Dealing with uncertainty / rejection after a seemingly successful application process
You polished up your resume. You had your cover letter proofread 4 times. You made sure to tie your experience and abilities to the expectations of the role, all while infusing your personal brand and tone. You did your research on the company culture and voiced how you would fit in and excel there. You did your absolute best and you didn’t hear back. Ouch. It hurts.
To the dismay of the many eager job seekers, the frequented mantra: “only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted” is utilized all too often. Understandably so, although personally, I would appreciate a blunt “no” so I can stop biting my fingernails and end my incessant inbox surveillance.
Maybe you were fortunate enough to be selected for an interview, and if so, congratulations! You decided to be proactive by rehearsing your answers to the most common interview questions, and you made sure to schedule a practice interview with the Telfer Career Centre, incorporating feedback and recommendations about best practices. The day comes and the stars have aligned; you have the best interview of your life. Your answers were eloquent and well developed, you showed genuine interest, asked high-level questions and even made your interviewers laugh! As times goes on without any response, your satisfaction and optimism turn to confusion and disappointment. What went wrong? Do you follow up? How long should you wait? If you’ve already reached out and still receive no answer, what can you do?
Dealing with rejection is the unfortunate possibility we accept with every application we send out. Here are some important things to keep in mind when dealing with the disappointment of a fruitless employment opportunity.
Every experience is experience
- Focus on what you can positively draw from the experience. It could be something as simple as what you may have learned about the other person. Maybe there was a portion of the interview that you felt particularly proud of and want to replicate in the future, or an awkward disfluency you can ensure you avoid next time. Always try to highlight the beneficial aspects of every prospect. Doing so will not only help cope with any disappointments, but will hopefully encourage you to maintain a positive and perseverant outlook to keep trying.
Everything happens for a reason
- Try to take comfort in the notion that this event has occurred to your benefit. Yes, even though it’s a huge bummer, consider that perhaps the present has unfolded in this way to spare you from the worst and to ensure you are available for a better opportunity going forward.
You reap what you sow
- In today’s highly competitive landscape, it’s largely a numbers game. The more applications you send out, the better your odds are at landing a position. Of course, missing out on a dream job is going to sting a whole lot, but with effort and determination, the world is your oyster. Don’t give up.
(Stay tuned for the follow up to this article where we will address how to follow up after an interview.)