How to handle a rejection after an interview?

Interview Rejections can be tough to digest, especially if it keeps happening over and over. Repeated Rejections break your heart and damages your willpower. So, after a certain time, it’s very normal to feel depressed, negative, and unworthy of yourself.

Stop there for a minute. Take a deep breath and relax. You are not alone! We have all been there.

Interview Rejections: A Harsh Reality

The world economy is currently in a position where all of the new workforce that is generating every year cannot be fully absorbed into the system. Competitions are high. And when you are in the competitive market, you should accept the ground realities as soon as possible. No matter how good you are, Interview Rejections might come your way every now and then. You can be hardworking and qualified, but there’s a chance that you may still not manage to get that job of your dreams.

Instead of mourning over a lost opportunity, you should try to find the Reasons for Rejection, and move on. Attempting to nip the Reasons for Rejection in interviews will be the right approach to handle Interview Rejections.

Worried about not getting enough Interview Calls? It might be your resume’s fault. Optimize your Resume and Get More Interview Calls. Know about the Applicant Tracking System and Improve Your Resume.

In this guide you will find:

  • Possible reasons for rejection in an interview
  • How to improve yourself and avoid repeated rejections
  • How to handle the stress resulting from repeated rejections

And many other useful tips for better handling your interview rejections.

Does Repeated Rejections Mean You are a Failure?

NO. And we cannot stress this point enough. Getting rejected in an interview is not the end of the world. It just means that you could not provide the recruiters what they were asking for. It’s just a simple case of mismatched demand and supply.

When you go to the market to buy Potatoes, you look for Potatoes only. No matter how good the Onions are, you don’t replace them with the Potatoes.

The same thing happens with applicants too. While some companies may not find you a suitable candidate, there are umpteen numbers of other companies who will.

Keeping a positive attitude after Interview Rejections is important. Instead of blaming the recruiters, or fill yourself with self-pity, you should rather put your energy to good use. Identifying the Reasons for Rejection, and working on them might be a good starting point.

Possible Reasons for Rejection in an Interview

Does Interview Rejections always mean it’s the candidate’s fault?

Maybe. Or Maybe Not. What we’re trying to say is chances are you are not bad, but others are simply better. Your Repeated Rejections can come from three very different reasons-

The first reason for rejection is being a misfit to the role. Any human resource manager or hiring manager looks for the right fit for the role.

If you are either over qualified or under qualified you might not be able to get the job. Qualification here is a combination of several things including experience in right technology (hard skills), necessary soft skills, business knowledge, the number of years of experience that you have in the respective field, etc. Apart from these, there could be many reasons such as salary fit, etc. As long as the hiring team believes that you are the right fit, you are selected, else rejected.

The three main reasons for rejection in an interview is:

  1. Situations that are beyond your control.
  2. You did something wrong at the interview.
  3. Others outdid you.

No. 1 of the Reasons for Rejection is, as we said, factors that are beyond your control. There might be a change in the requirements (Both in terms of required qualifications and number of people needed), the company might have selected a candidate internally or based on recommendations, and so on. There’s no point spending more thoughts over such matters.

Now about the last two reasons for rejection, there are a number of things that you can do to improve your chances. But first you have to reflect upon every moment of that interview, and try to identify your mistakes, if any.

What could have possibly gone wrong?

If Repeated Rejections are coming along your path too often, it might be a good time for a reality check. Are you applying for the right job? Do you have the right qualifications? Do you possess the required skill sets?

If you find any of the answers to be NO, then it’s time for you to consider other options. Perhaps you are not going to the right direction. Ask for help from a professional career-counselor if you can’t figure out the proper career-path for yourself. Or bridge the gap between expectations of the job and your current skills.

If however, all the answers of these questions are YES, then there might be a number of small things that went wrong, inadequate qualifications not being one of them. What can they be? Here are some possible answers.

Appearance:

Appearance is very important in the interview. And by appearance we don’t mean your physical attributes at all, but how you dress and groom yourself. You are judged for your clothes too often, especially in a corporate set-up. So, dressing appropriately is very important. Your clothes do not have to be expensive or highly fashionable, but you must follow a proper dress code. For men, formal western wear- full-sleeve shirt and trousers are standards. Women can opt for both Indian and Western wear. Saree or Salwar-Kameez, both are acceptable, but remember, it’s not a party. The color and appearance should be appropriate and formal-like, preferably plain and solid-colored. If you are wearing western formal, Trousers and Skirts both are acceptable, but again, a formal appearance is absolutely required.

Attitude:

Like appearance, attitude is also a key factor. You must find the balance between politeness and confidence in order to set up the right attitude. The recruiters don’t want a candidate active too nervous, sweaty palms, feeble voice and head-scratching timid candidate. Similarly, they also don’t want a rude and over-confident chap. Be polite but feel confident all the time. Hang a pleasant smile from your lips all the time.

Punctuality issues:

Being late in an interview is an unforgivable offence. Everything you do or say just doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you are not punctual. Be 5 minutes early, but never be even 1 minute late for the interview. No matter how good an excuse you have for your late arrival, the recruiters wouldn’t even care about the reason, but only see the fact that you couldn’t arrive on time. It will be counted as your failure.

