Is it based on who had the best "tell me about yourself speech," who showed up earlier for their interview, or who sent a thank you note following the interview?
It very well could be, however the decision to pursue someone else for a position is not personal. It doesn’t mean you wouldn't be considered for future positions. You may have not done anything wrong, and believe it or not, highly qualified people are notified someone else filled the positon they were pursuing each day.
"Ok, how does this help me?"
Simply, to let you know you are not alone. I believe the saying is, "It happens to the best of them."
However, what you do next is just as important as the interview. How you handle the rejection.
Do you reply back and give the recruiter a piece of your mind? Do you badmouth the organization on social media? Do you no longer frequent the store because you weren't hired?
Hmmm, interesting you ask. Of course you shouldn't. This is your opportunity to show your character when the spotlight is no longer on you. You showed great humbleness during the interview and you were kind and understanding. You explained how you would work through a difference of opinion - respectfully with coworkers and managers, etc. This is a perfect time to demonstrate these things.
My advice to you, continue to apply for positions and work on building yourself professionally. Remember the decision wasn't personal. When you encounter a recruiter or manager you interviewed with, be polite and courteous. Don't badmouth them on social media. Your behavior on social media is often a first impression, and may impact why you aren't hired at another local organization.
My experiences, both as a recruiter and a job applicant, are reasons why I wanted to share this with readers. It's how you handle those "nos" that will lead you to that "yes!"