Job Interview Tips: How to Handle Rejection

February 19th, 2009 by lewis

It’s tough handling interview rejections, and I can’t blame anyone who’s been in that position.  You spend hours preparing for the interview.  After the interview, you think you got your dream job.    But then you find out that you didn’t get the job.  At that point, you ask, what went wrong?  Here are my top tips on how to cope after an interview rejection:
  • Don’t take it personally.  There could be a thousand reasons why you didn’t get the job, and many of them may have nothing to do with your interview performance.  They could range from the practical to the absurd.  For example, they may have decided to cancel the job position due to a bad economy, or they are looking for someone with an MBA.  Or maybe the hiring manager was having a bad day.  Even if the hiring manager or recruiter tells you specifically why they didn’t give you a job offer, there could be 10 other reasons why they choose someone else.  So don’t torture yourself.  Maybe the interviewer’s dog ate your resume.  Whatever the actual reason may be — stop guessing.
  • Be professional.  If you get a chance to talk to the recruiter or hiring manager about the rejection, do it professionally.  Politely ask for feedback.  Keep in mind that it’s difficult to give bad news, so don’t get upset if you don’t get a straight answer.  If they do give you honest feedback, don’t react negatively.  You can ask nicely if there’s anything you can do to address your weaknesses.  If you get a “yes,” it’s a green light to present more evidence.  If it’s a “no,” then resist the temptation to prove yourself.  You want to keep the conversation as professional as possible.  Who knows?  You could be their backup candidate, so don’t jeopardize your chances of being the first person they call if their #1 candidate declines the job offer.
  • Learn.  Log.  Let Go.  Interviewstuff.com offers an excellent technique called Learn-Log-Let Go to 1) learn from the experience and 2) move on.  By jotting down the lessons you learned from the experience, it helps move those thoughts and feelings out of your head.  You can always refer back to the experience, but there’s no need to carry it around.  Once you put that behind you, you can move on.   And the sooner you move on, the sooner you can prepare for the next job interview and get the job.

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34 Responses to “Job Interview Tips: How to Handle Rejection”

  1. February 20, 2009 at 3:54 am, Mark Robinson said:

    Dear Lewis,

    Thanks for the great article. Interview rejections are indeed a sensitive subject and a lot of people tend to take this negatively – sometimes leading to a loss of confidence that can hamper future job opportunities as well.

    Once again – great article!

    Best Regards,
    Mark Robinson
    Author – The Complete Job Interview Guide

    Reply

  2. June 30, 2009 at 7:17 am, Eric said:

    Great article. It's also important to remember that players in the baseball hall of fame only got 3 hits every 10 trips to the plate and, in this job market, your Job Offer Average will likely be even less than that. And you are right, rejection can and does come from the absurd category as well, so try not to take it personally.

    Reply

  3. July 07, 2009 at 9:52 am, Jobs Philippines said:

    To be able to learn form the experience, ask yourself questions. What would you have done differently? What did you learn from the interviewing process? How would you have handled yourself differently? By asking questions, you focus on learning and growth and consequently move forward.

    Reply

  4. August 27, 2009 at 7:34 am, Erica said:

    Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with your first point. Given that most jobs are not given at random, the reason for rejection is most likely a personal reason, i.e., the person being rejected did not fit the criteria the company was looking for (in fact one of your examples, preferring a candidate with an MBA, is a personal quality unique to only those with MBAs). I assert that the main objective of business is to make a profit, and that in order to make that profit you need the right people carrying out the business. Usually those people have both the technical skills required for the job and particular personal qualities that set them apart from the rest of applicants to their post, which is why they have been personally selected. I'm not sure what's wrong with taking something personally in general; to me it is the most honest step in understanding the situation and choosing how you will move forward. I suggest that there is nothing wrong with taking something personally, but that one must always keep in mind that every orgnaization has its own dynamic and needs and that it's impossible to fit your personal qualities into every single organizations', so while your personal qualities may not fit into THAT organization's, there will probably be one where they do, and it's best to focus on finding the one that fits instead of worrying about why you didn't fit in with the other.

