How Should a Data Scientist Handle Interview Rejection?

5 Tips to Stay Positive and Land Your Ideal Job

When you’re searching for data scientist jobs, rejection is an unpleasant experience – especially if you felt the interview went well. So, you’re left wondering why you weren’t hired. You’ll probably feel frustrated, too, and deflated.

We approached Dr. Yang Cong, VP of Data Science for her thoughts on how to handle interview rejection. “Rejection is common to everyone. Stepping into an interview process is a success by itself. There are several upsides regardless of the outcome.

1. You get a better understanding of the hiring needs both on skillset and experience perspectives
2. Knowing what skills or areas you are lacking in and use the opportunity so you know where to improve, and you can secure your next opportunity
3. It’s an incredible opportunity to build relationships, expand your connections and network but also to get help and advice down the road.”

To ensure that your negative feelings are only temporary and don’t become baggage that you carry with you into future interviews, it’s important to handle rejection positively. These five tips will help you move forward with renewed confidence.

1.    Don’t Take Rejection Personally

It’s hard not to take a rejection personally. After all, when that rejection letter lands in your mailbox or the email pings into your inbox, it certainly feels personal.

No matter how well your interview went, and how well-matched you think you are to the data scientist role available, there are many factors that the hiring company must consider. There may have been another candidate with a slightly better skills fit. Perhaps there is an internal candidate who is already embedded into the corporate culture of the hiring company. It may be that your salary demand is a little too rich for their budget.

Rejection is rarely based solely on your performance at the interview. Learning to depersonalize a rejection is the first step in staying positive.

2.    Ask for Feedback

For many reasons, most companies send a standard rejection letter to unsuccessful candidates. Most unsuccessful candidates don’t ask for feedback. The last thing you want to do is hear where it all went wrong for you, right?

Here’s where you can mark yourself out as a candidate who the company should remember for future data science posts. Don’t move on blindly, like most unsuccessful candidates. Send a follow-up email and politely ask for feedback. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate your professionalism and interest in working for the hiring company.

Our recruiters will follow up for you, asking for detailed feedback that you can use to revise interview technique if needed and to improve your job search.

3.    Take the Positives

Every interview is a learning experience, and one step closer to success in your search for your ideal data scientist job. After an interview, take a few minutes to think about the experience and note down positives from it.

For example, which questions did you find difficult to answer, and why? You’ll be better prepared for these in the future.

Consider the way in which the interviewer asked you questions, and how you answered them. Did they ask you to repeat your answers? If they did, what could you do differently next time to ensure clarity?

4.    Develop Your Skillset

Has the feedback you received highlighted any skills that you need to refresh or improve? If so, consider what you can do to gain the skillset you need to be offered a job at your next interview.

It may be that you are lacking in certain required technical skills. You may be able to improve these with a distance learning course in your own time. If interview technique is highlighted, practice with a third party and make sure that you prepare well for your next interview by taking on board the lessons from your last interview.

5.    Load, Lock, Fire

Load the positives into your job search. Finding a new data scientist job is a job in itself. Every application you make and every interview you attend is another step toward your goal. Stay positive and use your experiences to motivate you.

Lock onto your next application. Ensure that your skills and experience are matched with the role, and that your personality is matched to the hiring company’s culture.

Fire off your application, and prepare for success at your next interview. So, you were rejected at your last interview. It doesn’t matter. You’ve taken the steps to learn and grow. You’re more likely to be the ideal candidate next time.

Find Your Perfect Match

Finding your perfect match in a competitive jobs market is tough. At Kofi Group, we take time to understand you, your career aspirations, and how your work impacts your life. We call this ‘slowing down to speed up’ – because it’s this depth of knowledge about you and the companies that hire through us that enables us to find your perfect match faster. The first step is yours to take – submit your resume and one of our team will reach out to you within 24 to 48 hours.