How to respond positively when you don’t get the job
You’ve aced the application process, excelled in the interview and anxiously anticipated the all-important phone call – only to be rejected at the final hurdle. While it can be disheartening to find out that your dream role has been offered to another Candidate, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. You never know when a similar opportunity might crop up within the same company, whether your interviewer might recommend you to others or when an accepted offer may fall through for whatever reason.
With this in mind, it’s crucial that you maintain the professionalism you’ve shown throughout the hiring process and maximise any opportunities that arise from it.
Learn from the experience
Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer for feedback – you'll be in good company. An estimated 94% of Candidates are eager to know how they came across in the interview and with good reason. Even the most confident interviewee can learn from how they were perceived by the hiring manager.
Perhaps you sold yourself a little too hard, you didn’t do enough research on the company or the interviewer simply didn’t think your personality would be a good fit for the team. All this knowledge is invaluable and will give you confidence for your next interview too.
Expand your network
If your interview went well, ask the Employer to bear you in mind when future roles crop up. Making it to interview stage means that you’d already impressed them with your application, so just because you’re not quite the right fit this time around doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be valuable addition to their team further down the line. Hundreds of people may apply for a popular job, but typically just 2% of them will successfully make it to the interview stage, meaning you’re already ahead of the game.
Alternatively, try taking advantage of the hiring manager’s network by asking whether they know of any similar vacancies they could refer you to. Even if there’s no immediate obvious pay off, several months later you might just be contacted out of the blue, so never burn any bridges.
After writing countless cover letters and investing your time in unsuccessful interviews, it’s only natural to see a dip in your motivation levels – but don’t be too hard on yourself. There are a plethora of reasons as to why you may not receive a job offer after your interview – from the time it was scheduled, to which of your rival Candidates were interviewed on the same day. Many of these factors are beyond your control, but sometimes the role simply wasn’t right for you. In most cases, a little trial and error will help you to work out what’s right for you, but if you’re looking for additional support with your job hunt, then it’s a good idea to consider going to a recruiter. You have nothing to lose, and they can provide specialist advice that’s tailored to your own individual needs. You will also gain access to specialists in the sector you’re looking to work in, with a vast network of contacts and understanding of current trends.