For the women who need us most

For the women who need us most

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“Every no brings you closer to a yes”: How to turn job rejection into redirection
By Hannah Hodgetts
Image: Elizabeth Willetts

Elizabeth Willetts tells you how to turn job rejection into redirection

Getting rejected from a job is hard, especially when you prepared and researched for the role and envisioned yourself at that company. 

So how can you take a knock to your confidence as a learning opportunity to develop your career and interview skills? Werk spoke to Elizabeth Willetts, founder and director of Investing in Women, on how to turn rejection into redirection. 

She said: “First off, don’t take it personally! A job rejection isn’t a reflection of your worth. It’s just a sign that the job wasn’t the right fit this time. Use it as a learning opportunity, ask for constructive feedback and use this to improve for next time. 

“Remember, every no brings you closer to a yes, so keep your chin up and eyes on the prize.”

Elizabeth explains how moving on from rejection is all about resilience. Reflecting on feedback is a key part of this and learning from how you handled each step of the interview process. As it is all about refining your approach and diving back in.

Elizabeth offers her top tips, “Update your CV, practise your interview skills, or maybe even gain new qualifications if you feel it necessary. 

“Keep applying, and remember it’s part and parcel of the journey to finding the right job for you.”

But what if rejections are becoming a common theme? Elizabeth states that it may be time to look deeper at your job search strategy and if your skills are aligned with the roles you are applying for.  Perhaps your CV is not doing you justice?

Sometimes an external perspective or mentor can provide insight into what might be going wrong or not hitting the mark, Elizabeth explains. By widening your scope or pivoting your strategy to include roles you hadn’t previously considered, this can also improve success rate.

When it comes to job hunting, patience and persistence is key as well as setting realistic expectations. “Ensure you’re applying to a good mix of roles where your skills are a strong match, not just the ‘dream jobs’. Each application is a new opportunity to nail it, so don’t lose heart.”

In addition, preparation is the most crucial element to nailing an interview in Elizabeth’s eyes; knowing the company inside out, understanding the role you’re applying for and aligning your experiences and skills with what they need is key. 

“Make it personal. Let your enthusiasm for the role shine through and build a rapport with the interviewer. A memorable candidate connects not just professionally but personally.”

Elizabeth’s top tip is to be prepared and be yourself. She promotes practising common interview questions and preparing to tell your story in a way that’s engaging and demonstrates your unique value. Also she exclaims the importance of the STAR method for answering competency questions effectively. 

“The STAR technique requires you to refer to a challenging situation, elaborate on the task you undertook to overcome the challenge, what you achieved [action took] and the result.  

“Structure your answers following this format: what was the problem, what was your role in overcoming the challenge, and what was the outcome, ensuring the outcome is measurable.” explains Elizabeth. 

STAR Interview method

Werk’s No1 tip when it comes to interviews is to always ask a question at the end of an interview and show interest in the role and company values. Some of our favourite questions to ask your interviewer are:

  • How long have you been at the company and why have you stayed for this long?
  • How does the company support and develop your individual success since you’ve joined?
  • What is your favourite aspect of your day to day life in the office?

So whenever you feel lost or rejected in your job search, always remember what author Matt Haig said, “Rejection is merely a redirection; a course correction your destiny.”

If you want more help on job applications, read here-