Handling Job Rejection

Posted in : HR Updates on 28 November 2022
Olga Pollock
firmus energy
Issues covered: Job Applications

Rejection of any kind is tough. It’s only natural to feel downbeat and sorry for ourselves. This applies to interview rejection. It’s a hard fact that we’re not going to land every single job that we apply for. We receive the dreaded “unfortunately” letter and immediately our shoulders slump and we feel dejected and disheartened. As employers we need to be mindful that many of our employees will feel this after internal recruitment rejection and how we manage this is very important in terms of building back their self-esteem and motivation.

It is important to remember that the way we handle jo rejection is just as important as the skills we have when it comes to securing a new job; either internally or externally. When we wallow in self-pity, that negativity only serves to hold us back and could impact performance in future interviews. But rejection is not personal. Employers, on the whole, will have valid reasons for not shortlisting certain candidates where others have slightly more relevant experience or where internal candidates are stronger.

The most important approach to handling rejection is to remain optimistic and see it as an opportunity for self-improvement, approaching each new job with a fresh perspective and positive attitude. Are there things that you can be doing to enhance your skillset such as upskilling or taking on a new challenge? Ask for feedback from the employer on the reasons why you were unsuccessful. And be sure to provide this as a matter of course to unsuccessful internal candidates. Be prepared to provide detailed, constructive feedback but also suggest ways in which they could improve should an opportunity arise in the future. If they made mistakes or were unprepared, tell them this so that they can learn from this next time round. Review the candidate’s CV and offer feedback on this and their interview responses. The STAR technique, while to many may sound obvious, is a great way for candidates to prepare for questions against the criteria for the role. It allows the candidate to tell a story demonstrating how they meet the required experience or knowledge and finishes off with a positive outcome.

Explore training and development opportunities both internally and externally. There may be internal projects or external opportunities such as volunteering work that could aid ongoing development and provide a discussion point at the next interview.

Creating a list of accomplishments and memorising them is another useful interview preparation technique. This may include a time when you stepped up to lead a project or overcame an obstacle in the past. The added advantage of having a bank of positive examples is that it shifts our mindset from negative to positive.

A key message to yourself or an internal candidate is to remember that job rejection offers opportunity whether that’s taking on a new challenge, learning a new skill or simply building resilience. It is never the end of the world, and the right job will land at the right time.

This article is correct at 28/11/2022

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Olga Pollock
firmus energy

The main content of this article was provided by Olga Pollock. Contact telephone number is +44 (0)79 7389 3448 or email oppollock@firmusenergy.co.uk

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