No offer? What’s next?

By Joana Scharinger | Office of Career Planning

Let the emotions pass: Knowing that you didn’t get the job you wanted can be very frustrating. Let the initial impact of the news pass before you decide on next steps. You don’t want to send an angry email to the recruiter or hiring manager and regret closing the door to your dream company. While it’s hard not to take it personally, there are infinite reasons why a candidate does not get an offer. If you receive that frustrating email, don’t reply immediately. Let some hours or even a couple of days pass before you respond. And, yes, responding is the right thing to do. 

Be grateful: Once you let your initial emotions cool down, it’s time to practice some gratitude and show professionalism. Send a thank-you note to the employer expressing appreciation for the opportunity to interview with them. You can say you want to stay connected and hope to work with them in the future. Remember, the person who did get the offer may not end up working at the company or being a good fit for the role.  Your professional interactions with the recruiter may lead them to giving you the offer.

Ask for feedback: Most candidates are so overwhelmed by the rejection that they forget to ask for feedback. This could be a good opportunity to politely request some feedback so you can make improvements for future interviews. Not all employers will be willing to provide constructive feedback, but you could still try. Use this opportunity to hear their perspective on possible areas of improvement.

Stay connected: If you handled the rejection (and the whole interview process) in a graceful and professional way, there is no reason why you couldn’t stay connected. Sometimes, candidates believe that if they don’t get an offer, it will close the door to future opportunities with the company. This is not true. You can always consider another opening with the company or apply again for the same role later. In addition, a recruiter who moves onto a different company may consider you for roles there!

Identify areas for improvements: If you were able to get some feedback, start working to improve your interviewing skills. If you didn’t get specific feedback, start reflecting on what you could have done better. Keep practicing, so you can really improve and succeed next time.

Move on with your job search: Keep applying for other positions, expanding your network, and you will get there. Also, keep in mind these 5 things you should never do if you don’t get the job.

Didn’t get an offer and want to discuss next steps with a career consultant? Schedule an appointment here

More readings on this topic:

No means no? What to do when you don’t get the job

What to do when you don’t get a job offer


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