Handling rejection

No one wants to be rejected but at some point in your job search it is bound to happen. How you react and what you do next are key factors in your future success.

1 Rejection at application stage:

Most people are going to experience this.  You may get a polite “thanks but no thanks” response or hear nothing at all.  Most employers do not have the time or resources to acknowledge receipt of applications and only notify successful candidates. The possible exceptions being companies with large automated systems that track candidates, however, you are not likely to get any feedback at this stage.

Assess why you were rejected:

  • Is it likely that there were candidates with more relevant experience than yourself?
  • Did you meet the basic requirements? Qualifications and visa issues?
  • Did you really sell yourself effectively in your application?

Often great candidates simply do poor applications.  If the CV and cover letter do not look tailored for that role with that company the recruiter may think that you have not done your research and lack motivation and commitment.

Take action:

  • Keep applying – use our guides and services to assess if your next application is on track.
  • Keep building up your experience while you find the next role you want to apply for.

2 Rejection by psychometric test

This is a tough one, but it’s impersonal, they are simply judging your ability against a standard.

Assess why you were rejected:

  • Do you feel you could have performed better on the day?

Take action.

  • If you think you could do better then – practice may help.
  • If not, you may find that some employers tests are easier BUT if you fail several then you should consider if this is the right route for you.  You may wish to discuss different types of employers.

3 Rejection at  1st contact

This may be a telephone or face to face interview or an assessment centre.  If you have been invited it means you have met all the basic requirements and on paper look like you could do the job.   However, it doesn’t mean that you are their first choice you may be simply one of many.

You may still get no feedback, there are all sorts of legal issues that can open up if companies give interview feedback, so often they choose not to.

Assess why you were rejected:

  • Is it likely other candidates had better qualifications and experience?
  • Is it likely that other candidates performed better on the day?
  • Were you the best fit for the organisation? You may have had the qualifications and experience but did your personality fit?  Sometime you can get an indication of this if you find you don’t really like the interviewer or the questions seem odd to you.  If this is the case you have probably had a lucky escape you would not have enjoyed working there.
  • Be honest – really reflect on every element of your performance. Pushy or arrogant behaviour with other candidates, even on a break may be viewed negatively.

Take action

  • Watch the assessment centre  videos – to see if you made any schoolboy errors!
  • Attend some of our assessment centre exercises. We run a group work session and on occasion employers run whole practice assessment centres.
  • Have a practice interview with  a careers consultant or with an employer.

Don’t …

  • Get angry with the employer, it won’t get you a job, and you may harm any relationship you have with them in the future!
  • Give up!  Learn from the experience and move on.

All Undergraduate Undergraduate-highlighted

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