Why You Should Always Reflect on Failed Job Interviews

Written by on February 25, 2021 in Careers with 0 Comments

Failure is one of the greatest teachers in life. Odds are you probably have learned more from your past mistakes than your successes, and that’s perfectly fine. No one should feel the need to succeed at everything they do.

This is especially true in job hunting. You'll probably experience tons of rejection when job hunting. It's a natural experience.

What you take from these failures does matter, though. It would be best if you always reflected on what may have gone wrong and see how you can grow from the experience.

Here are a few reasons why you should always reflect on failed job interviews.

You learn what you lack

For whatever reason, there's probably something you lacked when it came to a failed interview. Maybe you weren't the right cultural fit, or there was a skills gap.

If you're not the right cultural fit, try to figure out why. Maybe it was a company that wanted you to work tons of hours, and you didn't want to do that. Maybe it's a really sales-oriented company, but you're not much of a social person.

Does this mean you should completely change your persona and try to be something you're not? Probably not. In fact, if you try to change who you are completely, you'll probably end up in a job that will drain you.

However, this doesn't mean you should completely ignore some traits you might lack. Maybe you want to be more social. You can look for ways to do some volunteer work and improve your social skills.

When it comes to a skills gap, this one is a bit easier to solve, and that's by closing the gap. Figure out ways you can acquire the skills you need to succeed at the job. If there's a high demand for Excel or PowerPoint expertise, figure a way to acquire those skills. Maybe you can take an online course or two to help you learn.

You learn to handle rejection

Rejection is an inevitable part of life. You'll have to face it at some point or another, and it can be tough.

When you fail a job interview, it sucks. The more often it happens, the worse it tends to feel. You might even hit a point when you want to give up, or you feel like crying.

Sadly, giving up isn’t a solution for many. Most of us need to work to support our livelihoods. It’s even tougher when you have people depending on you.

What you should take away from rejection is the feeling of perseverance. You want to be able to tell yourself to keep going, and rejection isn't the end of the world. Develop positive mantras and a support system that will inspire you to keep going.

Most of the time, rejection won't be personal either. Sure, maybe a job interviewer didn't like you, but you need to ask yourself if you could really work with someone who didn't like you.

You grow

Through all the pain and suffering that is a failed job interview, you’re guaranteed to learn something from the experience which will help you grow as a person.

With enough job interviews, you start to pick up on certain things interviewers tend to do and ask. You start to notice common questions like “What do you feel your weaknesses are?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” These can be tough questions to answer initially, but eventually, you start to develop confident and concrete answers when asked enough times.

You also start to pick up on nonverbal communication and how to make people engaged in what you're saying. If an interviewer is staring off into space, you're probably boring them for some reason or another. Maybe it's because you're talking too long or not providing the answers they are looking for.

Reflect on these situations to figure out what you can do to sound more engaging. Maybe it's by providing shorter answers. Perhaps it's the tone of your voice. It's possible you don't sound enthusiastic enough about the potential job you're interviewing for.

Take what you can from these experiences and learn what you can do to improve yourself.

Failure isn’t the end

With each failure comes a new beginning, and there's some joy to be had in that. You can fail today but succeed at the next job interview tomorrow. With each new job interview comes a new chance to start a new job and a new journey.

What you need to have is hope and faith in yourself. You can be your worst enemy, but you can also be your best supporter.

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