No-one wants to be rejected, especially not from their dream job. If you have been turned down for a job or an internship, then it can sometimes feel like the end of the world.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It might not seem it, but getting turned down for a job can be a good thing. There are many lessons to be had from this experience and this can be invaluable when it comes to your future job search. Here are some tips on how to deal with, and learn from, rejection.
Don’t take it personally
Many see rejection as a personal attack, but this is not the case. There are many applicants for not that many graduate jobs, and this is especially true for the finance sector. In 2016, Goldman Sachs received 250,000 job applications from students for 9,700 jobs.
So if you are rejected from a finance graduate job, it’s not because the interviewer didn’t like you as a person. With that many applicants, there are several other factors that come into play when it comes choosing whether you are offered the job or not. The finance sector is hugely competitive and you will be up against some of the country’s top graduates, all with a strong academic record and an impressive amount of work experience under their belts.
Think of it this way; if you have got through to the interview stages then you have already made it further than potentially hundreds of applicants. This is an achievement in itself.
Think about what went wrong
While you should always think of the positives in any situation, taking some time to consider what went wrong in your interview will help you avoid the same mistakes next time.
Did you do enough preparation? Were you completely familiar with the job role? It can be difficult to juggle your studies with applying for graduate schemes, but making sure that you do the research is vital.
Were you able to articulate your answers clearly? If you were nervous, then you might have spoken too quickly, not answering the original question. When in your next interview, take your time to answer the question. There’s no harm in taking a pause and gathering your thoughts first. We suggest using the STAR method when it comes to interviews as this will ensure you answer the question coherently.
Did you show enough commercial awareness? This is important in the finance sector and it’s vital that you demonstrate commercial awareness in interviews. For example, the world economy, geopolitics and even climate change can impact a company. Showing you have thought about how current affairs could present a risk, or an opportunity, will demonstrate you have thought seriously about the company and its future.
If you are unsure as to what went wrong, ask. Many recruitment services will often relay the comments they have received from the employer. If you haven’t gone through a recruiter, then dropping the interviewer an email after the meeting asking for feedback is a good idea. It shows that you are committed to self-development, a very appealing trait for potential employers.
Step back and evaluate
Take some time to reflect. Are the roles you are going for right for you? Do they fit your skill set, your work experience or your academic achievements?
When it comes to finance, many apply for what are assumed as the most popular fields such as banking. However, there are so many aspects to the finance sector and with a bit of research you could find you are better suited to a career in actuaries or would make a good accountant, for example.
While rejection can be awful, it can also be a great opportunity. It gives you a chance to re-assess and develop, meaning your next interview will be better than the last. The main thing is to see the positive side and to not let it get you down or put you off applying for more graduate jobs.