How to Learn from Being Rejected

How to Learn from Being Rejected

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter encourages you to use these ideas to learn from being turned down for a job.


Read a Summary of Key Points

You not going to get every job that you interview for and I do not get a get an interview for every job you submit your resume to. This isn't about criticism. This is about learning from the experience. I want to focus on the situations where you have been interviewed and rejected..

I think it's important to start off by acknowledging any feelings that you have. Are you feeling mad? Are you feeling sad? Give yourself a little bit of time. I'm not talking about weeks. I'm talking about an hour where if you are angry, beat up something in your home or apartment. I don't mean a person. I am referring to taking a tennis racket and hit the pillow. If you are sad, it is okay to cry.

Then, you move onto the next thing which is, "How did they analyze you?" How did they evaluate and assess you? What were they looking for in the course of the evaluation? How well did you answer their questions? Was that really your best or did you give them something that was 50% of your best?

Most people when they start doing their self critique, "I did a great job!" Maybe you didn't. Give yourself a little bit of time. Review your answers to their questions. Then, ask yourself, "Could I have done better?" That's asking your self just to be clear about that.

Here's the next thing to do – – within a short period of time of having the rejection communicated to you, send an email or text if that is available to you, directed to the person that you interviewed with and ask, "Could I get a few minutes of your time? I just want to get your feedback for areas of improvement. " Particularly in the case of final interviews where it is you, and 1 or 2 other people that you have been competing with, this is a great approach.

You called, set up a meeting, coffee, whatever, and then say, "I don't want to ask you why you picked the other person. I want to ask you where could I have done a better job? Where was my experience deficient in your eyes or how was the other person's experience, superior to mine so I can learn from that?" Especially, in a case where you are a finalist, this is a terrific approach. The reason I say that is because there are a lot of instances where the person they choose doesn't work out. Who do you think they start thinking of right away? You.

Getting that kind of feedback and then acting on it for your own benefit will help you develop the skills, knowledge and experience to be more effective in your next interview and, at the same time, allow them to maintain the contact with you, think of you should something happen and a new role opens up. As a matter of fact, you can say to them, "I was really so impressed with you and with your organization. If something else opens up please let me know."

This isn't about begging. I'm sure you didn't hear any sound of begging it and what I suggest you say. You don't want to sound like a beggar at that point. You just want to simply say what I previously suggested. Often, they will come back to you with something else.

This is an approach that really will be helpful to you. It may result in the job without firm. But, more likely, you can take that feedback, use it constructively and apply it to the next interview.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.


Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Please give “Job Search Radio” a great review in iTunes. It helps other people discover the show and makes me happy!

If you are an executive who is interested in 1 on 1 coaching, email me at JeffAltman(at)​

Why Won’t They Give Me Feedback When They Reject Me? | Job Search Radio

One of the great complaints the job hunters have, both from corporate and agency recruiters, is that they do not get feedback when they are rejected for position.

On today’s show, I explained why they don’t get feedback when they reject you.


Read a Summary of Key Points

Why don’t companies give feedback?

am going to give you very, succinct answers.1. By not responding, they are giving you feedback.Your background doesn’t fit a job you applied for. That is very clear feedback. You just don’t like it. You want to be told why.

Why they don’t tell you why they don’t respond to your resume or chose someone else to interview, why your interview, cause them to reject you in the 1st place, the 2nd plot point, the final interview… Why aren’t they communicating?

Why should they? Because you want to know? When did you wind up on their payroll? When did you become the individual that they were supposed to focus on?

Oh, it would be very nice if they did that. It would show great respect and care for me if they did that.

That is not the job. Their job is to fill positions and to hire people to do stuff.

But it would only take 2 or 3 minutes!

Not when you start arguing with people and that is really what happens a lot of times. People go, “But but but but but… I know I can do this job!” And there is no convincing them at that moment that their background doesn’t fit.

As a result, firms have learned by the behavior of your predecessors not to risk wasting time by giving you honest information.

Sorry, the people who have preceded you have soured the well. They have poisoned it by arguing. They’ve done it by behaving in ways that cause employers, “Screw it. There is nothing in it for us. Don’t bother.”

I know as a third-party recruiter, every once in a while, I have shown mercy and have told someone what has been said. I want to acknowledge that at times I have heard discriminatory things from firms and I argued with them about their bigotry and been taken off the vendor list as a result. I won’t stand for bigotry.

That’s the issue, often with employers. They don’t want to be identified as bigots because the real reason is you are too old, you are too young,, you are to this, you are to that.

If it is a knowledge issue, let’s break it down further.

Your resume doesn’t show that your background fits the job. Sorry. What else are they going to tell you. They didn’t respond.

They saw better resumes. “What made those better resumes?” What difference does it make? Your background wasn’t good enough to get in the door.

If it is in the interview phase, I must, in all honesty tell you that you already know.You know there are points in the interview that you didn’t perform well so just accept the fact and you learn something from it. 

You don’t have to be told to your face that the issue was your performance.


You sensed it during the interview, you lost their attention at particular points… If you are a fresher or an entry-level person at 1 of these mass interviews (a firm brings in 40 people), a certain number of people performed better than you, they had better education, the better answers to interview questions, they prepared better for the occasion.

A lot of the reasons you don’t get results, I cover at because the issue often is lack of preparation or poor preparation. I coach people through the site and answer questions. But, more importantly, I provide time by offering great content that you can review at your leisure. Videos, podcasts, articles, all my books are there to teach about job hunting. Everything is there that allows you to learn you need to know in order to be effective with your job search. 

You don’t need them to tell you. You see where it is breaking down. As I’ve said many times, if you are not getting calls about your resume, your resume stinks or you don’t demonstrate that you have the skills to do the job that you are applying for.

If you’re getting to the phone interview, but not being invited in for an in person interview, you don’t phone interview well.

If you invited in for the in person with the hiring manager and you are not invited back,… You see where I’m going with this? Everything in the process gives you feedback.

The thing you need to do is improve, not whine. That’s really what this question is. “Why didn’t they give me any feedback? I want to know why question!”

They are telling you and they are giving you feedback. The system demonstrates why and where it is breaking down. Don’t be foolish. Just improve.


If you have a question about job hunting, email me at I can’t answer every question . . . but you knew that!

Do you think employers are trying to help you?

You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday. The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Please give “Job Search Radio” a great review in iTunes. It helps other people discover the show and makes me happy!