How to Deal With Failing an Interview

Interviewing is always extremely uncomfortable. There are several parallels to a job interview and a first date. For both, you are trying to project an image of yourself that is different from what you actually are. Be honest, you have been on a date and said you liked some band you truthfully hate or don’t even know.

Moving on…my senior year of college I had a really good opportunity at a company in Nashville. It was my first interview with a company for a career and not solely an internship. As I walked into the building for my interview I was scared and felt totally out of place. To this day it was the longest and most grueling interview I have ever had. However, it went great. I could tell they really liked me and I truly enjoyed talking to the several people who interviewed me. It was also a job I could really see myself liking. Leaving the interview I was ecstatic.

I went and ate with a friend who lived in town afterwards and I remember ordering an appetizer and seafood for my main course. I was feeling exceptional. I was going to be able to enjoy the rest of my senior year and not have to worry about answering people when they asked, “so what is your plan after graduation?” Driving back to Knoxville was a completely different experience than driving earlier in the day. I was not tired form the long day. The anticipation of a bright career I had ahead of me propelled me back home.

As you can guess my dreams were shattered a few days later. After talking to the main manager who would potentially hire me the day after my interview and telling him I was all in on this opportunity I didn’t hear anything until I got that dreaded email from HR.

You have probably received one of these emails. It was full of the typical jargon about how they appreciated your time and while your credentials are great it is not a good fit for them. Getting one of these emails is the equivalent of getting dumped and failing a test simultaneously. Your confidence gets shattered and along with that you are ashamed of what has transpired. The fear of rejection which accompanies it makes you apathetic towards doing anything to change your situation.

I had to learn to trust God when this happened and I have had to remember the same lesson throughout my life. You have to fully trust in him and the plan he has for your life.

Also, I believe this Winston Churchill quote below personifies exactly what you have to do to overcome the failure of an interview:

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

That quote is so hard to follow through on. I don’t think anyone would disagree with Churchill’s definition but when it comes to going through with it it’s not very easy. The best way to deal with rejection when it comes to interviews is to be enthusiastic. Obviously it is not to be enthusiastic when you hear the news. Deal with it and move on. Once you find another opportunity lose yourself in it. Get excited about working for that company. If you can’t get excited then it is probably not the right opportunity.