Argh! Job hunting (be in for a graduate role, placement or internship) is tough! Let alone getting rejected having put hours of work into writing the application and preparing for the interview. The truth is rejection comes hand in hand with the job hunting process, the important thing is to learn from the process. The first thing to consider is at what stage are you being rejected?
Are you being rejected at the start of the process?
If you got rejected after submitting your application the chances of getting feedback from the employer are slim! This is because employers receive a high volume of applications and it just isn't feasible to feedback at this stage. The key here is to stop ploughing on and sending the same application to the next employer. Instead, book a Quick Query with a Careers Adviser and get some objective feedback against the application you submitted. Your careers advisers have a pretty good idea of what employers in your chosen occupation look for and will be able to tell you how your application can be strengthened.
You made it to the first interview but no further.
If you got rejected after a telephone, Skype, video interview, or even after a first face to face interview, it is often difficult to get any meaningful feedback. I know this is frustrating as you probably invested a lot of time preparing for the interview. The first thing to do is to step back and reflect on your own performance, consider these questions:
- What preparation did you do ahead of the interview?
- Were there any gaps in your preparation?
- Were there any questions you couldn't answer?
- How were your nerves on the day?
You may also want to consider booking a practice interview with a Careers Adviser before you interview again. We can offer practice for telephone, Skype and face-to-face interviews. You can even practice your presentations with us. A practice interview is a really helpful way to identify any weakness in your interview technique.
You made it to the end stage and got rejected.
By this time most employers will give you honest and full feedback. Be prepared to ask for it and listen to it! You might be feeling heartbroken that your dream hasn't worked out, but you will probably have other interviews ahead of you and you need to take every step to maximise your chances of succeeding next time. So what questions could you ask to prompt effective feedback? Here are some thoughts:
- Could you tell me how I could have improved my performance?
- Were there any aspects of the interview where I performed particularly well or badly?
- Could you be more precise about exactly what you were looking for?
- What more could I have done to demonstrate my suitability for the role?
Asking for feedback is one thing; it is really important to learn from the feedback and avoid the same mistakes. Good luck and stay positive!