It is difficult to handle rejection. If you cannot accept that then you have probably already hit the job ceiling. Successful people learn to handle rejection. ‘The road to success is paved with failures.’ The job interview is not fair. It is not meant to be, and many times the wrong candidate is hired, for the wrong reason. There is nothing you can do about it.

When most candidates are rejected they skulk away and hide their heads. That is understandable, but it is the wrong strategy especially if you are trying to move up in your current company.  Part of being a management candidate is learning how to turn a ‘no’ into a chance to improve your skills.

“I Was Qualified’

Were you? Many people think they are qualified because they ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’ Let that sink in. If you don’t know what skills you are missing then you are unaware that you need those skills.

Be honest in the job interview. Do not become defensive or aggressive. Many candidates have used a rejection to build a relationship that lead to another job offer. You may not be qualified for the job that you are interviewing for, but you may be perfect for another position.

There are some problems you cannot overcome. Your overqualified, underqualified. Your salary expectations are too high, or too low. Or worse, you are a job hopper. Family responsibilities may limit your chances of success.

Emotional Responses

Don’t fool yourself. The interviewer is looking for emotion. They are trying to see if they can get you to badmouth a previous employer. Can they make you angry? Do you ‘hang on’ to the drama? Do you feel that you are not really qualified so the interview is just ‘wishful thinking’?

Are you applying because this job is the right one for your education, experience, and abilities? Or, are you applying because you want to be the boss, and are tired of not making as much money as everyone else?

All of these will play a roll in causing you to receive a rejection letter or phone call.

You Need Job Hunting Help

If you are receiving too many rejections then maybe you need to work with a recruiter. Job interviewers and Human Resources cannot give feedback for fear of a lawsuit. Your recruiter will work with you to help you land a job. But, the main bulk of responsibility lies on you.

Be honest, if you are receiving a lot of rejections then the onus is on you. You are not qualified. You present yourself wrong. You dress wrong. Or you act wrong.  Most people who ask me why they don’t get the job don’t receive an interview. I ask them instead, what have you done to succeed in a job interview.

There are courses, articles, forums etc on surviving job interviews. Did you practice with a job coach or recruiter? Did you set yourself up to be coached, and if you did, what did you take away from the session? Did you really listen?


The worst thing you can do is make excuses. They are the #1 reason why many potential candidates are stuck in their current job. An excuse is nothing more than you giving yourself permission to sit back and quit trying.

Accept the rejection, and do something, take action, engage so that you have more skills, abilities, and experience before the next job interview.

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