6 Ways To Pick Yourself Up After An Unsuccessful Job Interview

Being rejected after a job interview can severely dent your confidence. It is common to tortuously dwell on being turned down, whilst often forgetting the bigger picture. Rejection, whilst it definitely isn’t pleasant, can often be blown out of proportion and can be viewed as a sign of failure, or even a personal snub. But whilst we are burying ourselves into a boxset – vowing to give up on a career forever – it’s easy to forget that our dream job is still out there. Here are six tips for getting back on the job hunt treadmill after a job rejection:


(1) Understand That You Aren’t Alone

Although it may be rough, it’s important to realise that you are definitely not the first person in this position, and certainly won’t be the last. In fact, many more people are turned down for jobs than land them – that’s a fact. Once you accept that, you can focus on the next opportunity.


(2) Gain feedback

This one is probably the most important, but also the most difficult. If you’ve had an unsuccessful interview, then it’s likely you don’t really want to hear why. But actually, it is essential for your development that you do.

A follow-up email is often the best way to go about it, and will also show professionalism and interest in your chosen career. Most people probably won’t do this, so you are also putting yourself in an exclusive category of conscientious candidates that want to know what they can improve on, thus separating yourself from the competition.

Once you have it, take the feedback with an open mind and apply the relevant experience to future interviews. It’ll really help.


(3) Work your network

Though talking to more people about your search may feel like you’re opening yourself up to even more rejection, it’s actually a great way to deal with your feelings and get back on the bandwagon at the same time. No matter how hard we try and deny it, some industries often are about who you know and not what you know, so going to social events, or setting up meetings with people in your desired industry is never going to be a bad thing. These days, we are lucky to have the formidable medium of social media to help as well. Linkedin, Twitter, and even career forums will allow you to come across people in your field. And who knows, through doing this you may even meet others who are looking for work and share your same struggle.


(4) Remember it’s not all about you

It’s easy to say you shouldn’t take rejection personally, but it’s actually very hard not to. Especially if you feel like you matched the job requirements perfectly. But it’s important not to take the interview as a measure of your professional worth. Remember that most of the reasons behind hiring decisions will not be made apparent to you. You may have performed excellently but there could be other factors at play, like a strong internal candidate, or another candidate with slightly more direct experience than you. These are all things you cannot change and are beyond your control, so don’t spend too long focusing on what you did wrong, because more often than not, it probably wasn’t anything


(5) Exercise

Ok, so getting up and going for a run is probably the last thing you feel like after closing that email informing you that you weren’t successful. But actually, getting yourself moving can help you feel better. After about 20 minutes of exercise, endorphins are released, prompting an analgesic effect and often working a treat.

Not only does exercise reduce stress, it can also help you clear your head, regain perspective and give you more energy – just what you need for the next round of the job search.


(6) Think of the positives

At the very least you should feel as though you have learned something through the interview process. We all learn from our experiences, and interviewing is no different. Try think of the experience you’ve gained from just going to the interview. Take feedback if it is given, but even if it’s not, use the experience as a learning curve. Did they ask you questions that challenged you? Was the experience different to what you were expecting? Could you have answered any of the questions differently, or better? Before you head to your next interview, take time to reflect on any grey areas, or anywhere there could be room for improvement. And even if you feel like you performed to the best of your ability and were still turned down, then you can take comfort in the knowledge that it was most likely the wrong company for you.


Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internship jobs and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit our website.