“I am sorry to inform you that your application to our bank has been rejected. I give you my best wishes for your future endeavours.” This is not something new for job applicants at any level, however, it might have an even bigger impact on younger professionals, who might feel insulted or even belittled.
Ideally, every job seeker wants to receive multiple offers from his/her dream employers, but in real life this is a very unlikely scenario. Even graduating from a famous university, doesn’t guarantee you success.
We all face different setbacks and criticisms from our interviewers. But this is ok, as long as you learn from your mistakes. Let me give you two examples. The renowned former hedge fund manager Jim Cramer, who graduated from Harvard Law School, has spoken publicly about his uneasy first attempts to break into the finance world. His persistence finally got him an offer from Goldman Sachs.
At the other end of the scale, a math guru buddy of mine, who also went to an Ivy League college in the US, told me he had more than 100 interviews before landing a position in market risk.
Find out why you were rejected
Interviewers have many qualified candidates to short list, especially at large investment banks, which have many HR people to sort out the right candidate groups. I think every job seeker has the right to know which stage of the process they are being eliminated at, and the reason behind the rejection.
It is vital to write a thank you letter after each interview and to seek comment. Feedback is a good way for you to self evaluate. Unlike in my early job searches, I am now more aware of the importance of people skill, and thus I have learnt to communicate more effectively thanks to my past mistakes.
But don’t whinge about your rejection
In many cases, you will face a series of unpleasant and unsuccessful attempts during your job hunting, but don’t lose your cool. The financial services world is very small and everyone knows each other well. You might be a rejected candidate this time, but your interviewer might be your boss, colleague or client tomorrow.
For example, in one of my own failed interviews, the interviewer subsequently became my sell-side researcher for the mining industry. So don’t let your emotions overcome you if you are rejected.
Mobility and connections in this sector are unbelievably close. An inappropriate phone call or e-mail can easily ruin your career by damaging your relationships and reputation.
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