How to Handle Job Rejection, with Añuli Ola-Olaniyi

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Transcript

Find Your Dream Job, Episode 143:

How to Handle Job Rejection, with Añuli Ola-Olaniyi

Airdate: June 13, 2018

Mac Prichard:

Hi, this is Mac of Mac’s List. Find Your Dream Job is presented by Mac’s List, an online community where you can find free resources for your job search, plus online courses and books that help you advance your career. My latest book is called Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. It’s a reference guide for your career that covers all aspects of the job search, including expert advice in every chapter. You can get the first chapter for free by visiting macslist.org/anywhere.

Ben Forstag:

This is Find Your Dream Job; the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.  I’m Ben Forstag, managing director of Mac’s List.

You’re probably wondering what’s happened to your usual host, Mac Prichard. Unfortunately, he is feeling under the weather, so I’m temporarily filling in today. Mac will be back with us in a few weeks.

Today I’m joined by my colleagues, Becky Thomas and Jessica Black, from the Mac’s List team.

This week, we’re talking about how to handle job rejection.

Anyone who has gone through a job search can tell you that rejection is par for the course. If you apply for 10 jobs, you’re probably going to be rejected for 9 of them. Failure is, unfortunately, the norm. This is true for even the most skilled professionals. Even perfect candidates can lose out on a job because of something outside of their control.

One of the keys to a successful job search is to maintain positivity and perspective in the face of rejection. Of course, this is easier said than done! This week we’re joined by author and career coach Añuli Ola-Olaniyi. She’s actually our first African female guest on the show. Thank you Añuli. She’ll explain how to manage failure in your job search and turn rejection into a learning opportunity.  We’ll speak with Añuli in a few minutes.

One group of people who, perhaps, face job search rejection more than most are older workers. We talk about ageism a lot on this show and have discussed why some employers shy away from older candidates. Becky shares some research from Columbia University on the benefits of hiring older professionals. So if you’re an employer out there, listen up!

Our listener question this week comes from Kendra in Walla Walla, Washington who asks whether she should cover her tattoos in an interview. Jessica spills the ink later on in the show.

At first, as always, let’s check in with the Mac’s List team.

Becky and Jessica, we’re getting the band back together.

Jessica Black:

That’s great.

Becky Thomas:

Welcome back Ben.

Ben Forstag:

Every week Becky searches the nooks and crannies of the Internet. They call her the English Muffin Lady. She looks for websites, books and tools that you can use in your job search and your career. Becky, what have you found for us this week?

Becky Thomas:

This week I have a combo article and e-book called 10 Advantages of Retaining and Hiring Older Workers: Lessons from NYC Small Businesses. This is from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. It’s this initiative called Age Smart Employer. It’s all about educating employers about why older workers are helpful and all the benefits that having an age diverse workforce can be.

The article shares a bunch of anecdotes from dozens of small business owners in New York City who have all hired and retained older workers. These stories highlight what it’s really like to have older workers on staff and it shows the positive aspects of hiring and retaining older workers. It also elevates 10 distinct advantages of having an older workforce that are nailed down in this attached PDF ebook, that you can download for free.

Some of the advantages include:

– Older workers bring extensive skills and experience, which is kind of a no-brainer.

– Seasoned employees can retain valuable business info and train new employees.

– Strong work ethic.

I read something about how older workers can actually improve business. They can bring in more older customers. There were a couple anecdotes from businesses like delis in New York who rely heavily on tourists and eighty percent of tourists are over the age of fifty. Those tourists really loved having older workers wait on them and serve them and they kept coming back to work with those folks.

I just feel like this resource was really helpful and it was really written towards employers to convince an employer why they should hire older but it’s also a wonderful piece for an older worker who’s looking for a job right now. The stories can help you rethink your perceived disadvantages. I know we talk a lot about how there is so much negative stuff out there against older workers but there’s also so many great things about hiring older workers. I think that if you, as an older worker, know that and think about that, and convey that in the way you talk about yourself, that can help you reframe your career story in a more positive light.

I think this is really just a feel good, positive thing but it’s also based on some real stories that are really powerful. I would definitely encourage any older workers and any employers who are thinking about bringing more diversity to their workforce in terms of age, should definitely check it out.

