In the competitive world of events, there will most likely be a time when you’ll hear the "I’m sorry but we had another candidate who was stronger" line. For some, handling rejection isn’t an issue - it’s like water off a duck’s back. However, you may be one of many people reassessing your whole being and self worth.
The latter can lead to what I refer to as the ‘interview blues’, where the effects of previous rejections start to negatively impact on your future interviews. Symptoms include increased pre interview anxiety, mid interview panic and self doubt and a loss of confidence and self belief. Thoughts such as "I suppose I’m not as good as I thought I was" become a frequent mantra.
As an experienced interview coach I can tell you one thing for certain: If you don’t manage your interview blues it can result in a vicious spiral which can destroy both your ambition and career prospects. If you’re suffering from a bout of interview blues or feel that you could fall into its trap, I’ve put together three ways to minimise its impact on your interview confidence and self worth.
1. Adopt a big picture mindset
If you look at any successful person, in any sphere of life, they never lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s a little known fact but both Henry Ford and Walt Disney, whose business empires are now worth billions, initially went bankrupt (twice in Henry Ford’s case!). Another example is of someone I know very well, who’s currently earning a six-figure income but struggled for over a year and a half before finally breaking into his career of choice.
What’s common in all of them was that despite the setbacks they never wavered from their long term goal. In the same way, the job offer isn’t your end goal, it’s just part of your career journey.
Think about when you were learning to ride a bike, there were many falls, cuts and grazes, maybe even a few tears, but you kept getting back on that bike. Why? Because you had dreamt of riding your bike and going on adventures with your friends or older siblings. If you had started to doubt yourself the first time you fell, you’d never have learnt and experienced its joys!
So remember, failure is a fundamental part of one’s journey to success! Don’t fear it, and when it comes pick yourself up, dust yourself down and keep moving forward, because eventually you will succeed.
2. Focus on you and not the interviewer
Interview decision making is always subjective. Every hiring manager has a slightly different preference. Some might like you more than others. It’s important to acknowledge that up to a certain point it’s out of your control.
It is therefore better to spend your time and energy focusing on things you do have control over, such as your preparation, exuding positive body language and delivering your answers with confidence, rather than wasting your precious emotional energy on a fruitless endeavour.
It’s also important to keep in mind that trying too hard to please can actually have the opposite effect. The interviewer will perceive it as fake or insincere. Again, more of a reason to focus your energy on you!
3. Avoid analysis paralysis
A rejection of any kind, especially if it’s important to you, can lead to a moment of self reflection and analysis. This of course is a vital process as it helps us to learn, grow and improve. However, being too hard on yourself and forensically picking apart every moment like an episode of CSI will lead to confusion and a loss of self worth.
Analyse your interview performance as if it were someone else’s. This will help you stay objective and will give you a sense of perspective. Secondly it’s important to keep your analysis focused on the following key areas:
- Were my answers strong enough? If they weren’t, how can I improve them for future interviews?
- How were my first and last impressions? Could I have done anything better?
- How was my general body language? What could I have done better?
Following these simple steps will ensure that any rejection, rather than having a negative impact, will instead help you learn, identify problems in a rational way and then strategise your solution, so that you’re able to ace your next interview.
Job Interviewology provides specialist one-to-one interview coaching, courses and careers-related services. Whether you are an experienced events professional or a graduate, interview coaching can help you become the strongest version of yourself and empower you to achieve your career goals and ambitions.