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5 ways to handle job rejection and come out stronger

Karina Oluwo

19 April 2022

by Karina Oluwo

( Words)

If you have recently been turned down from a job opportunity or rejected after an interview, this blog is for you!

Rejection is a part of life, but it can be turned into a positive by looking at it as a learning experience! Here are our 5 tips on how best to handle job rejection and come out stronger.

1. Don’t take it personally

Rejection is something that everyone experiences multiple times throughout their career, so try not to take it to heart or let it get the best of you.

For every job role you apply to, there are potentially hundreds of rejections. Although it’s disheartening, it’s important to try to see rejection as taking you one step closer to finding your dream role. Think of it like this: if the company thinks you’re not right for the role, would the role be right for you either?

If you got through to the interview stage, you already did well and made a good first impression – so take this as a compliment and know that you and your skills are clearly appreciated and desirable. There are likely many other companies that would see you as a great candidate and love to give you a chance to interview with them!

2. Ask for feedback and rethink your strategy

After your rejection email or call, always ask the interviewer if they can offer you any advice or feedback on what you did well and what you can do better for future applications. You can even go as far as asking them why they chose the candidate they went with and what it was that candidate did differently/better. Use this to your advantage and take this feedback into consideration. If them going with another candidate was simply down to a mismatch in personality/culture fit, don’t feel you need to reinvent yourself – this is all personal preference and other employers may think you’re perfect for their team.

Your next step is to use this feedback to rethink and adjust your application strategy, turning feedback into action. Here are a few examples:


“You don’t have enough experience for this role.”

Look at how you can gain more experience or knowledge through upskilling yourself. There are lots of inexpensive options out there like Udemy, Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning, or you can even learn for free at your own pace through the government's National Careers Service!

If you find you keep getting rejected, it may be beneficial to look for different roles that match your existing skillset. Our consultants are always on hand to help you out with finding the perfect role for your current experience – call us today and we’ll put you through to the right team.


“You didn’t come across as confident enough in your interview.”

Interview nerves can get to all of us! Practice some mock interviews with friends or family to help you prepare, and check out our interview body language tips blog.


“You didn’t answer the questions in enough detail.”

This is a tricky one as you’ll never know what a company will ask before you get there, but practice makes perfect! Go back and rethink how you answered the questions and how you would approach them better next time, whether this was an interview or online application.

We’ve covered some common questions in our blog on how to ace your interview, or if you’re looking for answers to some real wacky interview questions, we’ve got a blog on that too!

If you didn’t quite make it to interview stage, you’ll need to go back and review your CV. Here are some tips on how to write a great CV (if you need further assistance, our consultants can also help you craft a winning resume!)

3. Self reflect

Following feedback, it’s time to ask yourself,

‘What can I learn from this to help me improve for next time?’


Although it might not be an attractive prospect after being rejected for a role, evaluating your interview techniques and the overall process will help you turn this into a positive learning experience to fuel you for your next interview.

Always be honest with yourself and write down not only the interviewer's comments and tips, but also your own points on what you think you could do differently next time.

Don’t forget to also reflect on what you know went well – use these positives to boost your confidence and ability to handle similar situations or questions in future interviews!

4. Focus on your strengths

Following a rejection, it’s ok to feel down, but remember: you still have good qualities and strengths which you can use to your advantage in your next application. Just because someone else got the job and you didn’t, it does not mean you were not good enough. Perhaps you were just not the right fit for right now.

Be clear on what you bring to the table (if it helps, write it down to remind you before the next interview). Play to your strengths by emphasising what you are good at to the interviewer and giving examples of when you have excelled in past situations. Interviewers like when you can talk highly of yourself and be confident in your own ability.

Use your rejection and build resilience from it. Pairing this with the strengths you already possess will help you stand out in your next interview, so be tenacious, dust yourself off, and pick yourself up stronger than before.

5. Treat each new role as a new opportunity

One great way to move forward in your job search is to use any rejections to narrow down your criteria and filter out roles that you now realise may not be quite suited to you right now. Also think about the sort of companies you’re applying to – do they mirror your values and mindset? If you’ve only been looking at big name brands, maybe it’s time to consider start-ups or scale-ups where you can grow with the business.

Come in with a fresh mindset – don’t let your last rejection impact your next interview. Always take time to reset between applications and ensure you are putting your best foot forward for the next, even if this means taking some time between interviews or applications to reflect, it will be more beneficial than jumping straight into another 5 interviews and making the same mistakes.
No two applications or interview processes will be exactly the same – each new application will be a different experience to the last. Use this to start afresh and take your learnings with you to drive your motivation for securing your perfect role.

There are many ways to handle job rejections and perfect your application techniques to ensure you have the best possible chance of landing the job. If you would like help finding your next role in tech, get in touch with your dedicated consultant or contact us so we can connect you with a team who'll help place you into a suited role.

Alternately, if you would like a role working with us, in either a recruitment or operations role, we have a fantastic training academy and Talent Acquisition team who will guide and support you through the interview process. Reach out to me directly (Karina Oluwo) to learn more.

Where to next?

How to ace your interview

Dealing with wacky interview questions

How to write a great CV