Ben Forstag:

I really like this resource. I think older job seekers can use this to think about those additional soft skills that they bring to an organization and reframe the value that they are presenting when they’re applying for jobs.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, like, “I know you may not have thought of this, but as an older worker, here’s the advantages I bring to your business.”

Ben Forstag:

Absolutely.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, I really like it too just because I think that the more stories about how people are human and how every aspect of your life and your career, and your background, and all of those things are beneficial. The more things that there are like that, the better it is. It just helps both job seekers, but also employers to get a better understanding of the benefits and seeing people as human rather than just a body, or an age, or a number of work experience, whatever it is.

I liked your anecdote about the older patrons, identifying with older workers serving them because I think it goes back to that representation of seeing yourself in those scenarios. It’s good. I liked that a lot, thanks.

Ben Forstag:

Thank you, Becky. If you, our listeners have a suggestion for Becky, please write her and we will share your idea on our show. Becky can be reached at becky@macslist.org.

Now, it’s time to hear from you, our listeners. Jessica joins us to answer one of your questions. What do we have in the mailbag this week, Jessica?

Jessica Black:

This week we have a question from Kendra in Walla Walla. She sent in an email question and she says:

 

“I’m about to graduate from college and I need to find a job, A.S.A.P. My question is about the interview process. I’ve got several visible tattoos on my arms. Nothing offensive–but I show a lot of ink. Is this going to be held against me in an interview? Do I really need to cover my arms? I’m not really excited about working for a company or a boss that would have an issue with my body art, but I also don’t want to ruin my chances before I even open my mouth.”

 

This is a great question. I think Kendra’s point  about not wanting to work for an organization that has an issue with her body art – and thus her, an issue with her – is spot on. I really agree with this statement overall. Also, her statement about not wanting to ruin her chances.

 

We are based here in Portland, Oregon, where it’s probably a lot less of an issue.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Tattoo capital of the world.

 

Jessica Black:

 

Or pretty close, if it’s not. There is definitely a lot of visible body ink in Portland. I know it varies by industry. Obviously, finance is still pretty conservative in wearing suits and things like that, but overall, it’s a very casual environment, especially in the workplace.

 

I feel a little bit conflicted on what advice to give because I feel like on one hand, I want to say, “No, do you. Be authentic and wear what you would normally wear to an interview, whether it covers your arms or not.” But on the opposite hand, I would also want to urge Kendra to broach this topic over the course of the interview process rather than right up front. Because like she says, she doesn’t want to ruin her chances before she even opens her mouth, and I do think that that is a very valid point. I encourage her not to do that either.

 

Implicit bias is a thing and even if an employer is supportive of body art, or liberal in their thinking, whatever it is, they may still make a snap judgement about you based on whatever bias they might have or the ingrained assumption that you dress up for an interview and you put your best foot forward.

 

I would also say don’t cover it up or hide it but you just want to put your best foot forward to allow your experience to speak for you, rather than your body to give an impression that you’re not ready to give.

 

I would also use the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. I guess my feedback here is that I would encourage Kendra to go into the interview process, again, not covering it but maybe dressing a little bit more conservatively than you might otherwise. You want to be able to have that experience to uncover this over the course of the interview process rather than all up front as you walk in the door and someone makes a snap judgment.

 

I would use the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview to bring this topic up, or even at the end of the second interview if that feels better. I would feel out the situation to make sure that you’re bringing it up at the right time based on the relationship that you have with this hiring manager.

Take that opportunity to let the employer know at the end of the interview or during this interview process that you do have body art and that you’d like to find the right fit where you are free to wear what you feel comfortable in and just have a conversation with the employer about how they feel about body art. This way the conversation is on your terms, after the person has already gotten to know you, rather than just as you walked through the door.

 

The last thing I would say is that it is still pretty normal to go to interviews, even in Portland, dressed up. Even though that’s not an expectation a lot of times, to wear a blazer, or a suit, or whatever it is, on a day-to-day, but it’s still pretty normal to do that in the interview process. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary or obvious that you’re hiding something if you show up with a blazer or long sleeves. Again, do what feels most comfortable for you, but I would ease into that conversation.   

