In Love and Interviews
A few weeks ago on the hallmark holiday of St. Valentine (a holiday I give about a 10% crap about), I had the most spot on realization:
Dating and Interviewing are the same thing.
I’ve been interviewing now for over two months and I’m EXHAUSTED! Beyond the obvious similarities like mutually interviewing each other to see if there is a fit, dressing extra pretty for the first encounters, and playing psychological warfare on yourself wondering if they are gonna call you back, I want to focus on the rejection piece.
And as a person who finds herself to be an enlightened passenger on the self love train, I gotta say, rejection kills me. Here are my thoughts on the heartbreak that can ensue on the interview circuit, and how I try to build myself back up and stay motivated.
It’s not you it’s me
The first thing that I feel after a rejection email from a prospective employer, is “OMG they hate me!” I ask myself, “what did I do wrong? How could I have done better?” I had to talk myself off a ledge the other night after receiving a rejection email with those thoughts whirling around in my head. The fact of the matter is that it really could be an “it’s not you, it’s me situation.” I’ve been on the other side of interviewing and there are SO MANY factors that go into an interview process. The interviewer could have had the babysitter cancel on them right before, or their boss was making them hire a position they felt to be unnecessary. We don’t know the pressure or the needs of that company both personally and professionally, and sometimes the timing for a person like you just isn’t right.
I think we need to see other people
Sometimes companies are looking for a very specific candidate; one so specific, that even if you were Ellen Degeneres, you would not get the job. And in a buyers market like Silicon Valley, employers have that luxury. And if this is the case, good for them. Don’t let yourself feel threatened by the candidates that move on or less than them. Stay present on your own journey, tip your hat to the “winner”, know your worth, wish them luck and move on.
There can only be one person who gets the job. It will be you soon enough.
I don’t see us together long term
Don’t allow yourself to measure your worth based on rejection. For the jobs and the people that will define your best life, they will be there and won’t reject you. Plus, the decision should have nothing to do with who you ARE as a person. If it does, then you don’t want to be there anyway.
Say you did blow an interview; you didn’t have enough coffee that day, you didn’t prepare well enough, you forgot the name of the product- We aren’t perfect and no one is. Be grateful that you learned from the experience, pat yourself on the back for putting yourself out there and remember that the company that is going to scoop you up will be excited to have you- imperfections and all!
I just need some closure
You may never get the closure you need to move on from a rejection from a company. Even if you get feedback, it typically will be very HR safe and vague. It’s great to get feedback, and we should all ask for it, but it’s also important to talk about the interview process with your support system- (old coworkers are my favorite for this). Be vulnerable, talk about what you think you did well and what you thought you could improve. Give yourself some time to mourn the rejection, then take it as a growing experience, and put your head down and keep on the hustle.
In closing, the job search, much like a rejection from a potential partner can SUCK. But we are not alone, we’ve all been there, and no one is a pro at this. Keep putting on your lucky blazer, being grateful for potential bullets you’ve dodged and get excited for what is waiting for you!