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Pupillage and dealing with rejections...

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    Hey all,

    Most of you wannabe barristers will undoubtedly be glued to the stickied Pupillage thread above. However, I wanted to pick your brains about how you deal with rejection, at any stage in the process. It's the second time around for me, and I'm having one disastrous interview after another. The feelings of inadequacy are setting in hard. What do you all do to keep negativity at bay?

    Broadly speaking the way to deal with rejection is to concentrate on the positives and not the negatives. In the context of pupillage applications that means, in part, establishing what those rejections can tell you about your application generally, and in turn how to improve it. If, like most people, you do not secure pupillage almost immediately on beginning your applications, your focus should be on consistent improvement not only in your written application but in your viability as a candidate and a potential barrister. Rejections can help with that process, but when they cannot your focus should be back on that progression.

    I know that sounds woolly, so I'll use your post as an example. You mention that you're having one disastrous interview after another. The immediate positive to take from that is that you're getting interviews. Many people do not. Clearly your paper application is strong enough to secure interviews, which suggests that you have, in fact, cleared one of the more significant hurdles in securing pupillage. That is something that you should be proud of and feel positive about.

    Beyond that, the strong language that you're using to describe your interviews could well be helpful. You're not coming out of pupillage interviews full of hope and then getting hit with rejection; you actively describe these interviews as 'disastrous'. What makes them disastrous? Is this something that you feel while you're in the interviews, something that you establish after getting feedback, or a combination of the two? If you actually have an idea as to why you're failing in these interviews, that suggests that it's something that can be remedied.

    Thanks for the comprehensive input. The concerns I have arise during the interview, and amplify after the interview is finished.

    I suppose that whilst I have my own views on why I feel interviews are going badly, I won't be able to confirm whether or not those views are accurate until I receive feedback. And unfortunately, my requests for feedback are currently being ignored by the Chambers I interviewed with.

    As Jamie, plus think of the whole interview / application thing as a numbers game. I have to go to eg 50 to get taken on. Then, each one you attend gets you nearer your goal. Good, that's another down only 40 to go!

    I'm not on the Pupillage side but I am on the TC side on my second lot of applications. I've received my fair share of rejection and I think it's important to remember that it's okay to feel upset/disappointed. That means that this obviously means something to you and you're doing what you're meant to be doing.

    I always take the opportunity for feedback, even if it means sending a few emails to get it. I look for the positives in the feedback. For example, one firm recently told me my CV was very attractive and they couldn't fault it. My CV can sometimes be the only thing people have to go off. Another firm said I was very personable and they really liked my personality in the interview. Then I deal with the negatives. What can I do to improve on that area or what can I do not to make that mistake again? I find the best thing to do is to throw myself into more opportunities. The "No's" I've had I haven't taken as a flat out no, I've taken it as a no this time. Next time maybe I'll get it.

    Let yourself feel a bit crappy for a bit after your rejection, then make a plan of action. Always seek feedback and eventually you'll get there.
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