Job rejection ¦ 5 steps to respond and get meaningful feedback 

Thank you for your time attending an interview with us. I regret to inform you that…

Here we go again. You didn’t get the job…

When you apply for jobs, you’ll undoubtedly face rejection at some point. 

And when the rejection email lands in your inbox, after an application or an interview, you’ll be disappointed to hear your dream job will be just that. A dream!

But now you’ve heard the news, you need to decide what to do next. 

What are your options?

  1. You can delete the email, bury your head in the sand and pretend you never applied for the position. 
  2. You could write a FU reply telling them they’re going to regret their decision (tempting but it will probably reassure them that they’ve made the right choice).
  3. Respond gracefully.

You guessed it, I’d recommend the latter.

By the way, if you’re not great at dealing with rejection, check out my post to find out how to get over it. 

Why should you reply?

Thing is, being rejected for a job doesn’t mean ‘We won’t hire you, ever!’

It could be that:

  • You did well but there was a better suited candidate,
  • You need to improve your CV, interview techniques or gain more experience,
  • You showed some good skills but this specific job wasn’t right for you,
  • The job was cancelled, 
  • Etc. 

But you won’t find out unless you ask for feedback.

And you never know, the advice you get might help you secure your next job. 

Also, by acknowledging the rejection gracefully, you’ll show that you can handle setbacks in a positive and professional way, want to improve and are still interested in joining the company. 

All good stuff that can make you jump from the ‘no’ pile, to the ‘almost hired’ one, if another job becomes available in the future. 

You’ve got nothing to lose. 

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How to respond to the email?

Here are 5 simple steps to approach it:

  1. Thank them: Obviously, not for rejecting you, but for their time and consideration. 
  2. Express your disappointment: Being honest about how you feel will show that you had a genuine interest in the role and company. But keep the tone positive by talking about what you’ve enjoyed during the process, learnt from the people you spoke to, or wishing them success with their new hire.
  3. Reiterate your interest: Remind them (don’t beg!) that you’ re still interested in working with them and would like to keep in touch. If you don’t, they might assume you’ve already moved on.
  4. Ask for feedback (if they haven’t already told you why you were unsuccessful): This can be a tricky one… You don’t want them to feel like they’re going to have to justify themselves to a disgruntled candidate. No one likes confrontation! Be polite, assume that they’re doing you a favour and show that you want to hear what went wrong to improve.
  5. Wrap it up: Close your email politely, give them one more thanks, your details if they want to contact you and goodbye!

See, it’s not that bad. 

Use this template as an example to get you started:

Hi {{Name}}

Thank you for your message and consideration for the role of {{Job Title}}. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss with {{whoever you spoke to}} and learn more about {{Company}}

While I am disappointed to hear that I wasn’t selected for the role, I am still very interested in joining your team and would appreciate your consideration should another job opportunity become available in the future. 

If possible, I would like to hear any feedback you might have on my interview to help me with my job search. 

Thanks again for your time and consideration.

Best regards, 

{{Your Name}}

{{Your Contact Details}}

And, now you can move on with your job search. 

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