One of the most disheartening aspects of the recruitment process is opening your Inbox in anticipation, only to find out you haven’t landed what you thought was that dream role. Competition out there is tough - statistics from Grad Hero Hub and AAGE found that only 3% of all candidates who applied were offered a graduate position. While it’s easy and completely natural to get discouraged, it’s also important to acknowledge and reflect on the challenges of the process so you can come back even stronger when it comes time to put in your next application! We outline some steps on how you can do so below.
1. Reflect and Recharge
It may have been your first or your fifth interview of the week, dropped at the beginning or final round of assessment - the job search process can be a repetitive and relentless process, so regardless of which stage you got to, give yourself a pat on the back and some time to recuperate. Maybe you blanked on a particular question or stumbled over an answer – mistakes happen! Looking at every interview as a learning opportunity to find out what you need to work on will only help strengthen your job-search skills over time and put you in the best possible position for potential roles to come.
2. Embrace the Feedback
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your interviewer and ask for further feedback - check out our guide to reaching out to recruiters here. More often than not, recruiters are happy to help and may even see your proactivity as a reason to keep you on their tabs as a promising graduate for any future opportunities. Once you’ve heard back, it’s important to take any pointers you received on board. Maybe it’s your resume, or cover letter that’s looking a little patchy, or maybe your nerves came through a little bit too much during the interview stage. Check out our tips on CV writing, keeping calm during interviews and all things graduate recruitment process related here.
3. It’s Not You It’s Me
Whether it’s what you, or the company are looking for in each other, sometimes it’s just not the right match – and that’s ok! A lot of factors also go into the company’s decision when making the choice for the successful candidate – it might simply be a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, or other reasons such as:
- Budgetary issues leading to the role being placed on hold
- Internal team restructures filling the position
- Saturation of a highly competitive candidate market
4. Not the End of the Line!
Just because you didn’t get a spot in a particular role or graduate program, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the journey for you and that company! If you are really passionate about working for a specific employer, there are many different ways you can join them. A common path is coming back for a role in 2-3 years time at a more senior level. Invest your time into getting transferrable skills in a similar job at another company – that way you’ll be back, prepped and primed for an opportunity that is likely to be much less competitive than a huge pool of graduate candidates!
It may be a rocky road to the finish line – but focus on the positives and go forth armed with more insights and experience than before to tackle your next interview!