Rejection. There is no other way to say it. It stinks. Reality though, is that rejection happens.
It happens more frequently than we all like to admit. When you are interviewing and looking for a job, you need to put on your big boy & big girl pants and be prepared to be beaten up a little. Well, maybe you will be beaten up a lot.
I’ve read hundreds self- help books and blogs, and they are exhausting. As a job seeker, after a while you get tired of people feeling sorry for you. You absolutely hate talking about your job search and feel like there is a great big elephant in the room when you talk to friends. “Have you found a job yet?” sounds like fingers on a chalkboard. Yes, at some point you begin to question if you are really good enough for a job, or if you are even employable.
Frustration. Depression. Anxiety. All of this happens when you are looking for a job. Friends tell you to “just put yourself out there more.” Everyone around you becomes an expert and they all have some new job hunt tricks that no one has ever heard of anymore.
So, here are the cold hard facts about recruiting and getting hired from a real recruiter.
Sometimes it is you and something you did in the interview process that led you to NOT getting the job.
Sometimes it is NOT you. Sometimes the reason you didn’t get the job is because of something completely unrelated to your interviewing skills.
When It Isn’t Something You Did
How many times have you looked for a job on the Internet and said “That is ME”! We all have right? We find jobs that seem to be tailor fit to our skills. So, here is the thing about job descriptions. They stink. As a recruiter, I can’t tell you how many times I see poor job descriptions. The job descriptions you see are often inaccurate and don’t reflect the job you would be doing on a daily basis. I hear excuses of why they are inaccurate, but the most frequent answer I get when I ask a hiring manager about the opening is that “they didn’t have time to update the job description”.
Managers and companies often have candidates in mind before they even post the job. Sometimes the candidate they have in mind do not have half the skills on the job description, but they feel like they are “culturally” the right fit. Sometimes managers want and NEED to promote from within to keep morale high within the organization.
This stuff just happens.
When Someone Actually is a Better Fit for the Job
Something else that frequently happens is that there really are better candidates out there. It is a candidate’s market. Candidates that haven’t looked for jobs for years are now exploring new opportunities. I have seen more qualified candidates interested in new opportunities than I have seen in a decade. So, saying this, even if you are great, there may be an even better candidate out there. If there is only one opening, then it may be very difficult to get that role.
So, does this just frustrate you more? Well, it shouldn’t. It should tell you that finding a job is a “numbers game”. I am a salesperson and know all about the “numbers game”. The more you apply, the better chance you have in getting a new job. The more you network and spread the word to peers that you are looking for a job, the better chance you have of finding a new job. The more interviews you go on, the better chance you have of getting hired. The more interviews you go on, the better your interviewing skills will get.
Regardless, What Should You Do When Rejected?
The hardest part about getting rejected is that you are always second guessing what you could have done differently. If you have been out of work for an extended period of time, you begin beating yourself up. If you would have only answered the question THIS way rather than the way you answered it. Sound familiar?
Try not to dwell. Dust yourself off. Get away from the computer. Take a mental break. Go for a run. Enjoy time with your family.
Something I tell candidates when they don’t get offered the job is to ASK the employer why they weren’t selected. Sometimes you will get an automated rejection letter, but more times than not, you will get a phone call or personalized e-mail. Don’t ignore the call or e-mail. Respond and ASK QUESTIONS!
You will learn a lot from talking to the manager or recruiter. Sometimes you will hear something you don’t like hearing, but it WILL make you stronger and prepare you better for your next interview.
Also read: How to Recover From a Bad Interview
There is another job out there that is the “perfect” job for you. If you didn’t get THIS job, then it wasn’t meant to be. Work on your skills, don’t dwell on the past, and keep moving forward.
Sometimes it is something you did in the interview and sometimes there just is a better candidate. Sometimes you will never know.
Good luck and keep positive!