 

What do you guys think?

 

Becky Thomas:

 

Yeah, I agree with most of that. I think that my instinct is to always be like, “Be yourself. Don’t hide anything.”

 

Jessica Black:

 

Totally. That’s why I had such an internal struggle of wanting to be like, “No, you gotta know that right away.” But at the same time, there’s a lot of other things.

 

Becky Thomas:

 

I think it also depends on the season for women going into interviews. If you have full-on long sleeves, to the wrist, during the summer in an interview, it could be, “Why are you so overdressed?”

 

Jessica Black:

 

Do you think so?

 

Becky Thomas:

 

I don’t know.

 

Jessica Black:

 

Because I was thinking about that too, I was thinking about how we’re moving into the summer months and it would be harder, but I also think that most places have air conditioning and you would show up with something that’s not like a full on parka or jacket but you could have a blouse that has long sleeves.

 

Becky Thomas:

 

True.

 

Jessica Black:

 

I definitely had that same thought where…I personally would still wear short sleeves in the summer but I would have a jacket as well.

 

Becky Thomas:

 

Maybe that could be the strategy. Go in with your jacket on, have the interview, then whip the jacket off, and be like, “Do you still like me with my tattoos?”

 

Jessica Black:

 

That’s a pretty bold move.

 

Becky Thomas:

 

I do like what you said about going into that first interview and really focusing on your presentation and how you speak and not having your body speak for you. I agree, I would definitely support that, have that interview then bring up the topic of dress code, and any limitations to personal expression or things like that. I think people deal with that with hair dye, and piercings, and all of that stuff, too. It definitely depends on what industry she’s in too. Just feel it out.

 

Jessica Black:

 

I think so, too.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Yeah, playing off that, I think the key to Kendra’s question is, “Is this going to be a problem for me in interviews?” The answer is, in some companies, yes, and in other companies, no. You can probably get a pretty good feel for what the internal culture and expectation is if you do a little LinkedIn research, figure out what the rest of the staff look like. If you go to their staff page and there’s a bunch of people with pink and green hair, then some ink is probably okay. If it’s a bunch of stuffy guys wearing suits, that tells you something else.

 

You have to weigh the options between complete self-expression and putting “Your best foot forward” and presenting yourself in a very conservative way, then rolling out your personality later.

 

Jessica Black:

 

Yeah, and I don’t even think that you have to reign in or put on a false sense of identity; you still should be one hundred percent authentic and be you in the interview, but just start out wearing long sleeves and then have that conversation. Unless you feel strongly. This is again, up to you Kendra. If you do want to find that right fit where they’re going to support you one hundred percent no matter what, then maybe the best move is to dress however you would normally dress and then you’ll find the right fit eventually.

 

Again, tough question, it could go either way. Good luck and let us know how it goes. I think it’ll work out well.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Well, thank you, Jessica, If you have a question, send her an email at jessica@macslist.org. You can also call our listener line, which is 716-JOB-TALK, or send us a message on Facebook.

 

If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. Kendra, your copy is on its way to the onion fields of Walla Walla right now.

 

We’ll be back in just a moment. When we return, I’ll talk with our guest, Añuli Ola-Olaniyi about How to Handle Job Rejection.

 

Have you ever been asked a question like this in a job interview?

“Tell me about a time when you didn’t agree with your boss.”

That’s a tough one, right? What would you say?

This is what hiring managers call a behavioral interview question. And it’s a common tactic.

Employers use this kind of question to explore your fit for a job based on your past experience. It can also be an easy question to answer. But you have to have the right strategy.

Mac shares his tips for how to answer these “gotcha” questions in his new guide, 100 Behavioral Interview Questions You Need To Know. This free resource teaches you a simple four-step process for expertly answering the most common behavioral questions.

To get your copy, visit macslist.org/questions.

Now, let’s continue with our show.

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi is the founder of HEIR.com.ng, a social enterprise created to help young women build capacity and learn career skills.

 

Añuli hosts the Hire Me Bootcamp, a training platform for millennials. She is certified in product management, HR, and digital skills. She regularly speaks, facilitates and writes about jobs and careers.

