Didn’t Get the Job? Don’t Despair

Didn’t Get the Job? Don’t Despair

‘You Didn’t Get the Job’ – How to Take a Positive from Rejection and What to Take from the Process

When recruiting for new staff, an employer may have only one position available, or only a limited number of roles. It therefore follows that the vast majority of applicants will be unsuccessful – some will be rejected on the basis of their CV or application form, some on the results of a telephone interview and others on the basis of evidence gathered in a face-to-face interview. So if you are unsuccessful, it does not mean that you were in any way inadequate, indeed in many cases the employer will be satisfied that many of the rejected applicants could have done the job perfectly competently.

Nevertheless, if the role was offered to someone else, the company must have had its reasons for preferring them to you. Firstly, you should try and obtain feedback on the reasons why you were unsuccessful – most companies will offer feedback on interview performance; and a few, especially larger companies and public sector organisations, will offer feedback on the initial application.

Try and obtain specific feedback in areas such as:

  • Any ways of expressing yourself they didn’t like
    Any answers to questions they didn’t understand
    Any additional skills, qualifications or experience they would ideally have liked to have seen
    The reasons why other candidates were preferred

Whether you manage to obtain feedback or not, you should also consider what other reasons you can think of as to why other candidates may have been preferred. Once you have worked out why you think you were unsuccessful, you can think about how to make a better impression next time.

If you think that your skills, qualifications and experience may have been less good than those of other applicants, consider if you can study for an additional qualification. Try asking your employer if you can take on any new responsibilities.

If the reasons for your rejection related to how you came across at interview or at application stage, consider the following actions:

  • Re-designing your CV so it better communicates what you can offer
  • Stressing parts of your experience more vigorously on your CV and at interview
  • Ensuring you go into an interview with a good understanding of the role and the company
  • Practising shaking hands firmly, maintaining eye contact, showing the right body language, displaying the right tone of voice
  • Receiving formal interview training

Remember that practice makes perfect, so learn from your rejections and use them to improve your chances next time.

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