Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Once you’ve won the coveted interview, it’s now time to make a great impression. There may be times however, when you get the feeling that the interview is not going quite right. It may be something the interviewer said, or that the interviewer appears to be rushing through the remaining questions without paying attention to your answers. In part two of the series on rejection, we will talk about how to handle rejection during the interview.
During periods of high unemployment, people tend to apply for whatever jobs that they can get in order to put food on the table. Over qualification has become one of the most popular reasons for rejection. How do you respond when the interviewer comments on your being overqualified for the position? This question can throw even the most seasoned interviewee into tailspin from worry. The best advice is to remain calm.
Hearing that you’re overqualified often leads to desperation. Do not start begging for the position even if it’s the only interview you’ve been able to net in five months of job searching. First, acknowledge the interviewer’s concern about your over qualification. Second, address the positive aspects about taking the position. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to learn new skills in order to enhance your job competencies. In some instances, it affords a lifestyle change. For example, I once took a job with a $6,000 pay cut. It enabled me to work closer to home, reducing my commute from two hours to less then ten minutes. This allowed me to arrive at work, unstressed from traffic and concentrate more on the job without worrying about the commute home. If working at the company is a huge lifestyle change, many companies will see it as a huge unpaid benefit.
Another possible rejection is when the interviewer reads “yes” on the line about prior termination. This may be difficult to recover from if the reason for termination is in direct relation to the job you’re applying to. You can begin by acknowledging the error of your ways, but do not make excuses. If you talk about how you needed money to pay rent, what assurances are there that you won’t do it again? Explain to the employer about what you’ve learned from the experience and what steps you took to rectify the situation.
Interview rejections can occur for other reasons. For example, as you’re responding to questions, the interviewer stares off glassy eyed into the distance and ceases to appear interested in your answers. Nothing makes an interview go down hill faster than an interviewer afraid to ask another question for fear of another drawn out, irrelevant answer. When responding to the interview questions, make sure that your answers are warm, sincere, on topic and not rambling.
Rejection during an interview is a harsh reality that can happen to anyone. Depending upon your demeanor and answers it may be a recoverable situation. If you’re unable to rectify the interview, be sure that you exit with your dignity intact. Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration, you never know if another position may come up within the same company. Join us next week when we tackle part three in the series on how to handle resume and interview rejection; the topic will be how to handle rejection after the interview.