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How to move on after a bad interview

So you managed to secure yourself an interview, you went and had a chat to the employer but they still turned around and said no? It can be tough dealing with rejection, especially if you had your heart set on a particular role. After a few rejections, it can even be pretty tempting to just give up and stop trying. This should never be an option, though!

It’s important that you come to terms with the rejection and move on from it — here’s how.

Don’t take it personally

First of all, never take rejection personally. You were turned down for professional, as opposed to personal reasons. A rejection never invalidates your achievements and doesn’t make you any less likely to be employed in the future. In different circumstances, with the skills that you have, you might have been successful but on this particular occasion, you were probably up against someone who could offer just that little bit more.

You shouldn’t let a no affect your confidence or put you off from trying for other roles.

Accept a “no” gracefully

Don’t burn your bridges with the company if you are unsuccessful by being rude or by talking negatively about them. Other vacancies might open up at the company in the future that you might be interested in, so don’t blacken your name with the employer.

Ask for feedback

Employers had their reasons for not hiring you, so make sure you ask what went wrong and what you could have done better. It could have been that you came across as nervous, you were too vague with your answers or didn’t sell yourself as well as you could have done. This feedback is invaluable and will highlight what it is that interviewers are looking for. It will also point out your errors so you’ll learn from them and know how to avoid making them again in the future.

Learn from the experience

Even if it didn’t have the desirable outcome, any interview is great experience and will prepare you for future ones. They will give you a better idea about what to expect from an interview as well as being a chance for you to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
If you struggled to come up with answers, practise what you’ll say for common questions. If you struggled with breathlessness and panic, try to find ways to keep yourself calm. Your confidence will grow once you’ve attended a few interviews, so don’t be disheartened.


Be honest with yourself. Could you have been better prepared? Did you really know the company and the role inside-out? Were you not able to answer the questions well? Did you really manage to convince the interviewer about the strength of your abilities? If you think you ought to brush up on anything, such as your IT or communication skills, be proactive and do something about it. Gaining a new skill or some additional work experience may make you stand out next time.

As much as it’s important to reflect on what you could do better, don’t beat yourself up or forget to congratulate yourself on the things that went well. Concentrating on the positive elements of the experience will help the next interview feel less intimidating.

Moving on

Bouncing back after interview rejection is all about positive thinking. All experience is good experience, and you should look upon this failure as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and develop your technique.

Just remember, rejections are part of the selection process: it happens to everyone so don’t dwell on it too much. There will always be another job and another interview just around the corner as long as you persevere.