Here at LWR we have placed approaching 100,000 candidates into roles that are both temporary and permanent. 

However not every employer we work with has said yes to a candidate, and therefore we have a lot of experience of talking to and helping candidates who were ‘rejected’ during the interview process.  

We have learnt a thing or two over the years when it comes to the best way to handle the dreaded no and here are a number of strategies that work. 


1. It’s OK To Feel Down…… Then Move On 

We are all human, and rejection hurts. There is a time and place for putting on a brave face; remember, emotions and feelings bottled up are never a good thing. 

A good friend of mine has a phrase she calls it “processing my disappointment.”, which sums it up well. The thing is you then need to move onto the next stages if you want to recover fast. Let me share what they are. 



2. What Are The Facts? 

Unfortunately, emotions can blur the facts associated with any situation. Our careers and jobs are a huge part of our lives, and it's easy to take everything personally. 

The downside of our human programming is we are hardwired to pay more attention to negatives than positives, a quick look at the newspaper headlines confirms that. 

After processing the initial ‘no’, it’s time to get some facts/data about what happened. For instance, was it wrong time or wrong place? Or was there something you could have ‘done’ differently? 


3. Ask For Feedback

This is an essential part of the process. Though feedback for many of us isn’t easy to hear, if we are serious about improving; it's vital. 

The Lucy Walker blog gets literally thousands of views each month from candidates who may or may not be working with us. In honesty, rejection is much easier to handle if you are working with a recruitment professional. 




They have a direct line to the hiring manager or panel and can put the feedback into context for you. The facts are if you approach a company yourself, even though you might ask for feedback you probably won’t get it. Not for any sinister reason either. It’s likely the hiring manager hasn’t got time to speak or communicate with individuals. However, they are happy to talk to a recruiting partner like ourselves. 


4. Discernment and Debrief

In leadership and training circles there is a well-known process called; Plan Act Assess Reflect. The assess and reflect part is relevant here. 

Once you know more facts, you can then review the situation in depth. This is where discernment comes in. For instance, if suddenly an internal candidate entered the process your chances of success might have slipped. Or that another candidate pipped you at the post because they had an additional skill you didn’t. Both examples can and do happen. 


5. Be Honest…..Did You Perform Well? 



Time to be honest with yourself:

  • How well did you perform? 

  • Where you fully prepared? 

  • Had you carried out research pre- the interview on the organisation? 

  • Did you go through the job specification with your recruitment consultant and prepare your answers? 

  • Did a confidence crisis raise its head? 

  • Did you practise answering interview questions? 

If you struggle with confidence, read this post here. If you are unsure about how to nail an interview or what skills you need then put the kettle on and read the articles here that have been written to help you. Then importantly take action on them. 


Then finally, an interesting question for you? Did you really want the role? Though this might sound strange, hiring managers have insight and can pick up on body language signals. 

If you weren’t genuinely committed, unfortunately, your body language and demeanour could have given this away. Though you might have answered all the interviewers questions, the manager might have picked up uncertainty on your part or a lack of enthusiasm. 


Next Steps? 

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We have placed and filled over 100,000 temp and permanent assignments over the last 30 years so have a range of techniques, ideas and platforms which could help you. Why not call us on 0113 367 2880 to have a conversation with one of our team. Alternatively drop us an email here or check out our Testimonials and Case Studies.


About the Author: Lucy Walker

Lucy Walker is the founder and Managing Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment.Lucy has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over 25 years in the profession