    Reply

  5. August 27, 2009 at 11:09 pm, Lewis, AKA Seattle Interview Coach said:

    Erica, it's difficult for companies to provide candid feedback, especially in today's litigious society. As a result, most of the time interview feedback is generic or perhaps a lie. Don't internalize feedback that may be useless or wrong. If you want an honest assessment of your interview performance, ask a friend or hire an interview coach.

    Reply

  6. October 08, 2009 at 5:39 am, Steve said:

    I challenge anyone to see if their experience is anywhere near mine:

    Seven Interviews then Rejected _
    I interviewed intially with two VP's (operations and Sales). It went well, they invited me to the second interview. For the second one, I spent a weekend creating a powerpoint presentation. They said it was the best one they have seen yet. The third interview was over the phone with their internal recruiter and included a sales aptitiude test and a psychologial, it went very well. I then went out to dinner with the VP of Sales and our wives, it went well. I then flew to detroit to meet the VP of sales for the nation, feedback was good. Next, I flew to Atlanta to meet the CEO and he picked me apart in the interview, (fault finding, not listening to facts of my resume' and being abrupt). I was then told I will not be considered. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. They spent about a grand on me a took a month and a half just to say "no thanks". Is it just me or are these people completely out of their minds?

    Reply

  7. February 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm, Mekales said:

    I too, went through the “jumping of hoops”, phone interviews and two face-to-face with different levels of management. All of which went extremely well. My many years of management experience, I thought, would be a great benefit to any company looking for someone to fill a “Manager in Training” position. Upon leaving my last interview, the interviewer said, “I look forward to working with you. I will call you on Tuesday.” (One week later). The day came and went, by Thursday I still hadn’t heard anything, so I wrote a quick email just to inquire and even said I understood how things were probably really busy and I that understood and looked forward to meeting with him.

    Today (13 days later), I get a message on my answering machine to call another manager with the company. When I returned the call the woman on the other end said, “Oh, I’m supposed to tell you that Kevin found another applicant to fill the position.” I just said “Oh. Okay. Thank you.” She hung up.

    Not only am I disappointed at not getting the position – again – I think there should be a standard of etiquette. Should “Kevin” not have called me back? Shouldn’t he have been at least respectful enough to call or email over a week ago, even if a decision had not been made? And, I’m not sure I can EXPECT a reason for the change of heart, but it might have been nice to know what the decision was based upon.

    I can tell you, I believe that the reason I was not hired was because in my final interview I was asked if I was willing to relocate either for training or the position. I’m 47 years old, own a home, have a family and the position (which was originally offered as a local position) pays less than $30k per year. When I said to Kevin that I thought the position was local, he shrugged and said, “we usually like people who are willing to move around”.

    Now, I’m desperate for a job and was willing to start as a MIT in a position that pays about 26K – hoping that one day, I would be able to move up within the company. I’m finding that they are looking for 20 somethings with nothing holding them back from being a pawn of these companies, no ties, no income standard and in the end – the companies are hiring less than expereienced, qualified cadidates at the expense of their business – all in the name of the “for the moment” bottom-line. It’s a said state of affairs in our country.

    Reply

  8. June 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm, Melanie said:

    I agree that rejection from an interview is thoroughly rough. I have been through 3 internal interviews for a company I have worked for for 4 years and each time I get the rejection from someone I know and trust so it is very hard to keep it together when I'm being told "we've gone in a different direction" or "the other candidates were just a bit ahead of you." Every time I've been told that I didn't interview well but the feedback I get does not give any insight on how I can do better in the next interview, just more things I can do to improve within the company, meaning I could be doing more for them but the discouragement and no reward for my hard work to improve is getting very hard to swallow. I was rejected today from a position I was completely qualified for and have actually been doing already in conjuction with my main job requirement. The company has decided to make the position a specific department and hiring for just that job. I was terribly upset about not getting it because how can I not be good enough to do a job I have already been doing for 2 years as a supplement to my main duties? When I went to my decline meeting I felt personally attacked by my boss that I have worked with for 4 years and thought that I had a good working relationship with. I felt like it doesn't seem to matter how hard I work or what I do for this company they are just never going to let me advance. This advice from this website and others is good advise for new jobs but what about internal rejections? How do you go to work on Monday and not feel personal about it? How do you cope with being good enough for one position in the company but be lacking for others, perticularily when you have already been doing that job and it goes to someone else who doesn't?