 

Añuli joins us today from Abuja, Nigeria.

 

Hi Añuli, thanks for joining us today!

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Hello, hello everyone. Thank you so much for having me.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Añuli, our topic this week is how to handle rejection when you don’t get chosen for a job. I thought that a good place to start this conversation would be by asking you a personal question. Thinking back on your own career, how often have you faced rejection in your own job searches?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

A lot of times. A lot of times, and some of them were not pleasant, I must admit, at the end of the interview, I felt like, “Okay, I didn’t do too well there.” But yeah, I have faced rejection a couple of times, yes. The rejection comes from not just the jobs, you know? Relationships, contracts, businesses, but I know ???? so yes, I’ve had this so many times come to me. It’s painful, to say the least.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Yes, I think you’re in good company because I think encountering failure in a job search, unfortunately, is the norm. I think that everyone sitting here in this office definitely, but also people listening, have experienced some kind of failure in their job search. That job you really really wanted, that job you’re perfect for, when you don’t get the interview, or you get the interview and you mess it up. It’s tough.

 

How do you suggest people manage the anger and frustration they feel when they get rejected for a job?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Thank you for that question. One of the things that I would advise is that you talk about it. Before going into the interview, you would have prepared yourself, spoken to a friend, or an expert, or a partner, about job description, the interview, going forward, even had a role play. But when you get out of the interview, or a couple of days later you hear a negative response, just talk about it. It’s good to find somebody who you trust, or who understands you, and just air your frustrations out to the person. The reality is that rejection hurts, and any form of this can be a dent to your image, a dent to your self esteem.

If you’re able to find somebody you can express your emotions to, that would really help.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

That could be tough, because, you know, when you lose out on an opportunity, especially one you think you’re great for, that’s embarrassing. I know a lot of people don’t like to talk about their failure, but talking about it can really help, can’t it?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Yes, it can, and that’s why I think that talking about it with someone you trust, and somebody that knows you, somebody who understands the process as well, will be helpful. At least you’re not going to be getting as much criticisms at that point in time. That person is a shoulder to cry on, if you know what I mean. I think it’s really important at this point in time to share how the rejection actually made you feel. Getting over that particular feeling is a good step to coming out of that phase.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Yeah, I think this underlines the importance of having a support network, whether it’s your spouse, or friends, or just people you know and trust, maybe even a job coach. People who you can use to navigate what is a very difficult process of the job search.

 

I have a tricky question for you, Añuli. Do you think there’s a way to prepare yourself ahead of time for rejection? Because we know, a lot of times, going into that job search, rejection is going to be probably the most likely outcome. If you apply to ten jobs, nine of them you might get rejected from. Is there a way to steel yourself ahead of time for that?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Nobody plans to be rejected. I don’t think there is a way. I think I would rather we remain positive and optimistic about it. Anticipating failure, when you go into an interview, I think is going to affect your confidence and your self esteem. I wouldn’t advocate that anybody go anticipating, “Just in case I fail”, but I would rather you think, “Hang on. I’m going to do really well on this, if I don’t do well, better luck next time.” “Their loss”, or “This gives me time to develop in another area”, or something. I think that thinking about how better you will be after the interview rejection is where I would rather we be leaning to.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

I stand corrected. I think you’re absolutely right. I think only going in with a positive approach is best. I wonder, because again, being told, “No”, or never hearing back from the employer happens so often, just thinking through strategies to help people manage what we know is a very common occurrence in the job search.

 

But let’s transition here and I was thinking we could talk a little bit about how failure could improve your job search strategy over time. Could you talk a little bit more about what job seekers could learn from failure?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Absolutely. The funny thing is, I know that I have developed and learned through rejections and it sounds crazy to say but it’s the truth. For me, developing from every rejection phase, it helps you find out what was missing. You are much better than what you were at the beginning of the interview, and even afterwards. You do your best to just ensure that you have learned something after the job interview. They ask you about the company, you had no clue what it was; after that interview, if you are going to another interview, you will know more about the company. If there was something about the job description, or the person specification, that you weren’t really clear about at that particular interview, and after the interview, it’s time for you to go back and do the proper research on what the key skills are that are required for the job you’re applying for.

