I scored the internship of a lifetime for this coming summer. It’s exactly what I want to be doing, exactly where I want to be doing it.
But, before I received the offer to intern with said dream company, I sent out around around a billion copies of my resume, went on approximately 20 interviews, and received both offers as well as a few of those dreaded “We have secured our interns for the summer” emails that no one wants to get. Unfortunately though, it’s part of the process.
One of the rejections I received was what I thought was the place for me, and would be an internship (at that point) that I thought would not only be worth my time, but would help land me a job after graduation. I did my homework. I Googled/stalked the two women I’d be interviewing with. I made sure I didn’t get too excited/nervous, and slowed down my speech (my biggest downfall) throughout the interview. I knew why I wanted to intern there, because I genuinely did want to. I came out feeling confident. I sent my thank you emails conveying just how badly I wanted the position. I followed up.
And I didn’t get it.
Sure, it’s a crappy feeling to think you aced an interview and were completely qualified for the position. But, you can’t cry over it (okay, you can, but only for like, 10 minutes max), because rejection is part of life and thickens your skin.
Ultimately, those who interviewed you know what type of person they’re looking for to fill the position, and may not have thought you were totally suited or experienced enough for the job. Or maybe the internship went to someone who is connected to another employee at the company. Or maybe you just had an off-day and didn’t blow them away like you thought you did. Maybe they didn’t like something minor about you that you can’t change.
On one of the interviews I went on, the interviewer gave me the once-over, and from that moment on, she treated me with nothing but disrespect, gave me attitude, and belittled anything I said (not really the best method when magazines are taking a ton of heat for the way they treat interns). I’m not sure what about me she didn’t like, but she just wasn’t into me from the moment I walked through the door. I (unexpectedly) ended up getting the offer, but at that point, I left feeling defeated and upset, and went into my next interview a bit shaken up. It happens.
You can’t try to make everyone love you, especially on a 20 minute interview. Certain things just aren’t meant to be, and all you can do is try your best and give it your all. Don’t let an interviewer with an attitude or a rejection letter shake your confidence. You never know – you could end up somewhere ten times more suited to both your career goals and personality.
I read an interesting blog post on the Intern Queen blog in which a potential intern was turned down from a position. Instead of simply thanking them for the opportunity and moving on, she asked why she hadn’t been received the offer, hoping for constructive criticism. She ended up being offered a spot in another department, which isn’t always the case, but asking for constructive criticism is an interesting idea that will not only help you learn what aspects of your interview you can improve on, but will show your willingness to learn and grow, as well as show the interviewer your drive.
No matter what you decide to do when you’ve been rejected, remember that it’s not the end of the world.
Have you ever been turned down for an internship position? How did you deal with it? Let us know in a comment!