How To Turn A Job Rejection Into An Opportunity



You thought you nailed the interview, but then you got a rejection email. Dealing with job rejection is tough but you can always turn it into an opportunity!

You CRUSHED it. The interview went better than you could have ever imagined, your interviewer is probably going to make you the godmother of her firstborn, and you have already mentally decorated your new office. Then BAM–out of nowhere you’re hit with a heavy hand of rejection. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Rejection is sadly a regular part of life that we have to deal with and learn from. Here is how to turn job rejection into a new opportunity.

Press Pause

Your feelings are hurt, your confidence has been shaken, and you will never look at your lucky-interview-blouse the same way again. The worst thing you can do right now is react emotionally. Sending off an angry/whiny/desperate email instantly after receiving bad news is a no-no. So take a deep breath, a long walk, then sleep on it. Once you have calmed down and accepted the less than stellar news, you can formulate how you are going to respond to it.


Before you write a response, have a clear idea of what you would like to get in return from this email or phone call. If you are still dumbfounded as to what went wrong, would like feedback or advice from your interviewer, or have some other unanswered question that is still causing you to lose sleep at night, this is your time to get answers. While always being polite and professional, feel free to ask for the answers you are looking for. If you don’t ask, you will never know.

Just because you were told not 'right now,' your rejection does not mean 'not ever.'

Be Accountable

While in the heat of the moment with your adrenaline pumping, you thought you gave the perfect interview and were 100% the right fit for the job. Now that you have cooled off and been forced to rethink your prior stance, ask yourself what went wrong and what you could have done better. Taking advice from your interviewer is important, but being able to accurately critique yourself as well will help you grow professionally. Be honest with yourself about how you performed by asking yourself the hard questions: Were you completely prepared and qualified? Was your heart in it? Did you present yourself in the best light? It is okay if the answer to any of these questions is no. Realizing that you could have done better or given more will help you for the next time 

Keep Building Good Relationships

We’ve all been there. You read the perfect job listing that seems as though it was written just for you, you get the interview, you love the company and the coworkers, you do your very best, and alas you get rejected. Just because you were told not right now does not mean not ever. If you love the company and your interviewer, stay in touch with them. Building lasting relationships and expressing your interest in the company, even though you did not get the job at hand, will show them that you’re serious and could ultimately lead them to hiring you down the line.

featured image credit: Stock That Rocks

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