I find that sometimes, a lot of us don’t want to be very evaluated ourselves. I think it’s important to evaluate yourself and be honest about the interview process. Just be really honest and say, “Listen, I didn’t do well here. I didn’t answer these questions correctly, or I didn’t say that.” That’s a way for you to go back and learn. That’s the best way for you to learn.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

In your experience, do most job seekers know where they went off the rails in an interview? Do they have some sense of, “Oh. I didn’t answer that question the way I should have.”

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

I think so. I think that if you want to be really honest with yourself. Not all the time. One thing I find very interesting, I could prepare very well for an interview, go in and answer the questions and in my opinion, I’ve faced everything, right? I get a rejection and I’m thinking, “Hang on a second, what happened?” If, at that point in time, I get the feedback and nothing went wrong, it just meant that I probably wasn’t the right fit at the time. Maybe it had nothing to do with the job description, nothing to do with the piece skills, maybe my timing, maybe something.

 

I just want everyone to understand that just because you were rejected at that point in time doesn’t mean that you are a failure, it’s just that at that point in time, what the company was probably trying to look for, maybe a click or something, it didn’t work at that time.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Absolutely. You know we’ve said this earlier in the program, that even absolutely perfect candidates, people who have all the right skills and qualities the employer needs, they can still miss out on a job because there are so many other variables at play here. People making decisions, maybe the hiring manager, the boss of the company is inserting their voice and their special needs on to the hiring process. So many things go on that you can’t take failure and say, “It was about me”, necessarily.

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Yes, I definitely agree with you. Just to focus on a little bit on where I am at the moment, Nigeria…some people complain about that maybe they intimidated the recruiter. One thing I’m looking at doing is insuring that the talent management in this country is that the recruitment strategies are much better. You can actually go in, like you said, everything is on point, and then the hiring manager will just turn around and not hire you. Most of the time, people complain that the hiring manager was probably intimidated by your qualifications or thinks, “Oh my gosh you’re coming in to take my job. No way.” It happens over here, so it could be a reason.

 

Never ever feel like, if everything is on the table, everything, you answered all the questions well, if you don’t get the job, then it probably wasn’t for you. Okay, so you just move on.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Absolutely. Añuli, I think that Nigeria and the United States are very similar in that sense. Hiring managers are people too, and they come in with their own sets of beliefs, biases, and fears, and worries, and things like that. Those things all play into the selection process for good or ill.

 

We talked a little bit about when the job seeker knows when they messed up in an interview. What about when you had this interview that seemed to go perfectly well, you don’t see any mistake that you made, but you don’t get the job. Do you recommend that people go and ask for feedback from that hiring manager?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Absolutely, and I have faced that issue as well actually. Everything is done, and at that point in time I don’t feel bad, but not all organizations are actually… well…have an excellent process of giving feedback. I wish it would really change. I wish that organizations would actually make sure that, “You didn’t do well here, this is constructive criticism.” It doesn’t happen as often.

 

I would still tell candidates, “Just send an email in and try to get one or two comments about why you weren’t chosen.” I feel like, I was talking to some recruiters, and how they feel when candidates call in to ask for feedback. Some feel like, “Why are they asking if they didn’t get the job anyway? I feel like they are too forward. They are trying to be arrogant. They didn’t get the job.” That shouldn’t be how it should be because the impression is that you, as the recruiter, have a reason why you didn’t hire them. Just give them feedback, for crying out loud.

 

Just to summarize the answer, please candidates, write in, call in, find out, get a statement back. Get them to tell you something, a reason they didn’t hire you. Not because you’re trying to be mad at them or anything, you just want to ensure that if an opportunity comes up like this next time, you’ll be better ready to attend the interview and hopefully land the job.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

You’ve identified another area where both of our countries are very similar. I know a lot of hiring managers and recruiters are reticent to send feedback back to candidates. Number one, because sometimes there’s a policy against it, two because it can sometimes feel uncomfortable to say, “Here’s where you messed up, here’s where you could do better.” The recommendation that we make to job seekers is always frame the question to the hiring manager, “What areas could I strengthen to find a position like this in the future?” If you frame this positive instead of, “Where did I mess up? What did I do wrong?”, it gives the other person a lot more opportunity to offer constructive, positive thoughts in return.

