I love you, but not in that way: What to do when you don’t get the Job.

My posts thus far have been aimed at human resource practitioners, part of ‘speaking HR’ is actually connecting to the end users of the service. So this one is for everyone who didn’t get the “second date.”

You wake up early. Not because your alarm woke you but because your brain wouldn’t let you sleep. After dozens of emails, tons of envelopes, a ream of paper and a receptionist in a pear tree; they finally called. Your mind switches from wondering if anyone even reads your CV or notices that you got an A in that really hard second year course to focusing on the only thing that matters: THEY FINALLY CALLED.

Your best version of a power suit features a jacket and a trousers that aren’t quite the same shade of black but you show up, sweep them off their feet and go home 90% confident that there was something there. You made eye contact, gave intelligent answers without jargon, they laughed at your jokes and when they time came for them to state their expectations, it sounded absolutely perfect.

You spend the next month looking at your phone, jumping at every sound it makes thinking it must be them! But it never is. So what next?

Being rejected after a job interview is painful. Unlike not being called for the interview at all, you had your foot in the door, they liked you on paper and decided you were worth meeting. You met the people you would be possibly working with and had a glimpse at the life you would have. However, this is not a time to give up, it is a time to harness the rejection to propel you forward.

1. Think about it.

Reflect on the entire experience, unfortunately sometimes it’s not them it’s you. After you’ve gone through your process of stalking your interviewers on linked in and summoning your ancestors to strike them down, sit and objectively think about that day. If you were interviewing yourself would you give yourself the job? It could be that you weren’t dressed appropriately, you didn’t do enough research on the organisation, you didn’t read up on the relevant subject matter, you were nervous and that was interpreted as ignorance.Think about what you could have done better and use that in your future interactions.

Megan Wheatley says ” Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”

2. Create an Interview Template

Come up with an interview template for the future. Most interviewers typically, ask several questions over and over again. “Give us a brief educational and work history” “Why do you think you’re best candidate for the job?” “How much are expecting to get paid” “How do you think your previous work experience would benefit this particular position” and so on. Have set answers for these questions, you shouldn’t have to think about which year you graduated or how much you’re expecting to get paid or when you did that one year stint with organisation ‘x’. All your mental energy and thoughts should be dedicated towards the ‘wild card’and job specific questions that you could not have anticipated.

3. Leverage what you have.

A friend of mine couldn’t get a job for a year, he then started a blog and 3 months later he was offered a job. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re currently working and looking for better opportunities, use that to grow yourself. Start a blog to put yourself and your thoughts out there. Work on your LinkedIn  account, the networking opportunities on that site are amazing. Start a project at work that you were saving for the “right job” so that when you’re asked about it you can tell them how you’ve actually implemented such a program.  Take a free online course on the latest phenomenon in your field to keep yourself up to date with sites like Future Learn, Udemy, and Open Culture which offers courses from the top universities in the world such as Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins.

4. Get back on the horse

Get back to your dozens of emails, tons of envelopes, a ream of paper and a receptionist in a pear tree. Basically, don’t stop trying simply because you didn’t get accepted. Keep you mind focused on your end result and other opportunities that maybe present. J.K Rowlings, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and  Madonna all faced rejection in their various career trajectory, so will you!

Micheal Jordan once said “I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I have missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”


Special thanks to Kandi of Kandi’s Notes for saying the things I couldn’t. 


9 thoughts on “I love you, but not in that way: What to do when you don’t get the Job.

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