Hiten was optimistic when he clicked on the email. He knew he had aced his job
interview. He had been polite and confident. He gave sharp, concise answers to what-if scenarios. He cracked jokes that made the interviewers laugh. And Hiten left the meeting very satisfied with his performance. After a few days of anxiously waiting, he was ready to open the official letter sitting in his inbox.
Except, it wasn’t an offer. It was a flat-out rejection. Hiten’s smile wiped off his face and his forehead gained a few worry lines. What went wrong? They had seemed so interested.
Hiten was so confused, he re-read the letter many times.
They thanked Hiten for meeting with them.
They had decided to hire someone else.
However, they wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
It wasn’t over, though. Hiten has one more thing left to do before he put this fiasco behind him. He had to figure out how to reply to a rejection email.
Hiten felt bitter. He was in no mood to communicate with the person who had ended his dream of working with a top MNC. However, he had to keep his cool and be professional. He needed to show he could take the refusal well. That he could still be a worthy candidate when another position opened up in the future.
The reality of rejection letters
It doesn’t matter if you are good at what you do or if you are just starting your career, rejection is a terrible thing to face.
“We have decided to go another way.”
“This position has been filled internally.”
“Please re-apply when you have more experience.”
Many candidates, like Hiten, have heard the above clichéd lines several times.
A dismissal of your talents and skills isn’t good for anyone’s self-esteem. However, it happens all the time in the corporate world. If you go on ten job interviews, you will face nine refusals. What matters is how you handle that rejection.
Do you send a bitter response?
Do you beg for another chance?
Do you ignore the email and simply don’t reply?
All of the above are terrible choices. They won’t do you any favours. You may even develop a reputation for being a sore loser. The word can get around as HR managers know each other. Even though you have been rejected now, doesn’t mean you can’t get hired in the future.
So it is time to add another skill to your arsenal. Learn how to handle rejection the right way, and it will speak volumes about your character.
Also Read – 8 pointers that get your Resume shortlisted
7 ways to handle rejection and bounce back
The first rule of rejection is: It’s not personal! They may have genuinely liked you, but you were not the right fit for the job. So let’s not get nasty or mean. End the entire interview process on a good note. How you handle rejection is as important as how you manage your success.
Accept the rejection
So you didn’t get hired. Take a moment to feel the sting, then shake it off. Many thriving professionals face hundreds of rejections before they got successful. And sometimes, even after that, they still don’t get hired for every job they apply. It is part of the corporate game and all candidates play by the rules. They know how to handle rejection.
Sometimes, you get through. Other times, you are stopped at the door and sent back. So accept it. You didn’t get the job today, but tomorrow… that’s another story.
Reply with a thank-you note
“It’s your loss.”
“I got a better offer with a higher salary.”
“Who cares? I don’t want to work for you anyway.”
“Your office smells like rotting socks.”
These are all classic cases of sour grapes. You can think this, but please don’t write it down and email it to the HR manager of an esteemed organisation. It is not how to reply to a rejection email. You need to be pleasant and professional. You can write back and thank them for considering you. You can even say you enjoyed meeting with them or you learnt a lot from the interaction. It is the best way how to handle rejection. Down the line, if you meet with the same people again, they will remember your professional behaviour.
Also Read – Importance of Body Language in Day to Day Life
Ask for feedback or advice
The company recruiters may have shut the door, but they left a window open. You can write and ask for advice or feedback on what happened. You could phrase it as,
“I respect your decision, but may I please know if there is anything I need to improve or work on?” Or,
“Please can you make any recommendations to help boost my resume?”
This shows you have a willingness to learn and better yourself. Good HR managers are happy to give feedback. They may reply with suggestions and recommendations. They could ask you to do another course or pick up a skill. Maybe you need more experience and then apply again. Whatever the reply says, read it carefully and objectively. Once again, don’t take it personally. This is a good chance to improve. This is how to reply to a rejection email and learn something in return.
Work on yourself
If the recruiter provides feedback, good for you. You now know what to do next. If your resume lacks substance, you can look online for tips or speak to an expert. If you appear nervous or insecure during the interview, you can improve your body language and public speaking skills. If your industry knowledge is poor, start reading the news about your field daily and brush up on your concepts.
Even if you don’t get proper feedback, you can still work on yourself. Speak to seniors in the industry or your professors to find out where your weak spots are.
The best way to handle rejection is to learn from it and become a better you.
Be aware of your industry news
Your resume boasts of fancy degrees or global certifications, but do you know what is going on in your field right now? Is there a new development? Had something impactful happened? Let’s say you are a finance professional. You have to be up-to-date on any new governmental regulations, economic changes and market fluctuations. It impresses recruiters when a candidate is knowledgeable and aware. So don’t just rely on your educational background. Ensure you are well-read and informed of everyday affairs as well.
Apply for more job positions
So you just got rejected? Never mind. You can apply again, and again, and once again. Send your resume to a hundred companies, and 20 will call you for an interview. Out of those, five firms may give a callback. Ultimately, you only need one job. If you cast out a wide net in the job pond, you’ll catch something eventually. It sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? How to handle rejection? Set yourself up for even more rejection. It’s okay. You’ll develop a thick skin, learn from your mistakes, become proficient at giving interviews and eventually get hired.
Find your USP
“Why should we hire you?” Very few job interviews on Earth have been conducted without this question. It’s tricky, but the right answer will set you apart from the other candidates. Your USP could be work-related. It could be your personality. Maybe you are excellent at technical skills. Or, perhaps, you are an exceptional communicator. Focus on whatever sets you apart. Now add a personal touch to that quality.
“I’m good at communication because….” The end of that sentence must reflect the beginning. Give real-life examples. Showcase what you are saying. At the end of the interview, the recruiter will remember you as the candidate with that one special characteristic. Once you make yourself a unique applicant, you can worry less about how to handle rejection and celebrate your acceptance letters instead.
How Proschool can help you ace your interviews
As a reputed coaching institution, IMS Proschool offers a stellar study experience for all students. The teachers ensure the syllabus is taught through active learning methods and hands-on training. You don’t just memorise a textbook. You learn about real-world examples and applications. This will make you a highly knowledgeable person in your field. Your technical skills will be on par with the best in the industry.
But that is not all. Proschool also helps students enhance their soft skills. The staff helps with presentational abilities, communication skills and even interview etiquette. When you clear your course, you are prepared to enter the job market and take on tough interviews. Even if you fail sometimes, it is fine. Your training at Proschool will ensure you handle rejection positively and that you know how to reply to a rejection email articulately.
Q1. What are the five most commonly asked questions during an interview?
Why do you want to work at this company?
Can you tell me something interesting about yourself?
What were your responsibilities at your last job?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Q2. If an interviewer asks me if I have any questions, what should I say?
This is a good point to clear any doubts you have about the company or your role.
What specific responsibilities will I handle?
What is the company culture like?
Does the firm offer extra skill learning courses?
You can also ask the interviewer about their experience working with this company. Your questions will help you understand the organisation better and even help you consider if you want to work there. It will also show the recruiter your interest level.
Q3. How will Proschool help me find a job?
Proschool has set up an efficient placement portal where certified students can apply for jobs. The institution also helps students with resume writing skills, presentation skills and interview etiquette. It is helpful for freshers who are absolute novices in the employment market.
Many titans of industry, CEOs, entrepreneurs and company founders have faced rejection at some point in their careers. They were able to overcome their shortcoming and improve themselves. They probably also knew how to reply to a rejection email. Most successful people see these setbacks as learning experiences. If you want to join their ranks, you must know how to handle rejection.