We don’t want you! How you react to a job rejection

Clarify the reasons and inquire at the company

Katja Mayer 27.05.2013
Rejections always hurt. After all, you were convinced that you were the best person for the job that was advertised. But unfortunately the company saw it differently. Obviously, you first need to digest this setback. But then you should draw the right conclusions.

This is especially important in light of the fact that looking for a job is generally still a long process in many areas of study. Lack of skilled resources or not – there has to be the right match to the company. Even if some people can almost take their pick of a dream job, most people could be 50, 70 or even 100 applications away from the job they’re looking for – as has always been the case. So it’s even more important that it doesn’t get you down, but rather that you deal with the rejection professionally.

Clarify the reasons

Step one when dealing with a rejection is to look for possible shortcomings on your own part. After all, these are still the main reasons why applicants fail. At the same time, these are also points that can most easily be rectified.

Young, inexperienced applicants in particular often overestimate themselves and apply for positions that they don’t have the qualifications or experience to fill. Or they want to end up with their desired employer at all costs, and thereby overlook the fact that they don’t meet the requirements for the job.

The other big mistake is insufficient effort. If you just send out dozens of cloned standard resumes to all possible employers, you’re showing that you really don’t take the job or the employer seriously. Sweet talk to curry favor from your desired employer is just as fatal. If you’re not sure whether you’re stuck in one of these application pitfalls, you should ask an expert for advice. Start with your college’s career service office, where an appropriately qualified job coach should be available to help.

If ’you made it as far as the interview, you should reflect on the meeting and ask yourself whether you went into enough detail when answering the interviewer’s questions and whether you were convincing. Did you also ask good questions, in turn, that showed that you’re a real expert?

Another common error is exhibiting overconfidence and arrogance in a job interview. Or the opposite: if you present yourself as a cool character in your application, and then can’t even put together a decent sentence during the interview, this can really backfire on you.

In any event, you should carefully consider whether you did something wrong’ and not be too quick to pin the blame on the employer. Otherwise you risk landing in an endless cycle of applications and rejections.

Inquire at the company

Um eine Absage zu verarbeiten, solltest du den Frust zulassen

Step two is to ask the company why you didn’t get the job. You know the contact person by name, thanks to the interview, and you can ask for feedback.

You should first thank him or her for the opportunity to be able to get to know the company. You can then express your regret that it didn’t work out – after all, you still think that you were the ideal candidate.

Then you can ask why you weren’t considered for the job. In this way you can find out in passing what companies are looking for in a job interview – and then cater to these areas better in the future. Alternatively, you can ask for tips as to what you can do better in future interviews.

Naturally, you can also use the opportunity to ask whether you can apply again for a similar job vacancy – or whether you’ve lost your chance completely here. If the last point is true, you obviously made a rather serious mistake, even if your contact person didn’t say as much.

But if you hear that you are welcome to apply for other positions, you’ve made a good impression; ’’you just weren’t the perfect match for the vacant position.

In this case you could ask to be placed in the company’s pool of applicants. You could perhaps even be contacted in the near future – and then be successful.

Deal with frustration

It’s really important that you don’t just push aside frustration, anger, sadness or whatever you’re feeling, but rather that you allow it to come out and deal with it in a deliberate way. Suppressing it and just carrying on leads to a situation where frustration gives way to resignation, and where you lose a little more motivation every time you get rejected. But you need this motivation to persuade others.

If the rejections pile up, though, or you’re never invited to an interview, you should definitely ask a coach for advice. ’Something is fundamentally wrong – and you need to change it urgently. Getting a view from someone else’s perspective helps you to see the causes and to find solutions to the issues. If you are a member of the careerloft Support Program, find yourself a mentor.