By Jonathan London on 19th August 2014

Contract rejection: Moving on from the interview

Every so often in life, we have to deal with rejection. Job interviews are one of the most common places for this to happen, in fact, it’s one of the main places we come face to face with it.

Freelancing is no different. Sooner or later everyone loses out on a contract at interview stage. The key to dealing with rejection is using it to your advantage afterwards.

You may have missed out this time, but you can work on the points that let you down to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Of course, it may just be that there was someone else better suited to the role but that doesn’t mean you can’t assess your own interview for points to work on.

Here are a few things you might want to consider for dealing with contract rejection and to make sure you’re moving on from the interview.

Ask for feedback

You should always try and get some sort of feedback from the person who interviewed you. This is even more important if you’re new to independent working.

Most people will be happy to provide you with some information about your interview which you can use as constructive criticism.

It could be that you didn’t outline your plan for the project clearly enough or that you misunderstood what the client wanted. Whatever the reason, if you find out early you can avoid it happening again.

Don’t let it get you down for too long

It’s only natural to react to rejection in a negative way, that’s just human nature. But while feeling upset and annoyed are fine as an initial reaction, don’t let it play on your mind for too long. Move on and focus on the next opportunity.

It’s likely that numerous people were vying for that one contract and this time it wasn’t the one for you. It’s important not to dwell on it, occupy your mind with looking for the next project and finding out why you didn’t get the job.

Review your interview

Go over the whole thing and think about how the interview played out. Make notes if it helps you remember. Did you make your intentions clear enough or did you spend too much time talking about a previous contract?

Reviewing things helps you pick up any weak spots in your interview technique.

Remember, the process is a little different for contractors and freelancers. The client will want you to offer your expertise and a solution for how to fix their problem.

If you can’t do this clearly and succinctly, you may struggle to get your point across properly.

Try find out who did get the position

Announcements on a company’s page or LinkedIn profile may inform you who did get the contract in the end. You can use this to assess that person’s skills and credentials and compare them against your own.

Do they have any qualities and experience that it might be useful for you to acquire?

Think about your prep

Be honest with yourself, did you do enough prep? An hour the morning of the client meeting probably isn’t enough time to come up with an effective plan.

Your preparation should give you a good overview of the company, what their problem is, the solution and how you intend to achieve it. Going into a contractor interview without having these four things at your disposal is asking for trouble.

Get back on the horse

Use your disappointment as motivation to secure your next project. When you work on a contract to contract basis it’s easy to feel like you’re under lots of pressure to get a new job straight away. Just relax and start your search again. If you have a the skills and experience, you’ll land the right contract sooner or later.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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