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Didn’t get the job? 3 things you must do next

Taking the time to search for jobs, filling in the application form (when did I take my exams?), and personalising a perfectly crafted letter of application is a monstrous tasks. For many teachers, getting to the interview stage is a huge hurdle to overcome, but even for those who make it this far, the commitment in time, presentation and travel time can be rewarded with the devastating news that you didn’t get the job. Such news can take time to overcome, yet brushing off the disappointment (which we concede is not easy within itself), and improving for the next interview opportunity is crucial, so here are three things to do when faced with rejection following a job interview:

1. Be objective

Getting to the job interview stage is an achievement within itself, in many ways. The prospective employer was able to see you face-to-face, and really get a sense of your skills, expertise, experience and how you might fit into their school.

Take some time to objectively reflect on how the interview went: what you said, what you wore, how you presented yourself, and how you followed up after the interview. Reflect upon what you did well, but do push to find some things that you can improve upon. It is important to remove the emotion from this process, and exploring these reflections objectively may reveal a weakness in your performance. This can be informed from the next step:

2. Ask for Feedback

More often than not, the school will be happy to offer some feedback around why you were not offered the job. This may be difficult (remember – remove the emotion) but approach them in a positive spirit and your genuine interest to improve yourself. If this is a verbal conversation, take notes and clarify anything that is not clear to you (remove the emotion/bitterness you may enduring), and explore opportunities to foster relationships with the school, show your professionalism, and gratitude of what you are being told.

Some questions to ask can be:

  • How did you perceive my strengths?
  • At what point in the process did you realise I was not the right fit for the job?

You may learn that you are leaving a different impression on people than you intend. Or that you were missing something that was required for this particular role. Don’t take the feedback personally, more often than not, a no is a great indication that it wasn’t meant to be, and is the opportunity for you to get something even better. Sometimes jobs may be already assigned to someone else before the process, so it was just a painful hoop-jumping exercise that you got involved in.

3. Focus on the right fit

At the end of the day, your success in landing a job is dependent on your ability to get up, regroup, and try again. Waiting for the right fit is absolutely worth it, as it will decrease your job turnover and keep you happy and engaged.

When you’re considering whether to apply to a job or accept an offer, think about whether the role is in line with your professional journey and what internally motivates you. Think about the school-culture fit you would thrive in. Is the school’s mission in line with your own personal mission? Don’t discount the importance of having an impact that is personally meaningful to you.

This article was inspired, and adapted for teaching from Inc.com.

Image credit: By David Davies on Flickr under (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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