Things you should never do if you don’t get the job

Not hearing back from an employer is one thing, but once you are invited to interview, suddenly you have invested a lot more emotionally. You have aced the interview; the recruiter likes you and you have even eyed-up your future work desk. So getting a phone call that you did not get the job, especially when you are so close, can be really disheartening.

But don’t worry if you didn’t get your dream job, take a look at the tips below on how to turn a rejection into an opportunity. 

Don’t lash out

If you have to, vent your frustrations to a family member, partner or friend, but don’t use this as an excuse to take your anger out on a recruiter. Not only will this result in you alienating yourself from any future prospects with the company, you will also risk embarrassing yourself and looking unprofessional.

Take the high road, your life isn’t over because of one rejection. They are plenty more jobs out there that will be just as great, if not better suited for you!

Don’t take it personally

Remember, the recruiter is looking for the person best suited to the job. It is easy to think you were rejected because they didn’t like you personally. But maybe you lacked some specifications they were looking for, or maybe another candidate fit those specifications better. Whatever the case may be, its unlikely to be personal. 

Usually it is related to your professional profile, which you can always work on and improve. Take the time out to review the interview. The questions they asked, your responses and even your non-verbal behaviour. Take a look at different interview techniques as well as the job specification to help you plot your strengths and weaknesses. 

Motivate yourself by taking a look at your strengths and think about how you can utilize these in the next interview. You should also take time out to see how you can improve and hone your weaknesses, mistakes and skills.

Don’t forget to follow up 

You may not have got the job, but keep in contact by sending a short email. Thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity. Acknowledge that you may not have got this job, but ask them to get in touch if any other suitable positions crop up. 

Briefly remind them of your strengths and what you can do should they be looking to hire again in the future. 

Don’t reject feedback

Take the time to ask the interviewer for any feedback on your performance. Although it can be hard to hear what went wrong, take the criticism constructively and use it to your benefit. 

Ask questions so you can really use this to refine your own skill set or improve your interview techniques. For example, ‘While I acknowledge I wasn’t chosen this time, please can I ask for some honest feedback on how I faired in comparison to other candidates in the interview?’. 

Even if you don’t agree with what they said, don’t be tempted to reply critically or defensively. Take their points as a learning opportunity and use the feedback in a positive way. To help make sure after the next interview, the job will be yours!

Don’t burn your bridges

If you really liked the company or to utilize the connections you have made, dont be afraid to keep in touch with them. 

Send an email after a few months asking if any other roles have become available, along with any improvements you have made. Not only does it keep you fresh in their minds, it also shows them you are willing make changes and to learn.

And even if they don’t have any roles for you in their own company, if you make a good impression, they may pass your details on to other recruiters for further opportunities. 

Finally make sure to stay positive…

So you didn’t get the job, but you did better than most people. Out of so many applicants, being one of the chosen few for interview is no mean feat, so well done on getting even that far.

Improve what you can and make sure to keep applying!


Post by Maryam Tashfeen.

Maryam Tashfeen was raised in North East England and is a fourth year medical student at Medical University Pleven, as well as a former student at the University of Bradford. She has previously held work-experience roles in a number of different countries, including England, Bulgaria and Jordan. Currently, alongside her studies she works within the retail sector and volunteers for a number of great charities. Through a combination of her personal journey as a student and her experience in the working world, she can provide you with great insight into all things relating to student life, jobs and careers.