However, if you are a millennial with any career ambition, rejection is inevitable.
Myself, I have been rejected from four of the last five jobs that I interviewed for within my organization. After repeatedly hearing the words, “you are not the successful candidate,” I had one of two choices: A) Wallow in my misery, or B) Change the way that I perceive rejection so that I could continue to trek forward in my job search.
In opting for happiness over misery, I decided to compile a list of perks that come from being a serial interviewee. In doing so, I have come to view the entire interview process – rejection and all – as a valuable learning opportunity.
1. You develop psychic abilities
After attending one too many interviews for jobs within the same field, you quickly develop the ability to anticipate the kinds of questions that you are going to be asked. Myself, I have been interviewing for positions where I would be an Assistant to a Director and therefore know to expect questions about how to effectively manage a busy workload or what key factors to consider when scheduling appointments, etc.
TIP: As soon as you leave the interview, grab a pen and paper or open the Notes app in your phone and write down every question you recall being asked so that you can study each one before your next interview.
2. You become a natural conversationalist
As you prepare for multiple interviews, you start to accumulate a number of “go-to” answers for the questions that you anticipate being asked. The more you use these answers, the easier it becomes for you to provide your response in a relaxed and professional manner without the excessive use of “ums” and “mms.” Your nerves start to fade, small talk comes easily and that appearance of being a natural conversationalist begins to work in your favour.
TIP: If you use the same “go-to” answers but continue to be rejected, try running them by a colleague or friend and see if there are tweaks that you can make to improve your response for next time.
3. You get a backstage pass
Attending interviews gives you the unique opportunity to scope out the different types of work environments in which you could potentially become employed. While you’re waiting to be called into the interview room, take a look around and try to get a feel for the organizational culture. If you have time, consider striking up a conversation with the person at the front desk and ask them how they got into their role. It is not often that you get a backstage pass into a place you would like to work so take advantage of the opportunity and use the energy of the environment to fuel your motivation to succeed.
4. You learn not to take things personally
The most important thing to remember about rejection is that you should never take it personally. If you are not the successful candidate that does not mean that there is something wrong with you. It could be a matter of timing, experience or seniority and if you beat yourself up about each rejection, you will lose the confidence that you need to excel when the next interview rolls around. When one door closes, another one opens; channel your inner competitor and get excited about your next opportunity to prove yourself.
It’s only a matter of time before your persistence pays off so be patient and stay positive because, as I can attest from my own experience, practice makes perfect.