5 Tips for Rebuilding Your Confidence
After Job Interview Rejection

See also: Building Self-Confidence

It can feel absolutely defeating when you, after a job interview, find out that you haven’t been chosen for the job. With multiple candidates interviewing for every job, the odds are that most people will be rejected at some point. That may not ease the sting much, but it is probably helpful to know that you are not alone.

While the job hunt may seem bleak right now, you need to remember that everything is temporary. It’s true you may not have been right for a specific job, but that doesn’t mean you don’t possess any number of qualities that would make you an excellent employee somewhere else.

Think of your interview as a teachable moment. You’ve certainly heard “practice makes perfect” before, right? Well, that interview was practice for the next one! It’s easy to see how a little change of perspective can help you actively change your situation for the better. If you need some guidance on how to do that, here are five tips for rebuilding your confidence.

1. Change Your Emotional State

Man in a suit looking sad.

Rejection can hurt. No one is going to tell you otherwise. When you’ve put your time and energy into an interview, it can be disappointing to not get the job. So, take some time off to just breathe and sit with your feelings. As you’re chilling, be sure to clear your mind. Hyper focusing on the negative isn’t helpful. Remember that tomorrow is another day and you’ll be ready for it.

Take some time to think about what makes you feel confident and comfortable? You certainly have many admirable traits, so how can you allow yourself to feel that ease and confidence? Perhaps you have a specific sport that you enjoy playing, or maybe you have a certain playlist that can help you get pumped up. Whatever your activity may be, do it!

Once you’re feeling a little better and you’ve turned your emotional state around a bit, consider how you can include these little activities in your routine regularly. It may not seem like much but when you can actively boost your confidence every day you will in turn genuinely become a more confident person, and that can help you achieve your goals.

Consider what you do better than others? What are you good at? Shifting your focus to your positives will help you rebound from your initial sadness at being rejected. Don’t roll your eyes at positive affirmations. Having an absolute belief that you will find the best job for you and that you are awesome may be exactly what you need to find success.

2. What Would Your Grandma Tell You to Do?

Let’s be honest about something: life in past times was a lot harder than today. Your grandparents had to put in much more effort to accomplish some of the things that you can do without thinking. Even simple tasks like turning on the television were more involved. They even had to know how to preserve veggies without a refrigerator. Think about the things that your grandparents and great-grandparents have lived through.

When you stop to consider what the past 1000 years have looked like in history, you’ll see that there’s a lot you can learn from the older generation’s experiences. Your grandparents can offer a unique perspective on life that you can learn from. Just thinking about what advice your grandma may impart can help you.

It may seem that not getting this job is the worst thing that has ever happened to you, but would your grandparents be able to tell you about a rejection from when they were your age? Likely, these passing moments didn’t have much of an impact on their lives as a whole and there’s a lot to be gained from that.

As you take a breath and remember that when you’re talking to your future grandkids this job interview is probably not a story that will be worth telling, you can put your current situation into perspective. Make time for what is important and let the negative stuff go so you can get back up again and get your dream job.

Business man's clothes

3. Be Honest with Yourself

Once you have been rejected after an interview, take it as a learning opportunity. Be honest with yourself, is there a reason why things are not working out for you as you’ve planned? If you can easily pinpoint something that you can improve then don’t simply ignore the problem: work to find a solution.

Nobody is perfect! Everyone will have problems they will need to overcome. Perhaps you could take a class on software that will help you to be more hirable in your field. Maybe simply interviewing makes you nervous, then consider attending some mock interviews or taking a public speaking class to overcome your fears. Facing your problems can only benefit you!

You have a responsibility to yourself to present your best possible self. Being honest about what you can improve can be a challenging prospect, but ultimately can help you grow as an individual. As you allow yourself to become more aware of your true self, you can move past dwelling on your mistakes and begin learning from them.

4. What Would Your Idol Do?

You probably have someone that you look up to, right? Why have you chosen that person to be your role model? Why do you adore them? If you can break down what qualities your idol has that you appreciate, you can strive to emulate them going forward.

Remember that your idol is a person just like you; they have also had struggles and have likely faced rejections in their life as well. Ask yourself some questions and answer them the way you think your idol would respond. What can you learn from these answers? What do you suppose they would do in the same situation you’re in?

Everyone will face adversity differently and not all responses are healthy ones, but you can learn from others who have experiences like yours. Connect to the strength of your role models and the people you aspire to be. You too can inspire and command respect even if you don’t have specific instructions on how to do that.

By focusing on your strengths and positive attributes you can turn a rejection into something positive and grow from the experience. Using a job interview that didn’t go your way can become the launchpad for a new and improved you. Soon you may be the role model others are looking up to!

5. Trust the Process

Sure, it can be discouraging to not land a job after an interview but just remember that every interview is one step closer to getting into the job you’re destined for. If you apply for a different position at the same company it can show persistence and growth. Every interview is a step forward and all progress is good.

Just because a company doesn’t see your excellent qualities, or doesn’t think you will be a good fit, doesn’t mean you’re not awesome. Everything will be okay and you will find another place that can appreciate all that you bring to the table. You don’t know why they have passed you over and you may never find out. That’s okay, brush it off and keep going!

At the end of the day, every job is all about value. How much value will you bring to a specific employer? Unfortunately, you have to give up control and see the process through - just because you believe you’re the best candidate doesn’t mean that they will agree. You can take any feedback they offer and set your mind to doing better the next time!

Keeping a positive perspective may not always be easy but it can help you improve and establish a new routine that can help you become more successful in the long run. What have you done in the past to help you through tough times? Just as you grew from those experiences you can rebuild your confidence from this experience as well.

Man straightening his tie.


It may not feel good initially and you might have to do some hard work to feel better, but you will get through this rejection and be better for it! With a little effort on your part, your confidence will rebound and your mindset can be forever changed for the better.

You don’t need to feel limited by rejections anymore. It’s up to you to grow from each and every experience in your life. Learning from your experiences can be so beneficial that anyone can be changed for the better with the right mindset. You’ll surprise yourself what will matter a year from now, so don’t let a single rejection destroy your confidence permanently.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

This two-part guide is an easy-to-read summary of the essential skills you need for a healthy mind and body.

The first eBook, Looking After Yourself, covers some of our most popular content and will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

The second eBook, Living Well, Living Ethically, considers how you can live your best life all the time. It helps you to answer the question: how can I avoid having too many regrets about my life?

About the Author

Vision, Belief, Change inspires people to live the life they want, through opening their minds to new perspectives and possibilities, and providing them with practical tools for achieving their goals and dreams.