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You walk out of your superday feeling pretty good about your performance. You start recounting all of the questions you were asked and your amazing responses to said questions. “I nailed this one”, you tell yourself. You reward yourself with a latte from the neighborhood Starbucks and think to yourself, “I’ll probably be stopping here a lot more”.

You get home, type up your thank you e-mails and send them out. You receive a few responses from your interviewers and begin to feel even better about your chances. A couple of days pass and you find yourself sitting in class talking to your classmates. Class ends and you notice that you got a phone call and a voice mail from a number that looks strangely familiar. You listen as someone tells you to call them back in regards to your superday. Excited that you didn’t get a generic rejection e-mail, you hastily call back, only for the person on the other end to tell you that the firm has decided to move on with other candidates. Memories of your amazing interviews start flashing right before your eyes. F*ck. Now what?

I’m sure I don’t have to describe the feeling that comes next as a majority of us have probably been through a variation of the situation described above at some point in our lives. Now that you have been rejected, what do you do next?

E-mail interviewers/HR for feedback on your interview?

A lot of my professors used to recommend e-mailing the people who interviewed me for feedback (politely) so that I could correct my mistakes in time for the next interview that I got. Following their advice, I used to do this all the time back when I was in school and interviewing. What I found was that my interviewers/HR would either not reply back to my e-mails or they would tell me something very generic that wouldn’t help me at all for my next interview.

All this little exercise ever did was make me feel even worse about myself for not getting the job in the first place. Feel free to disagree with me on this one, but I would suggest not contacting anyone you interviewed with once you’ve been dinged, unless of course you had a REAL connection with someone as that will exponentially increase the chances of someone telling you the real reason you were dinged (Face it, you wouldn’t ask a girl who rejected you at a bar on what you could do better so that you can increase your chances at a ONS the next time you talk to a girl at a bar). Instead, use the time to get over your rejection and dial up your story for your next interview.

Hit the gym or go for a run

This one is self-explanatory. Hitting the weights or just going for a quick jog will get your mind off the rejection and release some endorphins which will make you feel a lot better.

Network

This one goes without saying. This is a great time to make some new contacts in companies that you want to work for or for reaching out to your old contacts for advice. It’s time to generate some new leads.

Don’t tell people how your interviews went

Next time you walk out of an interview, don’t tell anyone how it went. One of my worst fears about rejection was telling my friends that I didn’t make the cut after telling them how great I thought I did. It was a weird and demoralizing conversation to have.

One of my favorite pieces of interview advice comes from M&I. Prepare for your interview like it’s the last one you’ll get, but walk into it and say to yourself, “I’m using this opportunity to better prepare myself for the next one”.

So fellow monkeys, how did you deal with job rejections in the past? Who else loves getting voicemails asking you to call back, only to find out that you’ve been rejected?

4

Comments (27)

  • Tommy Too-toned's picture

    In before 100 people tell you it's a great thread

  • Jamess1's picture

    Couldn't agree more about the last point. Feel like with tons of interviews, it's always easy to say "Yeah it went great" and next thing you know everyone and their dog expects you're working there. Once you get the rejection you have people for weeks saying "Oh I thought you had an interview a couple weeks ago?"

    Blue horseshoe loves Anacott Steel

  • MinneBanker's picture

    I got that exact same situation and consequently the same horrid phone call last year as a soph but in hindsight (admittedly a year later) I actually screwed up two different places during my interviews

  • Black Jack's picture

    Try not to be overly positive or negative about any interview- you never know what will happen, how the interviewer thought it went, etc. Heck, you never even know how much the interviewer had to do with the next steps in the process. I will give you 3 interview situations I have had over the years

    1. Horrible interview- I messed up questions, didn't know terms, and it was generally sloppy- got invited to the final round
    2. Great interview- thought I nailed it. Had a real connection with my interviewer, was a strong candidate, knew my stuff and wasn't tripped up by any question. Didn't make it to the next round.
    3. Had a solid interview, had been referred, and had a real connection with the person interviewing me. Felt it went well, and received a phone call from her personally a few weeks later. Told me that it went well and that she was impressed by my resume and told the management team (who ultimately makes hiring decisions) how much she enjoyed our conversation but that they were focusing solely on OCR. Suggested we grab lunch/coffee over summer to discuss future opportunities and was very encouraging of me applying full time when they have more spots and can allocate them to more non-targets (for this particular bank).

    This has kind of taught me to just brush off the way I feel after an interview- you never know what will happen, and you can be surprised (both positively and negatively).

  • Tupac's picture

    not really contributing but anybody reading, #3 above goes a long long long way. even if the kid you're interviewing doesn't get it, eventually he/she may end up somewhere and be in a position to help you and that will be the very first thing they remember.

  • DrizzyDrake's picture

    Mr. X wrote:
    You reward yourself with a latte from the neighborhood Starbucks and think to yourself, “I’ll probably be stopping here a lot more”.

