Dealing with job interview disappointment

You have done a great job in preparing for an interview. Then, in all likelihood, you’ll go to a fair few job interviews in your lifetime. Chances are a fair few will end in disappointment. How do you compartmentalise these?

If the interview/job wasn’t what you thought

You’ll have prepared for meeting the hiring manager and then when you do sit down to discuss your application and experience, it doesn’t meet your expectations. It might be personality/culture or you had a gut feeling. If you come out of the interview and decide the job isn’t for you, politely inform who invited you for an interview, thank them for interviewing you and move on.

Real-life scenario: The writer of this blog was invited to an interview at one of the organisation’s operated by one of the ‘Dragon’s’. Prep was completed and the blogger attended at the appointed time. The interview with the hiring manager wasn’t a positive experience as the interviewer denigrated the achievements of the interviewee. This experience will suit some professionals more than others. The interviewee progressed with the appointment, answering the questions fully, yet succinctly. After the interview, the candidate contacted the HR team who arranged the interview and advised he was no longer interested. No specifics relayed. Dragon’s Den hasn’t been watched since!

If you weren’t offered the job

If you really wanted the job and weren’t offered the role, this can hurt more than if you didn’t want the job. You’ll be asking yourself plenty of questions why you didn’t get the job, so here’s our advice for you to ‘grow’ from the situation so when the next interview is offered and you attend, you’ll be better equipped.

  • The first thing to remember is the rejection is not personal, it’s just a professional decision. This is not a slight on your personality.
  • Look back – briefly – on your interviewee and write down what went well, and maybe what didn’t. It can help you but don’t linger on the process. Being overly reflective isn’t healthy.
  • Ask for feedback. Ask for specific reasons why you weren’t selected; don’t be demanding, just professionally request the reasoning. This will bring closure. If the hiring manager or the business who interviewed you can’t provide feedback or are evasive, this is a more a reflection on them than you. If you received the interview through a recruitment agency, lean on your contact to provide you the details. Your consultant will help bring closure and help you grow.
  • No two interviews are the same. In another situation, how you performed in this interview could ultimately land your dream job – don’t beat yourself up!
  • Look forward. Being positive and understand if you use your mentality to take these challenges in your stride, you’ll be better placed. This ‘bump in the road’ is nothing more than that. ‘Get back on the bike’ and keep talking to recruiters, keep in touch with MRK Associates, keep networking and keep your profile high.

Real-life scenario: The writer of this blog missed out on a senior role through a literal toss of the coin. The hiring manager couldn’t offer more than this when asked for feedback. Know your worth.

Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

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