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Yewande Jinadu: 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. Join my monthly Twitter Mentoring Session for young professionals by following @careerlifeng on Twitter

Yewande Jinadu is the Founder of CareerLife ( and also the Head, People and Culture of a leading tech firm. She has been recognised both globally and locally as an HR Leader and Career Influencer. With CareerLife Foundation, she helps young professionals achieve measurable success in their career. With CareerLife Consulting Services, she partners with businesses to deliver value through its people by providing HR Services (Recruitment, Training etc). She can be reached via [email protected] or @careerlifeng on Twitter and Instagram

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