    You read my mind here.

  • Soccerbob135's picture

    Too real. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

  • cheme-ib's picture

    Mr. X wrote:
    You walk out of your superday feeling pretty good about your performance. You start recounting all of the questions you were asked and your amazing responses to said questions. “I nailed this one”, you tell yourself. You reward yourself with a latte from the neighborhood Starbucks and think to yourself, “I’ll probably be stopping here a lot more”.

    Word for word exactly what I did. Fuck

    "So who lost the hundy?"

  • snakeplissken's picture

    the worst is you when you walk out of an interview feeling great and thinking you almost definitely will be hired... and they don't even bother telling you you've been rejected.
    that was always a big pet peeve of mine. if you're gonna reject me, email me as soon as you can. don't just leave me hanging for 3 weeks until i decide to forget about the whole thing

    Remember, once you're inside you're on your own.
    Oh, you mean I can't count on you?
    No.
    Good!

  • MinneBanker's picture

    snake,

    they may have been considering you for an alternate if it took 3 weeks.

  • Yekrut's picture

    Nice post, I think many can relate, I sure know I can. Going out for a run was for sure the best thing for me. Allowed me to get over it and move on to the next target.

    The error of confirmation: we confirm our knowledge and scorn our ignorance.

  • In reply to snakeplissken
    Mr. X's picture

    snakeplissken wrote:
    the worst is you when you walk out of an interview feeling great and thinking you almost definitely will be hired... and they don't even bother telling you you've been rejected.
    that was always a big pet peeve of mine. if you're gonna reject me, email me as soon as you can. don't just leave me hanging for 3 weeks until i decide to forget about the whole thing

    This. This so much. The whole radio silence thing is just killer. I don't care how long ago the interview was, it was always on my mind until I got some sort of indication from HR that I had been rejected (You're lucky if you can forget). The thing with finding out weeks later is that you always question in your mind whether you had been waitlisted. The better you thought your interview went, the more you think that to be true, and the more you shake your head.

    I never got why HR doesn't bother to send a simple rejection e-mail after you've put in all the time to go to their site, interview with numerous people, etc etc. How hard it it to copy and paste a "Thanks, but no thanks."

  • Accrual Dictator's picture

    Oh man, I know this feeling all too well. I've been through so many interviews where I thought it went great and then I get some email/phone call about how they either didn't have any feedback and it was just a competitive cycle or how I wasn't a good "fit" even though they could tell that I was more than qualified.

    Just a question, has anyone ever been contacted by firms later on after interviewing? A few smaller firms that I want to work for said that they would keep my resume for the future, but has anyone been contacted after they said they'd keep it on hand?

  • MonkeyMath's picture

    B School Rejections

  • In reply to MonkeyMath
    Mr. X's picture

    MonkeyMath wrote:
    B School Rejections

    not there yet =/

  • hoodwinked's picture

    The worst part is when your friends go "didn't [mutual friend] interview with [your firm] too?" "I heard they got it...are u going to company XYZ event [that you're not invited to]?"

  • In reply to Accrual Dictator
    hoodwinked's picture

    Accrual Dictator wrote:
    Oh man, I know this feeling all too well. I've been through so many interviews where I thought it went great and then I get some email/phone call about how they either didn't have any feedback and it was just a competitive cycle or how I wasn't a good "fit" even though they could tell that I was more than qualified.

    Just a question, has anyone ever been contacted by firms later on after interviewing? A few smaller firms that I want to work for said that they would keep my resume for the future, but has anyone been contacted after they said they'd keep it on hand?

    I had one firm who "cancelled" the summer internship but then found my resume in the pile and then hired me 3 months later for a fall internship. I doubt they cancelled anything but they didn't open applications to anyone else and restricted it to their pile.

  • pen_island's picture

    Good post. I especially agree with the "Don't tell your friends how it went part" it seems like everytime I got excited about a potential position or how an interview went....the end result was awful, a bit superstitious, but nevertheless; don't get ahead of yourself and stay as down emotionally as possible.

  • fiveam's picture

    Its just like what you do after finals, you don't think about how well/poorly you did till you get the results back.

    “Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done but for the things we haven't done”

  • zerosum's picture

    Got a voicemail from GS a yr ago, only to find out that they went with someone else, it hurt real bad. But GS HR process is the best ive dealt with. Other firms are not nearly on point with GS. Getting rejected from a firm whose HR process is not on point is the worst, because you feel that at least they could do is give you a set timeline on when you will hear back. The radio silence is the worst thing. Has anyone successfully broke radio silence by calling or emailing interviewers after final interview? Curious to know other people actions during radio silence.

  • In reply to Mr. X
    Ontheisland's picture

    Feel like nobody else understand how it feels until I see this thread. radio silence has been months and I have the exact same feeling. Great post!!

  • R_lope's picture

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  • TOJSHU's picture