Looking for a new role can often involve a certain amount of disappointment.

Your dreams for the future are unlikely to be absolutely fulfilled. There will inevitably be an aspect of compromise and you will very rarely get exactly what you are looking for. You are likely to get rejected before you get accepted. This is just part of how recruitment works.

Both hiring companies and candidates have to ‘kiss a few frogs’ to get to the ‘prince.’

There aren’t many times in your life when you have less control over what is going on. You can prepare carefully, but the slightest deviation from your plan can bring on a whole new set of scenarios. Decisions of total strangers will decide your fate and they could turn on the most insignificant word or action.

It is fair to say that most decisions made by humans carry a pretty large margin for error, the same is true in the recruitment process. The hiring company might not grasp your unique value, they might not ask the right questions and you may not get time to explain the situation from your point of view. You tell your story as you see it, but it does not fit in with the sort of story that they want to hear. Somehow your answers are not quite doing it for them. They want something else. Someone else.

You get that fateful email… “Thanks for coming to the interview. On this occasion your application has been unsuccessful.”

You are rarely given reasons, but you can be assured that there are multiple possibilities. Some of them will be rational, some utterly irrational, some you can learn from and some that should be ignored. All of them cumulatively lead to that most final of words:

“No” is hard to swallow.

However, you have to put things in perspective. With hundreds of candidates and multiple positions at any one time, there is always going to be an element of choice. Companies have choices, candidates have choices. Where the choices marry up, there is a successful conclusion, but where there is the slightest doubt, people will often hang on for ‘something better.’ Even if that doesn’t exist.

You simply have to seek to understand why you weren’t a fit and then move on.

Recruitment is an iterative process. You learn from each interview, you fine tune your skills and your thoughts on what you desire from your next move.

If you view rejection as a stepping-stone rather than a slammed door, the process is easier. It is never easy hearing the word “no”, but, as long as you don’t let it get in the way, it can be a powerful weapon in taking your search to the next level.