What to make of a rejection call?

I just finished an interview and thought I knocked it out of the park. I got a call telling me that I got rejected and was naturally disappointed. I reached out to my interviewers for feedback and I was fortunate enough to get a response. The confusing part for me is that my interviewers told me that I was very sound technically, was a great fit for the company, and that they enjoyed talking to me in the interviews. However, they said that there were a lot of qualified candidates and that I was unfortunately rejected. I would've felt better if there was something I actually did wrong that I could've fixed for future scenarios, but being told that I was basically a great match, but still getting rejected is a bit disheartening for me. Any advice on how to go about future interviews?

Comments (21)

Most Helpful
Sep 12, 2019 - 1:22pm

Rejections happen man, and the interview to offer conversion is pretty arbitrary sometimes. I've learned to take it as it comes with a "their loss" mindset. Keep grinding...things will fall into place and you'll think of this as a speed bump in the grand scheme of things. If you're sound technically and interview well, there will be a shop that'll value your qualities enough to extend an offer.

Sep 12, 2019 - 1:40pm

Pretty much the exact same thing happened to me a couple weeks ago after a superday with my top choice BB. I got out of my funk by reminding myself (and really internalizing it this time) that offer rate percentages from superdays are 10-20%, and what gets people the offer at the end of the day is luck. There were a lot of other qualified candidates in that waiting room with you and the ones who made it got lucky. It sucks but the good thing is, down the line, since it sounds like you interviewed really well, you'll be the one to be lucky and get an offer.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2019 - 1:51pm

Thanks for the encouraging words. I have a couple more Superdays lined up, so hopefully I get some luck on my side. I'll just continue to grind and polishing my technicals and market knowledge.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 13, 2019 - 11:53am

This is the wrong mindset dude - when you get a superday its your offer to lose. Blame things on "luck" and you'll never better yourself. Rejection should lead to reflection, and reflection leads to action and growth. Reminding yourself that its unlikely to get an offer just makes it unlikely that YOU will get an offer.

Sep 12, 2019 - 1:54pm

This scenario has happened to me numerous times. Although not in IB, I kn ow the situation well, you felt like you nailed the interview, you crushed the technicals, and connected with all interviewers. After, everyone is responsive to your follows ups and thank yous and you feel like you have it, only to be told you didnt get it and although you were a strong candidate, they there was a lot of competition for the job and they took someone with more experience, better fit for the role, etc. etc. All this means is you are very close. I've been given bad feedback, cold responses to follow ups/thank yous, and more times than not straight up ghosted. All you can do is continue to do what you are doing while looking to keep improving in the process and an offer will come, most likely in the very near future.

  • 3
Sep 12, 2019 - 2:26pm

Always strive to get better, but don't be discouraged or feel like you are supposed to change something. Maybe you do need to change something, but if you really feel like you got on well with them it may just be a matter of the other candidate having some unique culture fit, and maybe you have an edge over him at another shop. Don't be discouraged though!

  • Intern in S&T - Other
Sep 12, 2019 - 2:29pm

Keep your chin up king, your snapback is falling

Sep 12, 2019 - 5:49pm

When reading your post, I automatically thought about school preference. Idk what school you go to, but assuming if you're coming from a non-target, they probably chose the target school kids when deciding between you and others.

  • 3
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 13, 2019 - 11:56am

Wrong. When its a superday everyones on a level playing field. Paper qualifications no longer matter. Nontargets may be more awkward/overbearing, less physically attractive, less "sharp" which could lead to these weaknesses being exposed in interviews though.

Sep 13, 2019 - 10:56am

This exact scenario has happened to me too many times to recount in the past.

At least for my journey in IB, I remember a few Superdays I walked out thinking I really nailed it and did not miss a question but then I would receive a rejection email or rejection call (which was quite rare). People in finance also told one kernel of truth for recruiting: it's a numbers game.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Superday to conversion ratio can be quite low (especially for FT recruiting when banks decide to bring back a good number of their interns). I came to have a deeper understanding of this once in IB and being on the other side of the table.

My best advice is to keep pushing ahead with the interviews you have lined up and make sure you are not only sound on technicals, but can really hold your own on the behaviorals (which are the real crux of the interview).

  • 1
Sep 13, 2019 - 11:32am

The exact same way.

Make it a point to follow up, if you haven't already, with the individuals you interviewed with directly - regardless of the outcome, you should always take the time to follow up - not matter how small an impact it has now.

More importantly, this is just the nature of the beast. For entry level - it's largely a numbers game, and keeping at it till a door opens. Even as an experience hire, same thing applies.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 13, 2019 - 8:18pm

I wouldn't feel so down man. I work in IB and believe it or not, there is a lot of uncontrollable factors behind the scene that you don't control, like the # of alumni your school has at that bank or how higher up they are in the bank. Personal connections or school connections play a big role in recruiting, even during or after superdays.

Keep grinding and it will happen.

Sep 16, 2019 - 1:06pm

Sometimes that's how it is! It doesn't mean you weren't a good fit, rather that someone was better.

I have a sister in tech who matched every description of a role at a giant company, but the one who got the role had very niche experience in something similar. It doesn't mean you aren't a great fit, just that someone is a better fit.

Trust me that's better than having done something wrong. It just means for a company that is looking for someone like you as a fit, you know that you will interview well!

  • 3
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