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Maximize Failure

#becomeanidol #careeerpivot #careerchange #education #elearning #failure #feedback #idolcourses #impostersyndrome #instructionaldesigner #instructionaldesigntip Nov 04, 2020



Why do people always say you should bounce back from failure? 

Get back up on the horse.  
Get back on track. 
Get back in the game.

But I disagree. After defeat, we need to sit in our failure and soak in the growth and learning that can come from it. Otherwise the same failures will repeat. Your failure should reap a reward that helps you grow stronger and better. 

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” 
- Robert F. Kennedy

However, it is important to remember that failure is not final. While we may experience frustrating failure at regular intervals, failure does not mean the end of the road. In fact, it usually means you are at the beginning of something new.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 
- Winston Churchill

Failure is, in fact, good for us and our personal and professional growth.  It means you are pushing yourself to a limit. I equate it to working out. Anyone who has studied the way muscles work knows that we must tear our muscle tissue in order to build it back up. When you exert yourself in a hard workout, your muscles develop micro-tears. When these micro-tears begin to heal, that is when muscle growth occurs. 

Wait, what does this have to do with interviewing? 

Each failed interview is a micro-tear in our job search muscle. When we heal from each failed interview, we can become stronger if we don’t give up.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” 
- Janet Fitch

I have never met failure more full in the face than when I was interviewing for my first IDOL position. And even though the rejections sometimes were met with tears and disappointment, each time I gained confidence that I brought to the next interview.


Here are 5 ways that failed interviews can give you confidence:

Learn the top questions

Interview after interview. A barrage of questions. And many of them the same. During my interview process I wrote down every question asked me and studied it after each interview, analyzed my answers and practiced new ones. 

The fact is that many interviewers ask the same questions. So by writing them down and practicing my answers, I began to sound more seasoned and experienced with each interview.


Master your elevator pitch

Especially when talking to recruiters, your elevator pitch is key. It is what gets you the next interview and is your first impression on every call. The better you are at your elevator pitch, the more confident you sound. 

My first several calls I hemmed and hawed through my elevator pitch and didn’t know how to answer the most basic of questions. But once I practiced and got my answers down, my confidence grew and I sounded like someone who had been talking to recruiters my whole career.


Get motivated

It may sound counter-intuitive but each interview gave me increased confidence and motivation. Each time I got the rejection email or was ghosted, it made me motivated to apply more, practice more, do MORE to get hired. I started keeping track of each application on a Trello board. It helped me to know how many applications I had out there and who I had contact with. I sent follow-up emails to outstanding applications and thank you emails after interviews. By staying organized, I had a better grasp of what I was up against instead of stressing over the unknown.



Above all, with each interview, I improved. I made sure that if there was a question I struggled with, that I would never let it happen again. If I stumbled on my elevator pitch, I practiced it five times more. Plus, I kept adding to and improving my portfolio so that each interview showcased a better me.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” 
- Winston Churchill

Failure is Good and can help us if we only let it. Here are some tips for not letting failure prevail.

  1.  Let failure push you to be the best version of yourself by helping improve everything you present in the interview. 
  2.  Use each failure to be a growth opportunity instead of a disappointment. Now don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed. To the point of tears many times, but then I picked myself back up and sought improvement.


“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” 
- C.S. Lewis

More articles about overcoming failure:

Make Your Own Opportunities

Interview Like You Date

5 Strategies to Be Successful With Recruiters

Failure Builds Resilience

5 Ways Resilient People Use Failure To Their Advantage

Lessons on Success: 3 Reasons Why Failing is Good

Written by
: Kristi Oliva 

Kristi is a former teacher turned Instructional Designer and Developer. She is an alumna of IDOL courses Academy. Connect with her on LinkedIn.