It is always fascinating how people’s perceptions of success or failure can vary. This is often determined by how much somebody actually wanted the outcome at the beginning which can often cloud overall perspective.
There is commonly little acknowledgment of anything in the middle of these extremes, it’s win or lose, positive or negative, actual reward to no actual reward.
But what about progress? What about taking something from ‘the journey’ be that an interview process where you didn’t get the job, or a season in a sport when you didn’t win a title?
Success and failure may seem very black and white, but the fact is that you simply can’t win every time, and as much as some people don’t see it (or want to see it at the time) there is almost certainly (with a little perspective) positives than can come from a negative outcome.
Sport is naturally the perfect example of this. 32 teams compete in the NFL every season, there is only one Superbowl. 31 teams don’t fail every year. Most of these teams progress towards being a stronger contender next year, many of the learn of vulnerabilities and ways to improve, some realise what they thought was a winning formula, really wasn’t, and from this evolution, they strive to be better next year. Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, winning 6 NBA titles, he wasn’t a failure in the other 8 but took something from those winless season experiences to spur him onto doing better next time.
This is not too dissimilar to interviewing, where the luxury of feedback (I know sometimes it can literally be a luxury just to get it) can help to steer unsuccessful candidates to improve their approach, how to better construct their answers, how to improve their clarity, or to keep doing something that did really impress the interviewers. You might have a bad day and fluff your answers, it might be almost a coin toss at the end with you and another great candidate that doesn’t land on your side, either way, if you can take something from that experience to positively take forward to your next interview, then the outcome wasn’t an outright negative!
Everyone wants what they set out for, some more than others, but if you are prepared to take at least something from the experience that will help your evolution as a professional, even if the loss is a hard one to take, it will not be a failure!
As recruitment specialists, we have talked to many candidates over the years, coaching them for up-and-coming interviews to ensure they are prepared and passing on feedback (good and bad) from recent interviews and selection processes. Not every candidate gets placed with a client and we understand how difficult knockbacks can be. We ensure that we speak to every candidate following their interview, talking them through how it went and taking the positives out of their experience.
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