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Absolutely, I agree with you. The way we communicate is very essential. That’s why I was saying in Nigeria, the recruiters say, “You came off a bit arrogant. Why are you asking me that kind of question?” What I do is also tell them to ask nicely, “I want to do better. I want to develop. I want to learn more. How can I do this better?” If you don’t get the feedback, okay, just move on. You’ll be alright.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Absolutely. I was reading a blog post you wrote on your website and you mentioned something about the importance of developing more with each rejection phase. Could you talk a little bit about what that means?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Okay,1 so what I mean by that is, when you have an interview and you don’t get the position, you go away and ensure that you know more. For example, if you had been asked a couple questions, and you did a self-evaluation after the interview, you would understand that, “I didn’t actually know that”, or, “I didn’t know this. I could understand this better.” Just take your notes, go away, study, read, do your research, and you can know a bit more, or better than when you had the interview. That’s what I mean by that statement.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

So treat every experience like a learning opportunity.

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Absolutely, you know somebody once said, I don’t know who said it, but I always use this quote, “The greatest room in the whole world is your room for improvement.” So treat every opportunity as a time for you to learn something new, be better at doing something as well.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Absolutely. Añuli, obviously rejection feels awful and most people want to avoid it. What’s the best advice you have for job seekers to maximize the probability of success in an interview?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

My advice would be, as long as you can, prepare as much as you can, but do your best to go in as confident as possible. Do your research, of course, make sure you know about the company. I’m big on interview wardrobe, I’m so big on that. Find out what the appropriate outfit is for the position you are being interviewed for. ensure you have the job description and personal specifications if you can and read about the company.

 

Then find out where you actually fit in that role. Find out if there’s any additional things you can actually do with your experiences, your skills, your abilities into the job in questions. Prepare very well, just to know your base questions. Try to ensure that you are leaving that person who interviewed you thinking about only you, only you on their mind.

 

Do what you can, prepare really well. You can’t say enough about preparation, can you? Then make sure you smile. I love smiling, I know you can’t see my face, I smile alot. Just keep on smiling.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

I can hear your smile right now, all the way over here.

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Don’t rumble. Please, I always say something to candidates, “If you do not understand the question, please ask them to repeat that question for me please.” Don’t assume you understand what they’re saying, ask them. If you need to write it down, “Can I write the question down?” Write the question down. Don’t be in a hurry to answer any questions in the interview time because you need to get them right. That’s what I would say.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

To recap here, it’s research the company, show up in the appropriate wardrobe for an interview, make sure you understand the questions, and understand the role that you’re interviewing for, and smile. That’s the most important one right? Smiling?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Yes it is. Smile.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Well this is great Añuli, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Tell me, what are you working on for the rest of this year?

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Thank you so much. Yes, so I am working on a little project. It’s an internship opportunity for young adults between the ages of 14-18. Summer is around the corner, and what I’m looking to do with a friend of mine, who also runs an academy, is to get these adults into a professional work environment and get them to learn what it means to be in a career environment. Show them time management, professionality, and we’re going to cross different industries. It’s really an internship to ensure that we build and get them to understand or start thinking about their career early on. Let them understand what it means to actually get a job and work. In Nigeria, a lot of people may just want to stay home and goof off, which is really okay, but those who want to learn more, we give them the opportunity to do that. That’s what I’m working on next.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

That’s fantastic, Añuli. If people want to learn more about you, they can visit your website. It’s heir.com.ng. They can also go to your Twitter account, that’s heirwoman. Thank you so much for joining us today Añuli.

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Thank you so much. You can Twitter me as well, Anuli Ola-Olaniyi.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Oh great. We’ll include your other Twitter account as well.

 

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi:

 

Thank you so much for speaking to me today, I really enjoyed it, thank you.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

It was our pleasure, thank you.

 

We’re back in the studio with Becky and Jessica. Tell me team, what did you think of the points that Añuli made?

