You walk out of yourfeeling pretty good about your performance. You start recounting all of the questions you were asked and your amazing responses to said questions. "I nailed this one", you tell yourself. You reward yourself with a latte from the neighborhood and think to yourself, "I'll probably be stopping here a lot more".
You get home, type up your thank you e-mails and send them out. You receive a few responses from your interviewers and begin to feel even better about your chances. A couple of days pass and you find yourself sitting in class talking to your classmates. Class ends and you notice that you got a phone call and a voice mail from a number that looks strangely familiar. You listen as someone tells you to call them back in regards to your. Excited that you didn't get a generic rejection e-mail, you hastily call back, only for the person on the other end to tell you that the firm has decided to move on with other candidates. Memories of your amazing interviews start flashing right before your eyes. F*ck. Now what?
I'm sure I don't have to describe the feeling that comes next as a majority of us have probably been through a variation of the situation described above at some point in our lives. Now that you have been rejected, what do you do next?
E-mail interviewers/HR for feedback on your interview?
A lot of my professors used to recommend e-mailing the people who interviewed me for feedback (politely) so that I could correct my mistakes in time for the next interview that I got. Following their advice, I used to do this all the time back when I was in school and interviewing. What I found was that my interviewers/HR would either not reply back to my e-mails or they would tell me something very generic that wouldn't help me at all for my next interview.
All this little exercise ever did was make me feel even worse about myself for not getting the job in the first place. Feel free to disagree with me on this one, but I would suggest not contacting anyone you interviewed with once you've been dinged, unless of course you had a REAL connection with someone as that will exponentially increase the chances of someone telling you the real reason you were dinged (Face it, you wouldn't ask a girl who rejected you at a bar on what you could do better so that you can increase your chances at a ONS the next time you talk to a girl at a bar). Instead, use the time to get over your rejection and dial up your story for your next interview.
Hit the gym or go for a run
This one is self-explanatory. Hitting the weights or just going for a quick jog will get your mind off the rejection and release some endorphins which will make you feel a lot better.
This one goes without saying. This is a great time to make some new contacts in companies that you want to work for or for reaching out to your old contacts for advice. It's time to generate some new leads.
Don't tell people how your interviews went
Next time you walk out of an interview, don't tell anyone how it went. One of my worst fears about rejection was telling my friends that I didn't make the cut after telling them how great I thought I did. It was a weird and demoralizing conversation to have.
One of my favorite pieces of interview advice comes from M&I. Prepare for your interview like it's the last one you'll get, but walk into it and say to yourself, "I'm using this opportunity to better prepare myself for the next one".
So fellow monkeys, how did you deal with job rejections in the past? Who else loves getting voicemails asking you to call back, only to find out that you've been rejected?