Five things you should do when you didn’t get the job!

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published On: 18 Dec 2020

When you didn't get the job Hero Image

Job seeking isn’t always as simple as applying for one job and then receiving an offer. As exciting as starting your job search can be, there can be a long road ahead to finding the right job for you. We’ve all experienced a time where we went for an interview, thought it went well and then received a call or email saying you didn’t get the job. It’s important to know that even though it can feel like it at the time, it isn’t just you that is going through this alone. Rejection is part of your career process. Everyone will find a time where they are turned down for a role and it’s all about how you handle it and move on with your job search. We have some advice on how to handle job rejection and what you should do when you don’t get the job.

Ask the employer why

Too many employers don’t even have the time to let you know when you weren’t successful in an interview, so if they’ve taken the time to let you know, try and use it to your advantage. When you have the employer on the phone, or even if you have their email address, take a second to ask them why you weren’t successful in this instance.

Feedback is a crucial part of job seeking, it can allow you to find out where you went wrong, what you could have done better, and it will help you improve these things for your next job interview. Sometimes we don’t want to hear negative feedback, but it’s better to have an understanding rather than just move on without knowing. You might want to ask questions like;

  1. What do you think I could have done better?
  2. In your opinion, was it anything to do with my skills or experience in particular?
  3. Do you have any advice on my interview technique?

Sometimes it’s not anything directly about you or your skills, you might have just been nervous and had a bad day. It’s sometimes just the small things that you do that can set you apart from another candidate.

Still say thank-you!

Whether you have been offered the role or not, it’s still always important to say thank-you. This can be either over the phone when they call you with the news or via email. A thank-you note can set you up for future opportunities with this employer. It’s the small things that can help you be remembered and just because it didn’t work out this time, doesn’t mean you should cut your ties with the employer completely. We have more advice here on how to write a successful thank-you note.

Keep looking for opportunities

A rejection from an employer, although it may seem devastating at the time, is not the end of your job search and definitely doesn’t mean you should stop looking for opportunities with that employer. If you were happy with what you learned about the company in the interview and if they have any other vacancies that would be good for you, either now or in the future, don’t let them pass by because of one negative experience.

You may have feedback from the company and time to improve on your job search and/or your interview techniques. As long as you don’t cut your ties and you’re consistently polite to the interviewer, there is nothing wrong with applying for a different role in the future. If anything, if you were a good candidate, asked for feedback and sent a thank you note, they may remember you and be more than happy to invite you back.


Take another look at your CV

In some cases, you might have not been invited to an interview with the employer. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for feedback if you have contact details available to you. In this case, you should be looking over your CV and cover letter to see what you can improve.

Did you tailor your CV to the company? If not, next time try and do this to ensure the employer see’s that you have done your research and are compatible with the job and the skills they have taken the time to include in the job description.  We have some more information here on how to tailor your CV for different employers.

Sometimes we all make simple mistakes. Although it is always a good idea to check your CV before you send it, even after you have loaded it into the email or application form, small details can slip through. Job seeking is a full-time job and can be very tiring. When you have been filling out application forms and tailoring CV’s all day, it can be easy to make the small mistakes. So, make sure you are going over the smaller things like spelling and grammar. Take the time to re-read your CV to make sure it makes sense and double check the format. Things we all know how to do but get over-looked from time to time.

Remember it’s all part of the process

Failure is part of the process. It’s admittingly the worst part but in times where you don’t succeed, remember your triumphs and move past the negativity as best you can. Even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time, there are other people that have gone through this. Take it in your stride and make sure that you are doing your best to improve.

If you are taking the time to do the things we have suggested above, the next time you have an interview, you may succeed. Sometimes it’s the little things, sometimes you may have to work on something more important, like your interview technique. These things take time to perfect and every time you apply for a job or have an interview, you are learning. After all, you can only get better.