Job Rejection? Time to Assess Why

Anne Weeks After College, Interviews, Other Leave a Comment

Anne Weeks
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Our first instinct when rejected from a job is to say, “What’s wrong with them? Couldn’t they see I was perfect for the position?”

Unfortunately, this is counter-productive to moving on successfully in the employment search.

The best approach, after the initial disappointment, is to self-reflect, re-evaluate, and plan for a better approach.


Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when rejected from a job:

1. Was it the right job for me?

It is so easy to get excited about a position because of the benefits, the company reputation, or the chance to work with people you know, and forget to think about whether the position is the right fit for you. Even in your cover letter and interview, you may have sent signals of enthusiasm that the employer realized were more about some perk than about the actual day-to-day work. Take time to think about each position before applying to make sure it is exactly what you want day-to-day: how to decide if the job is right for you.

2. Did I truly prepare?

Did you do all the groundwork necessary to be a strong applicant? It is easy to get jaded about the job hunt process when you have sent out so many applications and hear back from only a few. Be sure to research each job thoroughly and to do the necessary work to provide the best cover letter, resume, interview, etc. And, don’t forget to network. For good advice on all aspects of searching for and applying to a job, check out the Beyond the U Blog!

3. Clueless?

After thinking through all aspects of the process, are you still clueless as to what went wrong? It may be something over which you had no control. Maybe there was an internal applicant. Maybe another applicant had a networking contact that had influence over the hiring. It is hard to know. However, it can’t hurt to get feedback. Have a mentor look over your paperwork. Revisit articles on interviewing. Don’t forget to check your social media.

4. 20/20

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Think back through the interview to see if any of these Red Flags.

5. Burned Out?

Don’t give up. You may feel overwhelmed with details on how you can improve the next time around – instead, focus on one area in which you think you can improve and work on that: how to bounce back.



That’s what this is!

Don’t give up: follow this 3 step plan!


Beyond The U is an online community connecting college seniors and recent graduates with mid-cap employers.  It is a free service to all students.  All one must do is register.

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Anne Weeks

Anne Macleod Weeks is a graduate of Lawrence and Villanova Universities. She has been an educational administrator and English teacher for 38 years, specializing in the area of college admission. Ms. Weeks has been a leader in the college admission and Advanced Placement arenas and has published on pertinent educational topics in a variety of national papers and journals. She currently resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Latest posts by Anne Weeks (see all)