Yesterday I commiserated with a friend on the phone as she recounted a recent job interview for her dream job that hadn’t gone well. She was disappointed, and I felt her pain.
We have all been there, haven’t we!
Nerves jangling, muscles clenched, palms sweating, trying to hold it together, to think clearly and focus on the questions and the interviewer. Wanting to put our best foot forward, to show ourselves in a good light and demonstrate that we are the ideal candidate.
Sometimes it’s not our day. Sometimes we are not what they are looking for. Sometimes we are not ready for the position. Sometimes the other guys are better. Sometimes we just mess it up!
In all these cases, we learn from the experience and go forward with more knowledge about ourselves, our strength and weaknesses and perhaps most importantly, what we are looking for in our future.
Looking back over the interviews I have done, on both sides of the table, I can see that there were few right or wrong answers to the questions.
Putting aside technical interviews where you are being tested on your raw ability. In most other instances, they are looking for how you respond to questions and sometimes to the pressure. They want to understand what makes you tick, what will you be like to work alongside.
What does your track record demonstrate, do you have a history of getting things done, producing results, can you be trusted? Are you a good fit for their team, their culture, do you share their values?
If the answer is no to any of these critical questions, then they are doing you a favour by rejecting your application. There is no point trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
But, if the answer is yes to them all, and still you didn’t get the job then all I can offer you is a consoling pat on the back and advise you to try again and again until you are successful.
Getting your dream job is no different from making a sale. You must keep trying day after day and week after week. Every rejection is a step closer to making the sale. As an example of this, on our show stands only one in seven women we talk too, who picks up a candle and smells it, ends up buying something.
That is six rejections on the way to a yes. The most valuable lesson you can learn from this is to grow a thicker skin and that hearing no is ok. No need to fall apart or dwell too long, learn the lesson from the no, if there is one, and then move straight onto the next opportunity.
Keep faith in yourself. Keep learning and improving. Keep working on your skills and abilities. Keep believing it’s possible and I promise that your time will come and one day you will hear that magic “yes”!
Together, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.