Turning a NO into something positive

Written by Career Mums

20th April 2022

Two people sat at a desk talking to each other

*updated 2022


Bouncing out the door, smile on face, feeling as though you nailed it in your interview is a great feeling.

Waiting for the feedback, an offer, the words “you were amazing, when can you start” on the other end of the line, isn’t always so easy to stomach. And if the phone call doesn’t come, the offer isn’t what you’d hoped or, worse still, you hear absolutely nothing, chances are you’re going to question where you went wrong.

However, here at Career Mums, we like to think of every situation as a potential positive. Hearing NO from an employer isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If we treat the NO as an opportunity to gain feedback, rather than perceive it as a failure, we can process what we learnt, adapt for the next opportunity and grow from our mistakes. How did we really come across in interview? Are we being honest with ourselves about our strengths? How confident are we that we can do the job? These are not easy questions to reflect on but growth comes from recognising our vulnerabilities, admitting we don’t always get things right without letting that realisation knock our confidence too much. Listening to the feedback from your interviewer gives invaluable insight into how you were perceived and, with that, a chance to do things differently next time.


Seeing the World Through Your Own Lens

Humans often assume others perceive the world through a similar lens to their own. You told a joke, there was no malice intended but the interviewer took offence and didn’t laugh. You don’t understand – you didn’t mean to cause offence, why can’t they understand it was supposed to be funny?

We see our actions through our own understanding of intentions. Our own lens. But our interviewer has their own, unique lens and what we think is a witty comeback might be perceived as rude or disparaging. It doesn’t matter if that wasn’t our intention, the damage is done and any attempt to excuse it could be interpreted as guilty admission.

So, with that in mind, it’s vital we can see our actions from someone else’s point of view. Analysing the interview, the good, the bad and the ugly bits, allows you to understand how your behaviour came across. And Career Mums can help you with the process, teaching you how you can spot these mistakes and make positive changes in time for the next big interview.


The Coaching Solution

At Career Mums, we offer relaunch coaching for our clients. As business coaches, we use our knowledge to prepare you for interviews, helping to develop a return-to-work plan and work with you to evaluate areas for improvement.

Coaching is a very personal interaction. As facilitators of learning and growth, we are also mentors and supporters. We gently probe, asking the challenging questions that allow growth to occur; that enable you to develop a method of preparing for and completing interviews successfully.

We work together to provide comprehensive methods for tackling challenges head on so you can reach your employment goals with ease.


Debriefing and Discovery

Debriefing after an interview is an ideal way to obtain professional, supportive feedback from a business coach. A confidential and private discussion, we offer a place to feel comfortable, discussing any challenges and providing first hand guidance, support and encouragement.

What was difficult? What felt good? What would you like to do differently next time? These are all valid questions – you need to know what works and what doesn’t! And, once you know this, Career Mums will design an interview strategy that focuses all your energy on the good bits and gets rid of any pesky negatives that are holding you back.

Coaching also provides practice Q and A’s, shows you how to sell key strengths and skills, and gives pointers for overcoming those uncomfortable interview situations so you don’t have to wish a huge crack would appear in the ground and swallow you whole anymore.

Check out our article on how to discuss a planned career break in an interview. This can be a huge source of concern, particularly for parents, but Career Mums have some great advice for dealing with it effectively including exactly how to highlight everything you’ve learnt from your time away from the workforce – setting up a business, voluntary work, further training or providing professional consultancy services are just some of the extra activities our jobseekers need to make space for on their CV’s.

Hearing a no isn’t always easy but learning from it can be. The key is acknowledgement, understanding and a willingness to implement change. We can always find hope, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Your ideal job might be just around the corner so keep going, don’t lose faith and remember we are here to support you! The Career-Mums team have been assisting working parents in their careers for over 5 years.  If you’d like more personalised support to help you land your next role, book your Spotlight on your Career Coaching programme.

For further help and support around juggling life as a busy parent, check out our Working Parents coaching programme. 

Join our Career-Mums Club free community on Facebook for regular support and inspiration as a working parent.

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