What to Do After NOT Landing Your Dream Job



You found your dream job!

Throughout the interview process, you were your most stellar self, you sent in exceptional references who gave you glowing recommendations and you walked out of the final interview feeling like you just hit a home run. 

Then, you get the dreaded call or email saying, “Sorry, you did not get the job.”

Or something much worse… no communication at all.

Besides feeling completely defeated, what do you do now?


Let the Grieving Process Begin

First of all, you need to allow yourself some time to grieve for the loss you feel.

You set your hopes on this opportunity and everything about it seemed so right.  Yet, for some reason, the employer just didn’t feel the same way. 

This can be a really big tough pill to swallow.

Most of us will have our minds begin to be flooded with self-doubt and questions, like “What did I do wrong?”

Its highly likely you didn’t actually do anything wrong.  Its more probable that the company just felt someone else was slightly better for the role.  It could have been the smallest thing that gave them the slightest advantage over you.

Or (just as likely) the employer knows something that you didn’t (or I should say they didn’t disclose to you) that would have made you not as happy in the role long-term, etc. 

The point is, don’t blame yourself.  Allow yourself some time to feel this loss and then begin to focus on what you learned to move forward.


Exit via the High Road 

Secondly, follow up with the hiring manager(s) you connected with through the process.  Thank them for their time and attention throughout the interviews.  Then follow it up by sending them a connection request on LinkedIn.

Show them that you are a class-act even when you don’t win the role you wanted.  They know you wanted the job and probably understand how you must feel, but they will also greatly appreciate that you take the high road when it comes to how you handle the situation. 


Leave the Door Open

When you’re sending your final “thank you’s” to the hiring manager(s) and employees you connected with through the interview process, also consider closing out the messages with statements that leave the proverbial door open for the future.

Let them know in not so many words that you are grateful for the opportunity and would love to be considered for other opportunities in the future. 


Internal Inventory THEN Move Forward

Yes, rejection is never fun, but it does have its perks.

Take some time to consider what you learned from this process and use it to your advantage going forward.  Consider this…

What did you learn about yourself through this process that’s new to you?

What did you re-learn about yourself that you definitely want to continue in the next one?

What did you learn about the industry, company or role that you can work to your advantage?

Taking some time to develop these things will not only help you through that grieving process we talked about earlier, but it will also give you some new (or maybe sharpened) tools in your tool belt to use going forward with your next interviews.




6 Ways to Discover What a Company’s Culture is REALLY About: https://youtu.be/QKzeN9tKLm0

Stressed Out: How to Overcome Stress in Your Job Search: https://youtu.be/nyh7J4Ii32A

10 Tips for the Most Effective You in an In-Person Interview: https://youtu.be/l0mDkQPXdXo