How we deal with adversity says an awful lot
about a person. In fact, it is one of the separating
behaviors between being successful in some
positions and less than successful.
Life is full of rejections, if we think about it.
In the job interviewing scenario, consider three
kinds of rejections–
- after the screening interview, not invited on-site
- after the on-site interview, not extended an offer
- after the on-site interview, rejecting an offer.
One of the things applicants should consider after
an interview is doing a post interview evaluation of
the interview. This objective snapshot asks
what seemed to go well,
what was a surprise,
what could have been done better?
Is this a place I can work at?
Does this place meet my expectations?
Will I be happy doing the assignment?
Will I like living and working in this area?
Based on this self examination, one can then
develop the decisions one will need to make
and actions associated with them. (One of the
immediate follow-ups are thank you letters to
interviewers for the chance to apply and meet
This note focuses on how to deal with a rejection
letter from a company after interviewing. We
mentally beat ourselves down, don’t we? Our
spirits, energy and self-esteem sink.
1. Think about the process we are in. Interrupt it.
2. Remember what our goals are and focus on
what is needed.
3. Review your objective snapshot of the interview.
4. Follow up on the interview by finding out,
if the organization will share, how you came up
5. Learn from it. Combine your snapshot with
the feedback to develop an improvement plan.
An appropriate thank you note can then follow.
Rather than closing the door, this can be
a chance of building a bridge for the future.
Clearly state your positive impressions of the
Explore the interest in learning what the
successful candidate had over you.
Indicate that you will call to personally pursue this. (It
is likely not to happen via anything written.) If
this is a company that is a goal to work for,
politely indicate that you wish to be considered
for other positions and would reapply in the future.
Keep the company and its people on your
“radar screen” for inviting opportunities.