Talent Acquisition

3 Ways You Can Help Your Candidates Deal with Interview Rejection

Interview rejection happens to even the strongest of candidates. However like any great recruiter, you know that your candidate will live to fight another day.

So it’s also vital to ensure that their confidence isn’t dented because if a candidate still carries their rejection baggage they’re not going to be able to perform at their absolute best for their future interviews. Which will lead to further rejection and heart ache for both you and your candidate.

I’ve put together three ways to minimise the negative impact of their interview rejections so that it its doesn’t affect their confidence and self worth. So that you can get your placement and your candidate can secure their dream job.

1. Big picture mindset

If you look at any successful person, in any sphere of life they never lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s a little known fact but both Henry Ford and Walt Disney whose business empires are now worth billions initially went bankrupt (in Henry Ford’s case twice!). Another example is of someone I know very well, who’s currently earning a 6 figure income, struggled for over a year and a half before finally breaking in to his career of choice.

What’s common in all of them was that despite the setbacks they never wavered from their long term goal. So it’s important to reinforce that the job offer isn’t the end goal it’s just part of their long term career journey. Tell them to think about it in the same way as they did when learning to ride a bike, there were many falls, cut’s and grazes, maybe even a few tears, but they kept getting back on that bike. Why? Because they had a dream of riding your bike and going on adventures! So remember to emphasise that failure is a fundamental part of one’s journey to success and the their dream job will be just around a corner.

2. Ensure they focus on themselves and not the interviewer

Interview decision making are always subjective. Every hiring manager has a slightly different preference in what they prefer. Some might like you others less so. It’s important to emphasise that up to a certain point it’s out of their control. Therefore it’s better to spend for them to focus their time and energy on thing which they have control over. Such as their preparation, exuding positive body language and delivering your answers with confidence. Rather than of wasting precious emotional energy on a such a fruitless endeavour.

It’s also important to remind them that by trying too hard to please, can actually have the opposite effect. Interviewer will perceive it as fake or insincere. Again more of a reason for them to focus their energy on themselves!

Avoid analysis paralysis

A rejection of any kind especially if it’s important, can lead to a moment of self reflection and analysis. This off course is an important process as it helps us to learn, grow and improve. However forensically picking apart everything moment like an episode of CSI will lead to confusion and a loss of self worth. Therefore when helping your candidates analyse their interview performance focus on the following:

  • Were the answers strong enough? And If they weren’t how can they improve them for future interviews.
  • How were their first and last impressions? Could they have done anything better?
  • How was their general body language? What could they have done better?

By keeping a sense of perspective and focus in the analysis will ensure that your candidate will actually learn and improve so that they’re better prepared for their next interview.

By Farhan Raja

About the author: Farhan Raja is a career coach, former recruiter and founder of