How I dread those days where I have to inform people that they have not been withheld for a job.
Obviously, there is much more fun in calling you to tell that an offer will be extended. But reality is that for every person that receives a job offer, there are at least 5 candidates that do not make the cut.
The way you deal with rejection, tells me a lot about you as a person. When you deal with it in a professional manner (and why wouldn’t you, it is a normal part of life), I will remember the positive side. And who knows, tomorrow, there may be another search that will fit your profile perfectly.
Last week however, I had a very bad reaction from a candidate. After 10 minutes of debating as to why he was perfect for the job, he decided that it was time to start badmouthing my client.
Although I fully understand the stress that is associated with a job search, negative or frustrated reactions usually confirm the correctness of the decision and will make me think ‘thank god we got rid of this one’.
Needless to say that this negative impression is long lasting and will make me hesitant to contact you again in the future.
Everyone has his own way of responding to rejection. You may like to send a thank you note, give me a call or just leave it be. It’s only human to feel frustrated but before you pick up the phone, here are a few mine traps that you want to avoid.
- Don’t take it personally and keep some perspective. An interview is not a measurement of your professional worth. If you performed to the best of your ability, displayed all your relevant technical expertise, demonstrated your competencies and communicated in your most engaging manner in an interview but were still turned down, then you can take comfort from knowing that it was the wrong job for you.
- Don’t ask a thousand questions about why you did not get the job and others did. 9 times out of 10, it wasn’t about you. It was about someone else being a better match. That does not mean that you cannot ask for more detailed feedback but try to focus on your own merits instead of comparing yourself to others.
- Don’t debate. A decision has been made and usually, I am only the messenger. Repeating the reasons why you were perfect for the job, won’t change that decision, it will only make me want to put the phone down. It is also an absolute ‘no go’ to start contacting directly the people who have interviewed you to discuss the decision they have made.
Staying away from these danger zones and giving a positive twist to rejection will make me want to contact you again. And who knows, maybe one day, I will stop dreading those days.
I look forward to hearing from you,
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