    Reply

  9. July 01, 2010 at 12:29 pm, Anonymous said:

    Getting rejection is hard but getting no closure/no email/phone call is worse. In the last year, I have interviewed with two big companies – at both, I spoke to multiple people before an onsite interview, for which I flew across the country. While the interviews went well and I recieved feedback that I will hear from them shortly, I never heard back. I sent an email and left a voice mail after two or three weeks after my interview but never heard back.

    I think if someone is taking time off from their job to interview with you, s/he deserves a courtsy of a phone call or email of decision. More than the hiring manager, I find fault with the HR person for this as it should be part of their duty to communicate the decision. I don't think companies will invite more than four or five people for day long on-site interview and pay for their travel and other expenses – so certainly it is not a big burden.

    Reply

  10. January 25, 2011 at 7:42 am, Nick said:

    A very big thank you. I completely agree that the rejection in an interview is a very negative feeling to handle. I was recently rejected at an interview, where as i was selected in the first round and was told that they wanted to recruit 3 guys. The second round had a total of 5 guys including me and i had a very positive feeling about getting selected.

    But, Unfortunately, i wasn't. This article is definitely gonna help me deal with it and not affect the future job opportunities.

    Thank you very much once again.

    Reply

  11. February 21, 2011 at 3:53 am, Anonymous said:

    Nice Article. Thankyou.
    I just got rejected from a job I really thought I was suited for and was really excited about. I spent like 3 days preparing for it, and out of everything in the interview, they picked on only one question as the reason for rejecting me. Anyways, I guess, we don't really know what goes on behind the scenes once we leave the interview room. Even though it is hard to swallow rejection, I am sure, there is a better job more suited for me out there, infact for everyone of us. We just have to have the patience to keep searching, this is the hardest part. I must say, reading everyone's comments made me feel a lot better, just to know, a lot of people go through it. For me, the excruciating part is waiting to get an interview, so its not so much the rejection, but the realisation that I now have to wait, God Knows how long, before being offered another interview. Oh well, just got to keep searching:)

    Reply

  12. March 07, 2011 at 1:16 pm, Anonymous said:

    I'm really failing to see the point of looking for a job on your own.

    I beginning to believe companies already have who they are going to hire before they bring people in for an interview. The interviews are just a formality to make it seem like they are going through some in depth process. I've been on 7 interviews (not to mention over 60 applications) and not one job offer despite the fact that they all went well which was feedback I got from their HR recruiter. I even passed this one interviewer's mini IQ test getting all questions correct, but still they decided to go with someone else.

    One company rejected me based on a stupid online questionnaire about my skill set. Unlike many people, I am very honest when it comes to my skills and experience, but of course others lie through their teeth saying they are an expert in every single category. Then naturally the company will choose the liars over people who are honest.

    If you want even more proof companies don't care about interviews, I had a phone screen last week with a nearby company, and I was told that I would hear back from them the following week letting me know who they would bring in for a face to face. I call the recruiter the following week (after no call) and find out that they already hired someone. Gee, thanks for leaving me hanging; a phone call would have been nice.

    The only way to get a job these days is if you know somebody who already works there and lies for you about your qualifications, otherwise your resumes immediately go in the trash.

    If you are lucky enough to get an interview, then you are highly unlikely to get the job unless you lie and overstate your qualifications. Most of the times I bet you can get away with it especially if the company doesn't test you on it. However, Since I'm not going stoop as low as to lying in interviews and on job applications, I suppose I will never get another job and I'll be homeless soon enough; but oddly enough, I'm really starting to not care anymore.

    Reply

  13. May 08, 2011 at 2:26 pm, Joseph said:

    Agreed with above poster. i recently went to an office to wait for my second interview to start (they told me to be on time, but the manager was an hour late) as i was sitting waiting the interviewing manager walked in and a bunch of his co-worker peers approached him with job applications from their friends, family and even friends of friends whom they have never even met! No doubt those job hopefuls will have an advantage over when its time for the manager to make a decision, just solely based on the fact that it was his co-workers and friends that put in a word for them.SMH!

