Using Past Job Rejections to Ace Your Next Interview

Using Past Job Rejections to Ace Your Next Interview was originally published on Ivy Exec.

Getting rejected for a role after you spent time crafting a cover letter and preparing for an interview is disappointing. It can affect your confidence and make you doubt your skills. You may even find it hard to apply for other open positions, fearing rejection.

If recruiters turned you down for several roles with or without inviting you for an interview, you shouldn’t give up on growing your career. With the steps we’ll discuss, you can use the rejections to your advantage and ace your next interview.


✔ Ask Recruiters to Give You Feedback

Recruiters sometimes send rejection emails to let you know you didn’t get the role you applied for. While some provide detailed reasons for turning you down, most give general responses. For example, they may notify you that you are not a good fit without explaining how and why.

Contacting recruiters to find out why you didn’t get a job can be intimidating. But it will help you gain valuable feedback that you can use to rock your next interview.

Identify the job positions you applied for because you were confident you met the requirements. After that, contact the recruiters and ask why they didn’t hire you. If the response is generic, request a detailed assessment. These conversations may be awkward initially, but they will help you during future interviews.


✔ Review the Feedback and Identify Learning Opportunities

Employers and recruiters may give you many reasons why they rejected you for a role. The feedback may be about your conduct, skills, job experience, or application. Note the issues mentioned by each recruiter and identify those that come up more. The concerns raised by the highest number of recruiters are often the main reason you don’t get jobs.

Once you review the feedback, break down the entire job search process and note the problematic areas alongside each category. For example, if an employer says they rejected you for lack of confidence, it will fall under the interview step. On the other hand, a bad resume or cover letter will be under the application stage.

After categorizing each issue, determine what you can do to improve. Can you revise your resume to reflect your skills clearly and concisely? Can you highlight your professional achievements better to catch the eye of recruiters? Besides, are there things you can do to reduce anxiety and improve your confidence during interviews?

Asking yourself such questions allows you to devise a detailed remedy for each reason you didn’t get a job. It helps you revise your application strategies and how you present yourself to potential employers.


✔ Take Action

Feedback from past rejections will only be helpful if you act on it. Understanding why you didn’t get several jobs is great, but you need a solid plan to ace your next interview. You may be unable to work on every issue recruiters raise immediately, so you must prioritize.

If you don’t have the right skills, identify the training you can take to improve your expertise. Go the extra mile to identify skills your field may need in the next five years. Get ahead of your competitors by enrolling for such training and reflecting it in your resume.

resume gap might be one of the reasons employers rejected you for roles. If you are still jobless, you may hurt your career more with a prolonged break. Improve your chances of passing the next interview by finding ways to engage your skills before finding a paying job. Volunteer for community projects or work with a non-profit organization. Alternatively, join a professional association and be an active member.

Other actions you can take to ace your next interview include:

  • Making your resume applicant tracking system (ATS) friendly
  • Ensuring you apply for jobs that match your experience
  • Working on your first impression during interviews
  • Following the interview preparation instructions given by potential employers
  • Researching potential employers and their companies before an interview

If you’re unsure how to take advantage of the feedback given for past job rejections, get a career coach. With their help, you can review the responses and come up with a game plan. They can assist you in building your skills, revising your resume, and practicing for your upcoming interview.


✔ Prepare For Your Next Interview Adequately

Rushing into an interview can make all your effort toward qualifying for a role and filling out the application worthless. Employers look for candidates who are punctual, confident, and able to embrace diversity. They also need employees who are resourceful, attentive, and eager to learn.

Preparing for an upcoming interview helps you avoid mistakes that cost you other roles. As you approach the date, create a checklist of what you were to work on to be more marketable. This will help gauge your progress and give you a fresh perspective before meeting potential employers.

Do you feel that you sold yourself short in past interviews? Did you have the right skills, but employers thought you weren’t confident enough? Learning more about the role you’re interviewing for is a great way to ace it. After all, you can’t explain why you think you are a great fit if you aren’t sure the kind of candidate the employer needs.

When prepping for your interview, go through the job description several times. Note the skills and expertise the employer emphasizes so you can use them to sell yourself. Find out more about the role by consulting other people holding similar positions. Besides, identify the main problems the employer wants to solve and have some unique ideas you can pitch during the interview.

A recruiter can opt for a traditional interview or conduct a casual one over the phone or a meal. They may also give you a puzzle or written test as part of the process. If you are unfamiliar with some types of interviews, prepare to impress your potential employer and boost your odds of getting the job.


Use Job Rejections to Your Advantage

Job rejections are frustrating, but you can turn them into something positive with the right mindset. Identify your weaknesses and work on them so you don’t miss out on great opportunities. Learn from your past and avoid making the same mistakes to propel your career.

Read other career help articles on our page today.

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.