So, you’ve just been turned down for that job you’ve been interviewing for. Now what?
There’s a critical moment of opportunity after receiving a rejection and below, you’ll find some tips to try the next time you find yourself in this less-than-desirable situation. A quick note: these work best if you’ve made it past the first interview and feel you had a genuine rapport with the interviewer.
To stay top of mind in case another opportunity should come up with the hiring organization, here are three things you can do:
Stay Connected Tip 1: Request feedback
- Whether the news comes in via email or phone, take your time to compose a thoughtful email requesting feedback. Appropriate inquiries include: "I’d love some feedback on what may have been missing or what could have been improved in my [interview, work sample, etc.]. I’m still very excited about the work that your organization does. What’s the best way to keep up with future events and opportunities?"
Pro Tip: In the first follow-up after the rejection, ask the interviewer if it’s alright to keep in touch. If they welcome the idea, hiring managers suggest limiting these kinds of communications to one every seven or eight months. Don’t forget to open the message with a sincere appreciation for the time and consideration that the hiring organization extended, and get some bonus points by signing off with a “best of luck with the new hire!”
Stay Connected Tip 2: Set an alert
- Does the organization enjoy some occasional media coverage? How about individual members of their leadership team? Does their mission align with a particular cause or impact area (of course it does!)? These are all great search terms for you to add to your Google Alerts.
- For example, if you recently had an interview here at Idealist, you could set the following alerts: Idealist, Ami Dar, social-impact jobs. As alerts come in—you’ll need to select those which are truly relevant—scan them for potential conversation prompts.
- Did you see your interviewer quoted in a news article? Perhaps you read something about the specific organization or a new policy or law that will directly impact their work? Drop them a line and let them know you still have your ear to the ground.
Stay Connected Tip 3: Get the latest from Idealist.org
- Locate the organization’s page on Idealist.org and choose to receive email notifications when any new positions come available for this particular organization. You can do this in just one click!
Find more useful tips for composing succinct and professional emails here and here.
As the Associate Director of Editorial and Career Content at Idealist and a lifelong nonprofit professional, Alexis offers job seekers, game changers, and do gooders actionable tips, career resources, and social-impact advice.