    Reply

  14. May 26, 2011 at 9:15 am, Jason said:

    It’s the lack of basic human decency following the interview that upsets me. I submitted an application for a contract manager’s position on a Friday afternoon, and got called by a recruiter the following Tuesday. The operations director then called my home on Wednesday while I was at work. My wife answered the phone, and the woman asked if I checked my email during the day. My wife said yes, then called me to tell me to check it (as I typically don’t). The only thing in the email was the statement “Can you come in for an interview tomorrow?”

    I replied with a yes, and made arrangments to take personal time from work on short notice. The interview in the afternoon with the operations director went well. She asked if I could come back in the evening to meet with the CEO. Once again, I made arrangements with my wife to rearrange our family evening so I could attend. I was even told she was bumping someone from the time slot, as I was a better match for the job. I arrived 5 minutes early, but was not seen until 30 minutes past the scheduled time. I was simply told by the first interviewer that she “had to eat”. After an hour with her, I met for two hours with the CEO. We didn’t break until 9:30pm. During the interview, we got deep into the details of managing the program, office configurations, health care benefits, etc. We talked on the way out about meeting one more time to finalize things.

    The next day, the operations director emailed me a link to take some differential aptitude tests. I completed those, and emailed her to let her know they were done, and how much I appreciated the opportunity to continue the hiring process. A few days later, having not heard back, I emailed the CEO to again reiterate how much I’d enjoyed the interview, provide him with info he’d requested about costs for my current health care coverage, and again state how much I looked forward to the next step. No response, reply, or even acknowledgement of receipt.

    A few days later, I called the Operations Director to mention that I could provide her with my SS# and driver’s license for the background check we’d talked about. Once again, no reply.

    The fact that I jumped when asked to interview, with almost no time to prepare, in itself should be enough to get a reply from someone, and a rejection letter at the very least. My enthusiasm was genuine, and I expressed it clearly. I expect that decent people would remember that they are interviewing humans, who need clouse in order to move on, and not continually wonder if the phone is going to ring, if they missed a message, if they offended someone unintentionally, whatever the case may be. Leaving people to figure things out for themselves through the passage of time is an extremely unkind way to treat people who work hard to win you over by presenting the best them possible in an interview. I guess it may take a shoe on the other foot experience for them to be reminded.

    Reply

  15. May 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm, Elizabeth said:

    I am SO glad to have discovered this discussion topic and read about your experiences. I went on two interviews (different companies) for IT leadership positions on May 17 and 18.

    The first one was a small company and marked my first interview in 6 years. (My position was recently eliminated by Gap Inc. – or should I say outsourced to an offshore company…) By the time I got home I had an e-mail asking my if I could conduct phone interviews the following day with an EVP and a VP. I asked if I could move it to May 19 or 20, as I had my other interview and a dentist appointment on the 18th. They said they were going to be at a conference and they did their best to work around their schedules. I responded that I could do phone interviews the following Monday (May 23) and haven’t heard a peep.

    The second one – the job for which I was perfect and truly wanted – was tough. I never relaxed during the entire 90 minutes. It was with the U.S. District Court – and I’ve not worked for a government entity before – so I wasn’t sure about the fit. The panel included three people: the manager, the HR rep, and another guy. The other ‘guy’ was brutal! I’d start to answer and he’d interrupt and say, “That’s not what I asked you. I want to know this, this and that!” I left feeling ok. I actually thought, even though that one guy was too abrasive for my style, I felt I could learn something from him and actually win him over. Before leaving for the interview that morning, I had sent my LinkedIn recommendations to the recruiter and she had already forwarded them to the HR person. I handed hard copies out to the other two panel members and felt decent. I gave myself a B. We discussed next steps, benefits, etc. They did ask for my current salary and salary requirements. Could that have been it? I know my minimum was within the range, but a little toward the high-end, but I was willing to negotiate. (Didn’t tell them that, though.) I left feeling all right, but thought for sure I would be called back for the second round – they wanted to fill the position by June 6 – and asked when I could start.

    I sent my thank you via their in-house HR recruiter and she responded immediately. (She was always very responsive.) A week later (May 25), I still had not heard anything. I e-mailed the HR recruiter and re-expressed my interest, included a new recommendation (from a prior subordinate) and asked where they are in the hiring process.

    I did not hear anything. Until Friday, May 27 (day before Memorial Day weekend), when I received a voice-mail message (stepped away from my mobile phone for a few minutes!) from an entirely new person saying thanks for my interest and the position has been filled.

