The Right & Wrong Ways To Respond After Not Getting A Job

What to do after you don't get the job offerChances are good that during your job search you will go through the job interview process many times. Although job interviews are a positive sign that a company is interested in you, it is not a promise of being offered a job.

When a job offer doesn’t materialize after the in-person interview, it’s important that you respond appropriately. Here are a few examples of good and bad ways to respond after not getting a job offer.

Bad Way To Respond: Trash Talking The Company

You are going to have a hard time getting a job if you are saying bad things about a company in your industry. This is particularly true if you are foolish enough to bad mouth them publicly (for instance, in a post online) or to an industry recruiter (you’d be shocked at how small the working world is). So save your anger and frustration for behind closed doors and get over it quickly. Taking a negative outlook isn’t going to help you stay positive during your job search, nor is it going to do you any favors down the road when more prospective hiring managers start looking into your character.

Good Way To Respond: Send A Thank You Note To The Hiring Manager

It is always a good idea to say thank you after an job interview. Just because you weren’t offered the position you interviewed for doesn’t mean that you won’t be getting a job there — or somewhere similar — in the future. Sending a quick note thanking the company for its time is a great way to stay on their good side and to add the hiring manager as a professional contact. By maintaining kind and professional communication with the company, you might be able to get an insider tip on when similar positions become available in the future.

Bad Way To Respond: Sulking

Yes, it’s disheartening to be rejected for a job, particularly when it’s one you really want. But that’s no reason to stop looking. As wonderful as the job you didn’t get might seem, there are other great opportunities out there. So don’t sulk and don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak, as this is not a proactive way to approach the job search. Stay positive, stay proactive, and get back out there until you find the job you’re supposed to have.

Good Way To Respond: Connect With Others In Your Network For Support

Almost everyone has been denied a position at least once in their lives. Lean on those in your professional network for support and possible openings at other companies. They should also be able to help you gain perspective on the situation, and might be able to offer advice so that you can do even better at your next interview.

Getting a job is not easy. There will be times when you will not be able to get an interview to save your life. However, there will be a company that is interested in what you bring to the table, so use the rejections as a learning opportunity and keep on looking.

Related: How to Combat Job Search Burnout »

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