• Handling job rejection

  • After working hard to prepare for a job you really want, it can be disappointing to be told that you didn’t get the job. However, it’s important to remember, that it’s just as crucial for the employer to find the right fit as it is for you.  


    Try not to take it personally and let the rejection deter you from investing your time in the future. However difficult it may be, you should look back on the interview as a learning experience. 

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    Ask for detailed feedback


    The key is to learn from what you did during the interview process and as a result, understand what you can do differently next time, to improve future chances. Don’t shy away from asking for detailed feedback. Many interviewers or hiring managers don’t go into detail or provide specific examples. It’s important to ask for these so you can clearly understand what you need to do differently next time.

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    Review and reflect


    Once you have feedback from as many people as possible, take the time to reflect on how you approached the interview process. Here are some questions to help:  

    • Am I happy with my CV? Did it align to the job specification?
    • Did I research the company, vision and culture enough?
    • Did I ask the recruiter everything I wanted to know about the job and company?
    • Did I prepare enough before the interview, including drafting answers to common questions?
    • Did I share enough examples of how I met the job criteria during the interview?
    • Did I ask enough questions during the interview?
    • Did I send a follow-up email, thanking the interviewer for my time and expressing my interest?  

    This process will help you understand what did / didn’t go well, as well as identify areas for improvement.

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    Keep connections open


    If you feel you did well or you receive positive feedback, it’s always worth connecting with your interviewer, for example, on LinkedIn. Although you may not have been the best fit for this particular role, there may be other jobs you could consider in the future.


    Connecting with people you’ve engaged with during the interview process, whether it’s the recruiter, hiring manager or HR department will help you to build your professional network and ultimately gain access to further opportunities.

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    Refine your search


    Sometimes a job rejection can make you realise that on reflection, the role may not have been for you.


    It’s always good to look back on the role specification and ask yourself if you can see yourself doing the job. If there are elements that you realise you aren’t keen on, or perhaps they don’t excite you, then this may have been picked up by the interviewer.


    Use this information to help you refine your job search, whether that’s using different key words or looking for a different role with alternative responsibilities.

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    Celebrate the positives


    Every interview is a positive learning experience. The more interviews you do, the more confident and prepared you’ll feel. For each encounter, you will have a better sense of the type of information, examples and achievements the employer is looking for. You will also gain a clearer idea of the type of company you want to work for and how you can ensure it’s the right role for you and your lifestyle.


    Job rejections can be valuable lessons, helping you to identify strengths, weaknesses and reflect on past achievements in previous roles. Making it to the interview stage is an accomplishment in itself, so make sure you reward yourself for that!