It's never easy seeing a job rejection in your email inbox, especially if it was a retail job you really wanted. But what if we told you that getting a job rejection can be a good thing? Believe it or not, they can actually work in your favour.
Lorena Tonarelli asks Professor John Arnold, an occupational psychologist at Loughborough University Business School, how jobseekers can constructively deal with rejections and turn them into opportunities for improvement and success.
Ask for feedback
It might seem like a daunting prospect, but asking for feedback really will turn your bad experience into a good one. Even if you are still feeling a little bitter about not being selected, by asking them for feedback you’ll learn from your mistakes and find out what you need to work on next time you apply for a retail job. “Write down any questions you think you answered badly and rehearse a better answer,” advises Arnold.
Factors of motivation
We know it might be tempting to throw a self-pity party on the sofa for a few days and eat nothing but toast, but it’s really crucial to keep highly motivated. Remember the rejection isn’t personal, just this retail vacancy wasn’t for you, and the next one might be, so chin up and don't get dishearted, no one likes a grumpy guts. In order for you to keep successfully motivated in your search, you need to know where your motivation comes from.
According to Arnold, the level of your motivation when jobhunting depends on three things:
- How much you want the job
- Confidence in your ability to perform well during the selection process
- Confidence that the employers will notice if you perform well.
“Although there's not much you can do about the last of these points, you certainly can address the first two by being careful about what you apply for, namely jobs you're suited for, and by improving the way you present yourself in the selection process.”
As you can see, confidence is key, you have to believe in yourself and in your own abilities. If you do battle with issues of confidence, don’t worry, there are a few simple things you can do to help build it up in preparation for those dreaded job interviews.
- If delivering a presentation during an interview makes you nervous, do a rehearsal in front of family or friends
- Do you dread tests? Practice timing yourself on completing tasks you’re likely to be asked in an interview. SHL Direct also offer practice tests
- Do group exercises worry you? Perhaps a weekend public speaking course could help. Hot Courses lists several around the UK
Of course, no one wants to fail, but if you do get rejected, don’t worry. For the vast majority of jobseekers trying to succeed in a retail career, failing one or more interviews is perfectly normal, especially in the current job climate, so keep positive and don’t ever stop trying.
To successfully overcome rejections, stay optimistic, don’t take things personally and keep looking at how you can improve your job search strategy and interview performance. No improvement is too small, whether it’s what you say or how you dress at the interview, it’s all relevant in getting you closer to your goal: a well-deserved job offer!
“Think hard before future interviews about how, exactly, your skills and experience can contribute to the job. Perhaps you're going for jobs that you aren’t well suited to, and the interviewers see this more clearly than you do? In the event of repeated rejection, if possible, do a roleplay interview with someone who is an experienced interviewer to get practice and honest feedback.”
It may seem like people are luckier than you but don’t get bitter, you may not be seeing all the effort they put into preparation too. Remember, as they saying goes, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
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