How to react to a job rejection

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Assuming you wouldn’t apply for a job that you really don’t like, you look forward to an invitation for a job interview and once you get that invitation you get excited for the interview. Even though sometimes you make the decision yourself not to continue in the process after a job interview, most of the times you get rejected by the company while you already pictured yourself working there.

Everyone goes through at least one job rejection. Everybody is different and expresses their feeling differently, so this blog doesn’t go too much into depth on the emotional part of the job rejection, but more into how to use this rejection to become successful in your next job interview.

First of all, deal with whatever emotion comes up. It might be sadness, anger or frustration; whatever it is allow yourself a chance to let it out. It’s completely normal that you feel negative or unpleasant emotions. However it is also important to recognise that you can’t continue with job applications and interviews if you’re not in your best state of mind, so try to be productive to maintain positive momentum.

Once you’re beyond it and cleared your mind it’s time to find a way to turn this rejection into a learning opportunity.

Follow-up with the company

If the hiring manager didn’t explain to you why you got the job when giving you the bad news, it’s worthwhile following up on that. It can be by sending them a “thank you for giving me this opportunity” message or call and saying you felt really confident during the process and you would like to know what the essential points where of choosing another candidate over you. Especially when you were one out of two candidates left in the process, there is a big chance they are willing to give you feedback on your interview.

When following up with the company, it is most important to stay friendly and professional. Even though at this stage you don’t agree with the decision they made, there might be future opportunities for you with this company.  If the chosen candidate ends up not working out, the company might call you. They might also keep you in mind if they have other job opportunities down the road.

Don’t close any doors; if you lose yourself you lose any opportunity in the future.

Follow-up with yourself

Whether you got feedback back from the hiring manager or not, it’s good to look critical at your own behaviour during the interview. So try to put yourself in the position of the hiring manager and analyse how they perceived you and how they weighted up the pros and cons of employing you.

  • What questions did they asked and how did I answer?
  • How was my physical expression during the interview?
  • Which specific skills were they looking for and did I actually make it really clear that I possess them?
  • How did I feel and how did I react when they told me about the company, my role, my supervisors/managers? Did I really like it all and was that also what I showed them?

Maybe you had second thoughts when you finally saw the company and your future colleagues. Try to be honest towards yourself. The hiring manager might have picked up on some hesitation even before you realised this wasn’t what you’re after.

By looking at yourself through the eyes of the hiring manager you might find out that there were things during that last job interview you could be extra aware of during your next interview.

The world is full of opportunities

If you understand why you didn’t get the job, you hopefully know how to tackle those points before you have your next job interview, so you don’t make the same mistakes again

If the company that rejected you is your absolute dream company than make sure you don’t miss out on any other opportunity there. Don’t stalk the hiring managers, but connect with the company on social media for example, or follow their blogs and leave relevant comments

In the end (and this might be harder after getting rejected for the fifteenth time then being rejected for the first time), keep in mind that there are so many companies and so many job openings. If this wasn’t the one, keep believing that there is another dream job waiting for you.

Whatever happens, we never give up in helping you find your dream job and kick-start your dream career!