Lessons I Learned From Not Getting the Job

One of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced was not getting the job I wanted. I interviewed with a major publishing company and received the dreaded e-mail that it decided to “move forward with another candidate.” The rejection was especially hard to swallow because I thought I had done everything right. I was referred by an old colleague who worked there. I practiced answering multiple interview questions beforehand with friends and even old managers. I promptly sent a thank-you note to everyone I had interviewed with.

I did everything you’re supposed to do, but still didn’t get the job. But there’s always a silver lining to every rain cloud, and I’ve come up with a few tips on how to deal with being rejected from your dream job.

Ask for feedback

After being rejected from the job a mentor suggested that I thank the interviewer again and to ask for feedback. I was hesitant to ask for feedback, but I mustered up the courage to do it about three weeks after my interview. The interviewer did send me a generic reply and encouraging words, which made me happy that I reached out. What I would do differently is to ask for feedback as soon as possible, while your interview and resume is still fresh. They may just send a generic e-mail back, but some interviewers might have feedback you can apply to your next interview.

Keep up the momentum

As soon as I scored an interview for my dream job I stopped looking for other jobs. This action put extra pressure on me to get the job, and when I didn’t get the job I didn’t have any other opportunities to be hopeful about. If I could do it all over I would continue applying to other jobs while I was interviewing. I shouldn’t have put all of my eggs in one basket, and the process of job searching while interviewing would have taken all of the pressure off landing the job.

Google famous failures or rejection stories

No matter what you do, the feeling of rejection really stings. What made me feel better was reading articles on how successful people dealt with failure and realizing that everyone goes through rejection or failure. Also, not getting the job you wanted can be a story you use on your next interview. A common interview question is some form of, “How have you dealt with rejection?” Don’t be discouraged, brush off any self-doubt and see your rejection as a learning experience.