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Overcoming interview setbacks.

By Simon on

Never did I think I’d write such a poignant piece of content.  In all the years I’ve been involved in helping people with their careers, I’ve never seen so many amazing people left wanting in the marketing related jobs market.

It’s affected people at so many different levels, from graduates entering the jobs market for the first time, all the way up to those with significant experience under their belt. I’ve spoken to many people over the last 12 months and it’s been hard to see some being pushed to breaking point but, there have been some positive stories of marketers being able to secure opportunities. I don’t think one has been straight forward and many have had to go through heaps and heaps of interviews but, perseverance and sheer tenacity have paid off. This is partly down to companies cashflows being under significant pressure which has made many nervous about making permanent appointments. Interview processes have also become far more stringent than normal and expectations of peoples’ skills have become significantly higher. I’d like to see more government intervention in helping firms in areas that positively impacts their behaviour and helps them retain and hire people in the coming months.

During our lives, we will all suffer setbacks on a professional and personal level but in a turbulent market, sadness and disappointment is amplified but, totally understandable. Some of us can brush off disappointment with ease but, it can have a detrimental effect on others and significantly affect how they think and function. It’s fair to say that handling interview disappointments is becoming part of our make-up because it’s happening so much. It’s stopping people from achieving their aims and ambitions and causing a lot of frustration so, here are some tips to take a different perspective.

  • Never forget that no one can truly evaluate your human traits and qualities or predict how you may perform in a role.  It’s also a point of view that relates to your interview performance and is not a slight on your character, values or individuality.
  • Try to accept your human fallibility and do not be tough on yourself. It’s not your fault the world has gone bananas so, setbacks will happen and are an unavoidable aspect of life or being human, no matter how hard you try. If you can accept these setbacks and the cold hard reality of them, it will enable you to bounce back twice as high. It will also make you more determined and appreciate the successes when they happen.
  • It’s important to be less extreme on your judgement if things go wrong. Most of what you think is not as bad as it seems and an unsuccessful interview is not meant to undermine you. Remember it is a professional opinion and is not anything unpleasant about you as a person.
  • Humans are unique and ever-changing so the fact you are not right for one firm means, just that. You may be perfect for the next opening or the one after that. You will also have the chance to work on interviews and learn from your experiences both negative and positive. It will also build your determination and resilience. Remember your career is not a smooth trajectory – twists, turns, and bumps will happen.
  • Consider yourself as a work in progress. Every interview you attend will harness your ability to handle them. Every hardship you weather and, every joy you feel will help you adapt, grow and develop.
  • Even when an interview does not go to plan, well-constructed feedback can provide useful information and need not cause offence. I’ve always found that people who are near perfectionists can take a hit very badly. Accepting your own individuality and flaws, and being humble, will enable you to handle the odd shortfall. You’ll also be less anxious at future interviews and as in life, you cannot please everyone, all the time.
  • Take the view that just because you are not someone’s cup of tea isn’t the end of the world and that you are less worthy. You can also decide how much you agree with their opinion and simply reject the rest. Also, remember that criticism is something we all experience from time to time, so just ride with it.
  • It’s funny because jobs can sometimes sound better when we don’t get them, a bit like that hot date will always seem far more attractive when they don’t respond to your messages. It’s important to be rational, even if they did not want to hire you, it may have not been the right place for you anyway. Holding this attitude will help and you need to look after yourself.
  • We live in an uncertain world and the jobs market is no different. 100% certainty is rare and in some respects, unnecessary so embrace it, focus on your values keep pushing and pursuing your goals.
  • Don’t play the blame game. Putting down others in the process does not elicit warm responses. Always pay attention to what you can learn and challenge yourself to be better. No one will ever lose their respect for you just because it’s gone pear-shaped. Chances are, they’ll admire your honesty and go out their way to help.

Always keep moving forward. Remember those knockbacks will shape and mould you for future events and nothing is permanent.