    They left their name and number – if I had any questions. SHOULD I CALL THEM tomorrow or send the HR recruiter – with whom I had the most interaction – an e-mail briefly asking where I fell-short and to hang onto my info, in the event something new should come up? (That is way out of the realm of possibility…as the manager has been there for like 20 years and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The team is small and it’s the only IT team there.)

    Thanks all!

    Reply

    • May 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm, Lewis Lin said:

      Elizabeth,

      If they left a name and number, it doesn’t hurt to ask them for feedback. Do take their advice with a grain of salt. Keep in mind it’s difficult to give honest feedback for various reasons including the desire to not hurt your feelings or an inability to describe, in words, why someone else was a better candidate. Also keep in mind that some companies prohibit interview feedback, given our litigious society.

      - Lewis, ImpactInterview.com

      Reply

  16. May 31, 2011 at 5:32 am, Elizabeth said:

    Hi Lewis! Thanks for your prompt reply. Yes, I completely agree. Any response I receive could, as you say, fall into the category of generic response as per your last sentence or it’s their canned response.

    Whatever I hear, I do have some fear I will latch onto it. In my entire career, this is the the first job interview I have had where I did not receive an offer. I was always that person, where if I could just speak with someone face-to-face, it’d be in the bag. So, I am hurting a bit here.

    With that said, should I just write it off and not pursue any feedback? I realize that may sound a bit immature on my part, but like I said, I don’t want to plant that seed for any future interviews with other companies. Just not sure if I would use it to my advantage or not.

    Thanks again, Lewis, and any others who’d like to chime in! – Elizabeth

    Reply

  17. May 31, 2011 at 11:06 am, Lewis Lin said:

    Protecting your emotions comes before any perfect or imperfect feedback. If it will affect you, then jot the lessons learned and move on. I’m sure the next job opportunity will come sooner than you think!

    Reply

  18. May 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm, Elizabeth said:

    Good advice, Lewis. I did send a generic acknowledgment of the rejection voice-mail I received and just asked where I fell short of the selected candidate, but won’t hold my breath for a (worthwhile) response. Thanks again and I’ll keep everyone posted as to what I hear. – Elizabeth

    Reply

  19. June 06, 2011 at 3:43 pm, RB said:

    I was wondering if it was in appropriate to email the interviewers personally. I really just want to get feed back on which areas I fell short. I went on this job interview through a recruiter and was told that I just did not fit the criteria that they were looking for. I felt that the interview went really well and was asked back for a 2nd interview.

    Again I ask, is it inappropriate to get direct feed back? Thanks in advance.

    -RN

    Reply

    • June 07, 2011 at 1:31 pm, Lewis Lin said:

      It never hurts to ask, but always keep in mind the suggestions in the “Be professional” paragraph: you may not get a straight answer. Regardless of what you hear, take it with a grain of salt.

      Reply

  20. July 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm, santi said:

    Today, I did an interview with a company I like a lot. I really want the position and I would love to work in the company. I spent several days to prepare the interview and I think that I had done my very best effort.
    The interview ran well. After two hours I stepped my feet out of their office, they called me that I would not go to the next process. They told me they I failed to show my interest to work with them.
    I am sad. I can not get over it :(

    Reply

    • August 21, 2011 at 6:32 am, NoName said:

      I feel your pain, santi, and I’m in a very similar boat right now. Recently I blew an interview where I would have been a perfect fit. I spent a whole day preparing and easily passed the technical portion, but then loosened up towards the end of the in-person interview. When asked about the types of systems I like to work with, instead of giving a generic answer like “I like to work with all systems”, I was very honest and even referred negatively about some of the systems they were still using. As soon as I said it, I realized my mistake and tried to explain that I would still have no problem working with all the other systems but my train was gone. The next day I got feedback that I was good technically, but would not be a good fit primarily because I was too focused on only some of the systems. I am really upset now, can’t think about anything else, and have trouble sleeping, since I’m blaming myself for being such a fool. I definitely learned my lesson to NEVER SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE about anything ever again or let your guard down during an interview!

      Having been on the other end of the interviewing process before, I think they made a mistake since they will probably have a difficult time finding someone who’s as qualified as I am. When my old company made the mistake of not hiring a candidate only for a reason that he seemed like he would be a bad cultural fit, the next guy we hired was not good technically (or a good cultural fit, for that matter) and then we tried to replace him with the 1st guy but he was already employed at a new place.

