Career advice

Missed out on a job you really wanted? Here's how you should bounce back

So you didn't get the job. Time to brush yourself down and prepare for next time

Finding out you did not get that coveted job can dent your confidence, but it is important to pick yourself up and learn from the experience, say recruiters.

Take some time to review your interview performance, suggests Nick Simpson, chief executive of specialist healthcare recruiter MSI Group. ‘Consider what you would have liked to communicate more effectively and, in hindsight, which response you could have improved.’

It is also crucial to review the parts of the interview that did go well. ‘Consider how you demonstrated your suitability for the role in specific responses, and see if you can improve how you did so for all of the questions you were asked,’ says Mr Simpson.

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‘You should also take time to review any discrepancies between your skill set and those that were required; if there are any, look for ways you could address these.’

Asking your interviewers for feedback on your performance is another good way of improving your technique, says Michelle Brown, discipline lead for healthcare practice at the University of Derby’s Chesterfield Campus.

Mr Simpson says it may be easier to get feedback if you apply through an agency, as employers are likely to provide honest comments if they have a long-standing relationship with a recruiter.

Don’t become disheartened

Make it clear you are keen to receive feedback – good or bad

Take time to review what went well, and what you could improve next time

Review your current skill set, and look at ways you could enhance it

Make sure you view every interview as a new opportunity; don’t let past experiences influence your perspective.

But what you don’t want to do is come across as frustrated or argumentative, warns Hays Healthcare director Simon Hudson.

‘It’s a small world and you may encounter a person or employer again. Make sure you thank the person for the feedback, say you will take their comments on board and ask to be considered for any relevant opportunities in the future.’

If you keep getting rejected you need to identify if there is a common reason and address it, Ms Brown says. ‘Self-awareness is key, especially in health care as you will be caring for vulnerable people. Thinking about how you present yourself may be a good place to start. No one wants an employee who comes over as too assertive as this can be mistaken for aggression. Equally, someone who can barely speak when being asked a question will not fit the bill. Enthusiasm is a great strength and will often win over an interviewer,’ she says.

Last but not least, keep your chin up. ‘If you performed to the best of your ability in the interview, communicating your key strengths, relevant experience and cultural fit for the role in an engaging and positive manner but did not land the job, then it was not the position for you,’ adds Mr Simpson. ‘Don’t dwell on rejection in these instances; it may be that you weren’t chosen as a result of the interviewer’s gut instinct, and that’s something that is near impossible to sway’.

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