Tips For Dealing with Job Rejection

It is important to understand that a lot can be learnt from a ‘failed’ job interview.

Job rejection can be hard to deal with. People often get their heart set on working for a certain person or company and put a lot of time and effort into preparing for an interview.

When they are unsuccessful for the job they can often see themselves as having failed.

There could be a multitude of reasons why you did not get that particular role, from not having the necessary skills or needing more training, to the job being dissolved or even something like leaving required experience off your resume.

Learning how to deal with job rejection, understanding what things to take away from a bad interview and continuing to be positive moving forward are all a part of the job application process and can provide you with some great life skills too.

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Be Resilient

In a perfect world, you would be accepted to the first job you apply for. In reality, it’s common to have to go through a lot more than one interview before finding a job.

Resilience is key. Being resilient means to be able to bounce back or recover quickly from a negative situation or difficulty, being flexible and when it comes to rejection, using a constructive approach.

This is never more important than during the job interview process.

Remind yourself of your strengths, skills and useful experiences that have helped you in the past and that can potentially benefit you in the future.

Ask For Feedback

Feedback can be hard to get out of employers and you might not always like to hear what they have to say, but it is one of the best tools to help you when moving forward.

It can be hard to go back to an employer and ask for feedback. A follow up email is the most common method of asking for feedback.

Start with thanking the employer for the opportunity to apply and for the interview. You could then prompt the employer by asking some questions such as:

  • “What skills do you think I could improve on?”
  • “What do you think are my best skills?”
  • “How could I improve at future interviews?”
  • “Do you have any advice you could provide in regards to getting into the industry?”
  • “Is there anything I should add/remove from my resume?”

The really important thing is to then take that feedback and use it in your future job interviews.

From feedback you may realise you need to rewrite your resume, undertake an online course or certificate or purchase some new clothes to wear to job interviews.

There are many disability services out there such as the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) that can help with becoming job ready.

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Stay Positive

Staying positive  may seem like an obvious thing to do, but don’t take the negative experience of being turned down for a job into your next job interview.

Some good ways to get over feeling unhappy about not getting the job can or to help include:

  • Talking it through with a family member or disability support worker
  • Taking on any feedback provided and implementing it straight away
  • Socialising with close friends
  • Going for a walk, jog or other forms of exercise can be a great way to clear your head
  • Doing one of your favourite feel good activities

Don’t Take It Personally

This is a really important one.

It’s common to feel angry, sad, disappointed or frustrated when you find out you didn’t get the job. 

It’s very important to remember that a failed job interview does not mean you have failed as a person. 

Remember: Just about everyone has experienced being rejected from a job at some point.

So by learning to be resilient, asking for feedback (and implementing that feedback) and remaining positive you are likely to have more successful job interviews in the future.

Job rejection is not the end of the world, it’s an opportunity for you to learn something about yourself and maybe sharpen a few skills along the way. 

Additional resources: 

If you know someone with a disability who is looking for work, take a look at this article on How To Prepare For A Job Interview.


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