      I know I would do a great job with all the systems they need to be supported, so given that I have their feedback, I’m thinking I should call up the hiring manager, and providing him with my feedback, and explain that I can clarify my views about any concerns that they had. The worst thing that can happen is they reject me again or ignore me. Any additional feedback would be a benefit, and there’s a long shot that they could reconsider, especially if there are no other candidates that would be such a perfect fit technically as I am. I know I can find another job, but I just don’t know if it would be such a great fit as this was.

      Anyway, I’m just glad that there’s a place like this where we can come share our experiences. Good luck to everyone and keep your chin up!

      Reply

      • September 02, 2011 at 4:06 am, NoName said:

        I just want to do a quick follow up to what happened. The hiring manager didn’t want to talk to me, and the recruiter was upset that I tried to talk to the manager directly. I did get to discuss the situation with the recruiter and that made me feel better. The fact that the hiring manager didn’t want to talk to me demonstrated how uncaring he was, so that actually made me feel better about not having to work for him.

        A few days later I got a good offer from another interview I had prior, with a great company. I’ll be starting that job soon, and I’m very happy. Just keep looking, learn new skills, and prepare well for interviews, and you will find a job.

        Reply

  21. September 14, 2011 at 12:48 am, LossforWords said:

    I literally got an email rejection from a hiring manager two hours ago (10:15pm PST). Yes, you read that time right. Interview was set up through a friend (who I would’ve been on the same sales team with) last week Wednesday, who thought I was perfect for the job. Interview went extremely well and when I asked if he had any questions and/or concerns with my experience pertaining to the roles and responsibilities of the job, he replied, “No, you have everything we’re looking for. Everything looks good. You are definitely a strong candidate for the position.” You’d better believe I left all smiles and high hopes! I was told that a decision would be made by the following Wednesday, which would be tomorrow (or today, rather). Instead I get THE email. I later learned that it was already set that this sales manager was going to hire his friend and I was just an interview to go through the formalities apparently. From what I’ve learned, “the friend” has limited experience pertaining to the job role whereas, I had the position covered from A to Z with the background and awards to prove it.

    I am at a loss. I was angry, but now over it. I’ve crafted several emails that I would have liked to send him at that moment, but I know that would brand me as unprofessional. As expected, I am to send an appropriate response. What makes it 10x worse is that you have such a high from a great interview, only to be completely shocked that it didn’t turn out in your favor along with the real reasoning behind it.

    Oh well, time to have a drink and get back on the horse again….

    Reply

  22. October 18, 2011 at 8:09 am, SER said:

    I just got turned down for the 2nd job that I have interviewed for within my company. What hurt the most was that, even thought I have been here for 4 years, they offered the job to a temp who has been working for a month. When they told me that they offered the job to someone else the 3 that interviewed me crammed into a small office to deliver the message. I was stunned and did say “so even though I have been here 4 years you gave the job to someone who has only been here a month? I had the qualifications and the knowledge about the job as I do part of it. Even though no educatuional experience was listed as a qualification they told me that she had the educational background that they were looking for. I was angry and upset and my eyes welled up with tears and I said that I should leave and go back to work before I made a fool of myself. This has really made me feel that I am not qualified for anything in this organization. They made me go through a whole weekend before they told me but had made their minds up on the Friday before. And, I consider one of them to be my friend but I know that is not a good idea in the workplace. I poured myself into work yesterday and today trying to not think about it but it still really hurts.

    Reply

  23. January 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm, J.D. said:

    Try going through multiple interviews, a working interview, a drug screen (passed), a background check (passed), reference check (all good), a walk-through and introduction to the rest of the staff, an invitation to come in and complete the IRS paperwork/W-4′s and I-9, receiving the employee handbook and paperwork, a projected start date… and then being told that the job was filled.

    What do you do then? I will no longer ever believe any employer when they lead me to think that I’m hired until I cash my paycheck.

