Dealing With Rejection

An unfortunate part of any interview process is rejection. Unless you’re very lucky you’re going to be turned away from more opportunities than you’re offered. Especially when you’re trying to make a particuarly large leap – such as the one from student to professional.

In an attempt to gather some good advice for people who have been rejected from a role I reached out to my LinkedIn network. Not because of any lack of experience on my part but because there are probably people out there who handle it better than I do (seriously the sulking isn’t a good look for anyone).

If you’re on LinkedIn (and if you’re not I strongly recommend you join) then have a read of the question here. However, I wanted to capture some of the advice I got in this post.

Ask for feedback, one of the most important parts of a successful DevOps culture is getting, understanding and implementing feedback into everything we do.

Connect with people, by making connections in the industry we can gain more insight into what goes on in the company you were rejected by.

Apply again, if you can demonstrate you have improved why wouldn’t a potential employer want to interview you again

Kurt

I used to work with Kurt and he’s a good guy. He’s also a DevOps evangalist and hired lots of people himself. I think this is great advice, we’re in an industry where we gather feedback and respond accordingly. Why not do this with your own career? Listen to what the feedback was from the company, look at any weaknesses they highlight and use them to drive your next stage of learning. Kurt wasn’t the only person to stress the importance of taking feedback on board.

A lot of what we do is iterative: try to analyse your performance and work out where you didn’t fully elaborate on something you may feel was obvious or forget to emphasise a key challenge or innovative solution. Assume that people will understand the language you use but not necessarily the details of a technology or situation.

Practice will make talking about yourself, to new people and about your achievements and approach easier.

Nick
Being rejected for a role is never easy. However, it can be extremely useful. Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Don’t take it personally. Mope for a day, dust yourself off and don’t get discouraged. Work on any areas you got the negative feedback on (appreciate you don’t always get any). It might just simply be that another candidate just pipped you to the post. If there is only one role, someone is going to lose out and a client will have to nit pick in order to select someone. The worst part of my job is declining someone after an interview, especially if I know they really want it.

Simone from Solo Search

I’ve worked with Simone before and she really knows her stuff. She also understands that sometimes it can be very difficult to seperate clients and sometimes it comes down to things like team fit and how they performed on a single question in the interview. Not every rejection is a huge blow, you never know just how close you were to getting that offer. Don’t get disheartened!

Rejection is rubbish, there’s no two ways about it. But one person saying no does not mean you’re at the end of your journey. Keep going and keep learning! Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

You can drive yourself nuts worrying what you did wrong and the chances are it wasn’t anything that, on a different day, would have mattered.

Michael

Philip echoed this sentiment. Sometimes it’s the smallest things which seperate the successful candidate and the ones who were rejected. Don’t assume that you were nowhere near because you may have very well been a close second.

It’s a bit like asking someone on a date – not everyone is going to say yes, and often they’ll have reasons for doing so that range far beyond “you’re not good enough” or “we don’t like you”.

It can just mean you’re not exactly what the company is looking for at the time – they may be looking for something slightly different next time.

Philip

However, I’ll leave you with an optimistic idea from Nick. He says:

Being rejected from one role gives you the opportunity to accept another that may be better. You may miss out on a job that you thought you would love and end up with one you actually do

Nick

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