Congrats on getting an interview! The fact that you were selected for a job interview is often a very big deal. There are many applicants that didn’t get this far. Whether you thought the interview went great or not, it’s time to deal with the fact that you were not chosen for the job. Here is how to handle rejection after an interview.
Try to be as mature about it as you can and here is why. You will probably never know all that went into making the decision to hire someone. Maybe they had an internal candidate already in mind for the position. Maybe they wanted someone with more or less experience than you. Maybe you said something the rubbed them the wrong way. There could be a multitude of reasons you were not selected for the position. This is not a reason to beat yourself up.
How to Respond
First, do some self-introspection. Do you think there is something you could have done better during the interview? Every interview you have, should be an opportunity to practice your interview skills and learn what works and doesn’t work for you. Even though you think a job is perfect for you, it doesn’t mean it is the perfect job for you.
Next, handle rejection with grace and maturity. If you have the hiring manager’s email, send them a brief thank-you e-mail for their time. Maybe something will change and their candidate doesn’t work out or they have another opening become available. Showing your maturity will make it more likely that they will consider you for another position in the future. This will not be the only position ever and sometimes you just need to be patient and true to yourself.
Do NOT send a rude email to anyone at the company. I have received multiple e-mails from candidates who were upset they didn’t get the job and said some very rude things. You better believe I have no intention to ever hire those people because that speaks a lot to their character. You do not want to be remembered for being rude and immature about not being selected for a job. Instead, be remembered for being respectful and professional. How you handle rejection, will say a lot about your character. Many times I have referred 2nd choice candidates to other hiring managers for open positions because they did a great job in the interview but just barely didn’t get the job. They are still great candidates for the organization so I go out of my way to give them another chance. That is who you want to be.
Don’t dwell. Learn and Move on.
As much as you may want to find out what you did wrong in an interview, it is better not to ask. That might go against your intuition, but here is why. Telling you why you were not chosen for an interview or what you did wrong is a tough question. It could make a hiring manager liable to be sued if they say something that could be taken the wrong way. Also… many people don’t handle criticism well so it’s often better on the hiring manager’s part to not say anything at all. They don’t like being put in an uncomfortable position to give you advice you might not want to hear.
Instead of dwelling on why you didn’t get a job, use that energy to keep looking and trying. If you are getting selected for interviews then you are doing something right. If you do want some professional advice on what you could be doing wrong, I can evaluate your interviewing skills in a coaching session at JobJane.com. I also offer an amazing e-book that walks you through insider secrets from a recruiter about what should be or should not be on your resume, how to prepare for an interview and some job search strategy. The E-book can be found on JobJane.com.
Good Luck in your interviews!