    Reply

  24. March 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm, Chris said:

    It’s actually good to know other people are in the same boat. After a while it starts to feel like it’s you alone, swimming against the tide. I’m 34, single and lost my last job when the company went into administration. This was 6 months ago. During that time, I’ve spoken to career advisors, had my CV professionally assessed, posted my availability and CV on job websites, joined several temping agencies, written and called companies on spec for jobs, asked friends and family to also keep a lookout and applied for over 600 jobs, many of which I was way over qualified for, but made it clear I’d be happy to work and take a pay cut. I’ve had no work, whatsoever, temp or perm.

    I’ve had 2 interviews, this month, both of which, I didn’t get the job, and when I phoned for feedback, was told by one that my interview was fine but they went for a candidate with a higher rated degree and by the other, that I was their ’2nd choice’ if the first person, a recent graduate, had declined the offer. I just felt like crying; it had taken this long to even get an interview and then they were giving me nothing to improve on for (if) there is a next time. I do wonder if my age counts against me, as most companies have their pick of 20-something graduates, but surely experience and skills count for something too? I’d be willing to start over, taking an apprenticeship or entry level job, even in something different, but again, it’s young people they seem to want.

    I find it hard to believe when people say not to take it personally. How can you not, when you’re doing everything to find a job and still getting nowhere. I have no money, no social life and had to give up my flat to move in with parents again. I don’t see friends, because they like to go out and spend money, something I can no longer do and every day feels like a chore, a treadmill to start applying for jobs, I mostly never even hear back from.

    I’ve never been a depressed person in my life, but find after these last 6 months, I can barely find it in me to get up in the morning or eat properly. I’ve lost weight and my parents try to keep me motivated, but they don;t get it, as they still work and have their social lives and self respect. All I want is a chance, to get back into a job again. I’ve long gone past the being picky stage. I just want a reason to get up and to stop feeling like a burden on the state and my folks, who I feel like I’m letting down. It’s hard to feel like you’re on the job scrap heap at not even 35 and then to be rejected for 2 interviews you’ve spent weeks preparing for and given your absolute all is just the last straw. If anyone has any other options on jobsearch, please, please tell me!

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  25. April 03, 2012 at 7:23 am, FromOz said:

    The most frustrating part as stated above is checking email every 2 mins and waiting for the call. What I still cannot understand is how you reject a candidate without even calibrate their technical skills. I’m in IT in a highly technical area. I was rejected after a screening interview and the reply when I asked for a bit if a feedback was that the position was given to a candidate who offered better skills than mine. For God sake!!!! How can they know it??? I definitely think that you can print whatever you want in that piece of paper that your CV is. Ultimately, the hiring staff will offer the position to those who fake their skills and have a good verbose to enchant HR interviewers.

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  26. April 10, 2012 at 11:51 am, DSX said:

    Got rejected yesterday for a job I have been working on for the last two months. Multiple phone interviews, reference checks, and the last step was to do an onsite role play sales presentation, to some of the folks I would be working with; who in this role play situation, would be the “customers”.

    I spent a ton of time on the presentation, arrived 25 minutes early, was told that my scheduled time would be pushed out 15 minutes, said this was okay, and finally went on an hour after I was supposed to. The presentation went well, or so I thought, until I got word yesterday that they were giving the job to the other candidate. The reasons? The first one was because I hadn’t “introduced myself at the beginning of the presentation”. I guess that was on me, as we were in an imaginary situation, and I shouldn’t have been thinking I have been talking to these folks for the last two months, so introducing myself would be senseless. But the next reason? “You should have brought printed resumes…”. That is where I interrupted the hiring manager, and asked if he had ever handed out resumes at a sales call. He said, “of course not”, so I asked why he thought I should in this role play sales call? He mumbled something about how that was a good point, and then said there were other reasons he didn’t want to go into; they were just going to hire the other guy. I thanked him for his time, and hung up the phone, a bit bummed, but also kinda glad to not be working for this guy. If he couldn’t run a role play situation better than that, how would he be when the real stuff happened?

    Good info here, and it’s reassuring to see I’m not the only one this has happened to.

    Reply

  27. April 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm, Megan said:

    I had an interview for a front desk position in a small Tanning Salon in the town nearest to me. Well, first off she was conducting the interviews in the McDonald’s down the street from her store; maybe should have been a red flag for me? But having just moved to a different state months before, I was desperate for a job.