 

Becky Thomas:

 

I really liked how she kept going back to the need for support and having people to talk to. I think that it is really common and easy to fall into that trap of thinking, “Oh I’m the only one who’s failing here. I’m the only one who’s getting rejected. I don’t want to bother anyone with my problems.” I think that if you bottle it up, you’re not going to learn from it. If you talk about it and work through it with people you trust, they’re going to give you those lessons you can take and move forward with. I think that was really a good point for me.

 

Jessica Black:

 

Yeah, me too. That really resonated with me also. Not just the support system, which obviously is very important, but just the fact of talking about it because I think we get so caught up in, “Bottle it up, move on, keep your head down and just keep working towards it. Don’t stop to dwell on it. Don’t stop until you are successful in that.” I think that her focus on stopping and talking about it, but also thinking about it, just sitting with that and knowing that it’s okay that it didn’t workout. Learning what you can take away from that experience to help yourself get better in the next ones.

 

I really liked her focus on that as well, every opportunity is a learning opportunity. Or that you can learn something from every portion. Whether that is reaching out to the hiring manager or if it’s just self processing, going through and feeling which question you could have done better on, what question you had never gotten before that now you know the answer to. Also, being able to decide if, at the end of that interview, having that processing rather than being so caught up in not getting that job, but having the self-reflection to ask, “Did I even want that job? What is my next step to find a job that I want?”

 

Becky Thomas:

 

She was saying, think about it like that wasn’t meant to be. Here’s what I can learn from it, instead of being like, “Oh, I was going to get that job, it was going to be so perfect.” It probably wasn’t your job.

 

Jessica Black:

 

That’s right.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

I liked her point about reaching back out to hiring manager and asking for feedback.

 

Jessica Black:

 

Yeah, that’s huge.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Because in my experience, most hiring managers are really nice people and they want candidates to succeed. There’s little things that can be improved with every interview, and as long as you’re not putting them on the spot to explain their own decision making as to why they picked another candidate over you, if you frame it in terms of,  “What can I do better?” I think a lot of people are going to write back and give you a lot of good feedback on that.

 

Jessica Black:

 

Yeah, and I liked her focus on just staying optimistic, and being resilient but also going into it every time with the belief that you’re going to get that job, and being prepared. She was great, she had so many good pieces of advice.

 

Ben Forstag:

 

Touche, don’t expect failure.

 

Jessica Black:

 

That’s right.

 

Becky Thomas:

 

Yeah I know, you were like, “What should you do to prepare for it?” She was like, “Don’t. Don’t prepare for failure. Prepare for success.”

 

Ben Forstag:

 

That’s great.

 

Well, thank you, Añuli and thank you, to our listeners, for downloading today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job.

 

Remember, to maximize your opportunities, to avoid that rejection, and land the job you want, don’t let yourself get surprised by a tough behavioral interview questions. These are what Añuli calls situational questions. We’ve got this great resource here on Mac’s List, it’s the 100 Behavioral Interview Questions You Need to Know. You can get your own copy if you go to macslist.org/questions.

 

Join us next Wednesday when our special guest will be Christine LaPorte. She’ll explain the truth about job Postings.

 

Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job!

 

Anyone who has gone through a job search can tell you that rejection is par for the course. Even the most skilled professionals have failed more than once. And even perfect candidates can lose out on a job because of something outside of their control.

One of the keys to a successful job search is to maintain positivity and perspective in the face of regular rejection. To do this, you need to be vulnerable, share your feelings, and lean on your support network to maintain your confidence and keep moving forward toward bigger and better things. On this episode of Find Your Dream Job, we welcomed our first African female guest, author and career coach Añuli Ola-Olaniyi! Añuli explains how to manage failure in your job search and turn rejection into a learning opportunity.

About Our Guest: Añuli Ola-Olaniyi

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi is the founder of HEIR, a social enterprise created to help young women build capacity and learn career skills. Añuli hosts the Hire Me Bootcamp, a training platform for millennials. She is certified in project management, HR, and digital skills. And she regularly speaks, facilitates and writes about jobs and careers.

Resources in this Episode:

  • Listener Question: New college grad Kendra wrote in from Walla Walla, Wash. to ask if she should hide her tattoos during job interviews.