How to Handle Rejection Mails After an Interview

How to Handle Rejection Mails After an Interview

Here is a story of Tayo, a story lots of jobseekers will be able to relate with:

Tayo sees a wonderful job advert with an impressive job description. Immediately she sees it, she’s super excited, because it screams, This is my kind of job. Excited, she cleans up her CV and puts so much effort into a cover letter. She gets the interview invite she was expecting, jumps on her feet already thanking God for the employment letter. Tayo begins to imagine herself on the job, begins planning her route to work, etc.

Fast-forward to the interview and she answers all the questions to the best of her ability. She speaks confidently and the panel looks impressed with her experience, achievements, etc. It all looks positive. A few days later, she gets an email from the company. Excited, she opens it and sees the “regret” right in the first paragraph as usual. Wow!

Tayo is shattered. Various emotions run through her mind. She had believed it was a done deal, and her family members were excited on her behalf. Now they are asking for feedback. Tayo is left wondering for days: What could have gone wrong? Am I not good enough? What if no company wants to hire me? What if I remain jobless for years?

For a lot of people who have been in Tayo’s shoes, this article is for you. There is an ancient quote by Epictetus: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Here are some ways to handle a rejection email:

Do a honest self-appraisal
The reason I added honest is that since the excitement has dissipated, that should allow for some critical self-evaluation. The aim is for personal development and growth. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. If you don’t identify areas in need of improvement, you may never learn how to be better in the coming interviews.

Reach out to the interviewer for feedback (if possible)
This may be very difficult, because you may not have the recruiter’s contact, or they may not be willing to be honest with you. As a recruiter, I don’t blame them, because so many candidates don’t take feedback well, and it becomes a back and forth issue. However, few may be willing to be honest with you, depending on your approach.

Take your mind off it and move on to the next one
Whether you like it or not, better opportunities will come. So you have to be hopeful. Don’t let this one define you or your abilities. Just because you were not suitable for this company doesn’t mean you won’t be a perfect fit for another. People’s opinion of you should not determine your worth or value.

Personally, hope is what keeps me going after a rejection. I usually tell myself that if this one didn’t work out, then God obviously has something better, and what may have looked really big will be something I will look back on in the future and be grateful to God for the experience.

I sincerely wish you the best in your career.

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Yewande Jinadu

Yewande Jinadu is a Young and Dynamic HR Professional who is a passionate about employability of Young Graduates. She is the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria ( and the convener of The Employability Fitness Program, a program that helps young graduates overcome interview phobia through live interview mock sessions Her passion for impacting others and starting CareerLife Nigeria was borne out of her own personal struggle to get a job. As an engineering graduate who finished from a public university with no previous employability training, she struggled to find a job. She made up my mind to switch to HR with the desire to help young Nigerian graduates achieve measurable success in their career. Through CareerLife Nigeria's initiative, several graduates have become employable and gotten job several Job Offers. Recently she was recognized as one of the top 150 global HR Professionals and Top 50 Career Influencers by The Workbooth Yewande is changing the narrative for Young Nigerian Graduates You can reach out to her by sending a mail to: and follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @careerlifeng

5 thoughts on “How to Handle Rejection Mails After an Interview

  1. I have a question about point 1….honest self appraisal. Like you said, the panel was impressed with Tayo’s responses…so what went wrong? How is Tayo supposed to do a honest self appraisal when the panel seemed so impressed? Or do we assume that they weren’t all that impressed but had to keep the appearance suggesting that?

    As regards obtaining feedback, yes, I know we applicants may take it in a bad way but I don’t think it should stop the recruiter from providing same.
    I always ask for a feedback just because I need to know areas where I can improve myself, especially should another opportunity arise….alas, how many recruiters respond to you? How then do you improve yourself?

    At the end of the day, you win some, you loose some. Getting an interview at least is a sign that you are being considered and that should say something good about you.

    Until the right Company accepts you, keep pushing!

    1. Hi,

      During a lot of interviews, facial expression and interaction doesn’t mean they feel you’re suitable. A lot could have gone wrong. They may have had a reservation but not showed it.

      A lot of times, i would advise to obtain the feedback after the interview if they are willing to provide it.

      Just like you said, you win some and loose some! The right company will have you at the right time.

  2. Hi
    I’ve been reading your stories and they’ve really changed my motive and the way I see things, I’ve been unemployed, and really was always aiming for high pay jobs but after reading your story about people who just finishing NYSC and voluntary/ internship it really changed my motive. Hi
    Good evening, please I’m a graduate of olabisi onabanjo university, I studied industrial relations and personnel management, I finished with a 2.2, and I’m also through with my National Youth Service but still unemployed, please if there’s any vacancy do let me know.
    And if you could be helping unemployed people like me put up job openings here on your web, we’d love it, thanks.

  3. Thanks for this article but Tayo gat a feedback but in my own case I received a Job offer mail only for me to wait for the next procedure but the HR told me they cant process my application reasons best know to them. I will share my stories with you all later. I still await my breakthrough.

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