    I arrived early and waited in an empty side of the eatery while trying to locate her because I had no clue who to look for. After waiting for more than 20 minutes, and I had determined which person she was, another girl walked in and took the place of the girl currently sitting with the interviewer. So I walked over to introduce myself and tell her I had been waiting across the way (which she had already seen me, direct eye contact etc prior to me approaching her) and then…get this, she asked if “I” could come back at Noon (a few hours later than the current time).!

    I was appalled by this and no, did not go to the next interview. I assume, because it seems to be somewhat justified, that because I did not fit the ‘appearance’ of her other two candidates; both who were young, tanned and skimpily dressed, yes even for the interview. I’m in my late 20′s and don’t dress like I’m 21 anymore, and definitely need a tan. While I may be wrong to assume she simply ignored or avoided me because I wasn’t ‘what she was looking for’ I can’t help but think of it that way. Very unprofessional in my opinion; guess I should have heeded the McD’s fact of it all to begin with.

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  28. August 20, 2012 at 5:54 am, pooja said:

    Gave an interview which lasted for a month. Cleared first round for which more than 5000 candidates attended. Then came the call for second round which was pretty good to me. Then came the waiting of any email from the company which I waited for 20 days. Kept calling them and asking them but they told to wait. Finally gave a face to face interview which they said was not up to the mark and I was considered for another round after a week which was a final.I prepared well for it. And was rejected because the manager was so busy that he didn’t give me proper time to think and write program code! I still cannot believe that any body can write a code in five minutes! Kept pressurizing me all the time whether I finished or not! And because I could not write code in five minutes all my abilities were measured?

    Reply

  29. August 30, 2012 at 4:42 am, Lookingstill said:

    It’s been good to read this and see I am not alone. I have gone on 5 interviews with a company and waiting to hear. I don’t feel great about the last interview. I don’t know what they are looking for and feel like I will be the girl not picked for the cheerleading team. I am a 48 year old teenager all over again!!

    I understand trying to find the right person for your company but really do they think they can tell everything by talking to someone for an hour? Even if you do it for 5 times you still don’t know how I would be in your company. Each interview was “So tell me about yourself” What is that about?? I am getting tired of telling about myself. I want to work; I am a hard worker; I am honest and I have always earned my paycheck. Your company would profit from my work. Whatelse do you have to know? Even after all these interviews they could hire someone and they wouldn’t work out. It’s a gamble!! I asked after so many interview you must not have a lot of turn over…they said no that not the case, they still pick people who don’t work out…so why put us through all these interviews??? This 5-6 interview process isn’t helping your average…why are they waisting the company’s time??

    Anyway, I am tring not to take it personally and prepare myself for not getting the job; I really want it so will be crushed if I don’t get it. And I will have a hard time not taking it personnally…they are after all re-jecting me. And from what I can tell they have re-jected many. So if they re-ject me I am not in the club; the special people who they do pick. So, after I am crushed I will have to get back up and look for another job and go on more interviews. I will have to hear my friends and family say “It wasn’t the right fit for you so move on” Or “Something better will come along” Or “it wasn’t meant to be..” That is what you always hear and it’s not the right time to hear it cause you can’t believe that until you get something else. You want to hear…”that company sucks!” “They don’t know a good employee if they were hit up side the head with one! Your a wonderful person and they missed it…guess they aren’t so smart after all.” “They lose and you will get a better job and when you do and make that company all kinds of money you can call them back and say Ha-Ha.”

    Okay maybe I am a teenager?? Thanks again and I will be back to let you know if I ever hear anything or if I am crushing crying into my pom-poms!!! :)

    Reply

  30. September 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm, American Hunk said:

    I just got rejected today after 3 months of interviews, its been such a horrible run.It wasn’t like they were recruiting for a CEO or anything, just the usual operations staff
    I passed 3 difficult tests and met my potential boss for 2 interviews, and worst, was shown around the office and met a bunch of people including my boss’ boss
    I was introduced to them and finally my references were contacted
    After the last reference check, I received a call from the lady and she said that I was not the chosen candidate.
    How painful after 3 months of effort-all for NOTHING
    As a previous poster has said, some of the hiring managers like playing games and often times they have someone in mind and just waste people’s time for formality purposes.Wish they didn’t have to contact my references if it is all a game to them.Why bother even contacting them, just reject quickly and move on.

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