The Job Interview: “Dear Job Seeker…Your Resume Is Impressive, But…”


Unemployment#18Unless you lived under a rock as a teenager, or, you stayed in your folks’ house playing video games in the basement, depending on your age, we’ve all faced rejection at some time or another.

As a working adult, opening your e-mail inbox to find a rejection letter, is every job seeker’s worst nightmare. It can be just as painful as finding out your main squeeze has been dating the entire high school football team (Don’t ask.).

Receiving the kiss-off from a company or a recruiter can be especially frustrating, after feeling like you nailed the job interview.

Some companies don’t even show job seekers the courtesy of a rejection e-mail. These companies just forget about you, leaving you wondering about the status of your application.

Of all the frustrating moments that a job seeker experiences in their quest for meaningful employment, receiving a rejection e-mail has to be the most ego-deflating.

Learning to handle rejection is just as important as learning how to conduct yourself during the job interview, itself.

The following list of things NOT TO DO, after receiving a rejection e-mail, was posted on last year. The suggestions are theirs. The analysis (including any smart alack comments that may pop up) is mine.

1. Forget Perspective.

As you sit there, beating yourself up over no getting hired, remember that  as my Daddy (Southern colloquialism for male parental unit) used to tell me, “There’s more than one fish in the sea.” Everyone gets rejected, at one time or another.Look back at what you have accomplished. While navigating Life’s Highway, this is just one small bump in the road.

2. Let Your Emotions Take Over.

It is very easy for others to tell you that not being hired for a job you want is “nothing personal”, especially after you believed that you did very well in the interview. If you are like me, you take a lot of pride in your professionalism and the knowledge you have gained during your job experience. To have someone devalue all that you have learned, through an impersonal e-mail, can really hurt. The hard part is to focus that emotion you are feeling and to turn it around in a positive direction.  Difficult, but not impossible.

3. Forget To Ask For Feedback.

Learn from the rejection. Why were you not hired? What was wrong with the way you presented yourself. If you are in the position to do so, ask the interviewer why you were rejected. While the company’s representative might not always be able to give you details, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Just make sure that your request is respectful and optimistic. If you are seeking employment through a recruiting service, they will tell you how you blew the interview, because their client, the company, will tell them why they do not want to hire you.  (Been there. Done that. Use the t-shirt to wash the car.)

4. Refuse To Improve.

In other words, take what you have learned from your rejection and try to “fix” what caused you not to be hired. Just remember, performing a frank assessment of why you did not get a job is different from beating yourself up, for days upon end, over being rejected for the position.

5. Don’t Stay Connected.

If possible, maintain a professional relationship with the company’s hiring manager. Even though they may not have chosen you for the position, you should still keep in touch with them. LinkedIn is a great tool to use for this purpose. If you are not a LinkedIn Connection with the hiring manager, make it so. That way, you may have the inside track on another position with their company when one becomes open.

6. Avoid Sharing Your Experience.

Everyone has a support system…family and friends who don’t mind listening to you vent. This is the time to utilize them. No man (or woman) is an island. “Whining” about not getting the job you wanted might embarrassed you at first, but venting is cathartic. It helps you blow off steam. (Why do you think I write this blog?) Most people have been where you are, and they all will have some sort of advice and guidance to share with you.

7. Give Up

Everyone, including myself, has wanted to throw in the towel, and say, “No mas!”, a la Roberto Duran. Please don’t.

NBA Legend Michael Jordan once said,

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

There is an old adage which states

It’s not how many times you fall down that matters. It’s how many times you get back up.

There is an old song from the movie, “Swing Time” (1936), which sums up the point I’m trying to make….

Nothing’s impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start All over again.

Don’t lose your confidence if you slip,
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired,
Till the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son!

Will you remember the famous men,
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath,
Pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

Never give up. Never surrender.

– Allen


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