Lack of research:

Interviewers often casually asks you questions like- “Do you know what kind of work this job entails?” or “What do you know about our company?” Staring blankly at the interviewer, or smiling nervously and saying “I don’t know”, are not very impressive answers. There are a lot of such common interview questions and answers that are not related to your field of study or your job description directly. But, these tricky questions get asked all too often. Failing to answer these questions might be a critical reason for Repeated Rejections. Get a list of all such common and tricky interview questions here and prepare them well before attending an interview.

Salary issues:

Are you placing yourself too high? Demanding beyond the margin may be another of the Reasons For Rejection. There’s a good way to negotiate the salary issue. If you are not familiar with that, do your research and prepare yourself better.

How to Improve Yourself and Avoid Interview Rejections?

Now that you know where you went wrong, it’s time to fix those loopholes.

Look Good Feel Good:

As discussed earlier, pay minute attention to your appearance. Keep it minimal. Keep it formal. (Also, please avoid those smelly socks, and use deodorant if you have body-odour). Appearance is an important reason for Interview Rejections.

Set the Right Attitude:

Keep up a confident but humble attitude. Act interested. Maintain eye contact. Also learn about the proper body language. Interviewers pay minute attention to the things you say loud, and also the things your body language says silently. So, you should also be aware of these facts and should not send a message to them you don’t want to.

Small Things Do Matter:

Don’t forget small things like keeping your mobile phone in silent mode (or switched off mode), asking for permission before entering and leaving the interview room, wishing everyone according to the time of the day (Good Morning, Good Afternoon, etc.) and so on. Try to send a positive and humble vibe, as well as looking confident.

Maintain Professionalism:

If you said you are going to be there at 10.00, be there at 10.00 (or better, at 9.55). Don’t keep people waiting. It’s not appreciated.

Do Your Research:

Don’t forget to do your homework. Make a thorough research about the company, like what they are and what they do, their vision and mission, etc. Also, search the internet for expected interview questions and answers for the post that you have applied for. In short, prepare yourself well.

Work on your soft skills:

You must improve your soft-skills in order to crack an interview. This is very important. Providing the right message in the right way is necessary. Some areas that need attention are-

  • Work on your communication skills. Be a good listener first. Use more positive words in your speech. Speak with confidence, and try to keep your grammar flawless.
  • You should present yourself as a team player. No matter how good your qualifications are, nobody will hire you if they think you are not cooperative and cannot work along with the others.
  • Be flexible.  Show your respect towards others’ thoughts and ideas. But do not give up too easily just to prove yourself to be agreeable.
  • Try to improve your leadership skills, as well as problem-solving skills.
  • Maintain professional etiquettes of the company and keep yourself (and your belongings) well-organized. Do not fumble through sheets and folders when the interviewer asks for one of your qualification-certificates.

Know your worth:

Now, what is the right way to do the salary negotiations? It’s a well-known fact that you don’t get what you don’t ask for. But what if what you ask for is considered too much by the recruiters? Well, try to keep the ball on their court. Avoid quoting an amount for as long as you can. In case you just have to, be prepared with your researches. Search the internet beforehand and have an idea about what amount is standard in this industry, for this post, and with your qualifications and experience. Try to meet them at the middle-ground.

How to handle the stress resulting from repeated rejections?

We say you take a break and relax! In situations like this, it’s very common to feel unenthusiastic or dispassionate. Take your mind off from jobs, interviews, career, and enjoy a free-day (or two) with family, friends, or alone. Here’s some cool ways to help you recover your inner peace, and compose yourself for the battle again.

Let your emotions flow:

It definitely hurts when you face rejections. You don’t have to overlook your emotions. Accept the fact that you failed this time, and allow yourself to grieve. Overcome sadness by channeling it out. But don’t go over-the-top with days and days of grieving. Try to recover yourself within a day or two.

Connect with nature:


Nothing is as refreshing as a day at the beach or a picnic in a beautiful garden. Take those who are close to you for company, and just forget about the rest for a day.

Revisit your hobbies:

It’s time to pick up the guitar again, and play all your favorite tunes. Sculpturing, dancing, painting, and cooking are also great stress-busters. Do your favorite creative thing.

Indulge yourself:

It’s okay to pamper yourself sometimes, to overcome depression. Forget about dieting for a moment, and finish off the plate of pani-puri. This might also be a good time to buy that nice pair of shoes sitting in your wishlist forever.

Meditate:

This is one of the best ways to make yourself calm and composed. Try yoga or meditation. If possible, make it a habit. You will feel the difference in your mental status very soon.

Overall, the success-mantra for overcoming the grief and disappointment of job-interview rejections, is knowing how to move on. You must constantly remind yourself the fact that your life does not stop there. Recognize your weaknesses and turn them into strength. Never think of quitting before your goal is achieved. Keep up a positive mind and hopeful attitude.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Henry Ford (Founder, Ford Motor Company)