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7 Ways to Deal With Rejecting a Candidate

July 12, 2017




When a person is seeking a new job, they are typically in a state of stress and chaos.  Something has changed in their environment that is causing them to seek a change in employment.  They’re likely unhappy in their current role, and are looking for new opportunity and hope somewhere else.  Candidates seek out new jobs for a wide variety of reasons.  Sometimes they feel there is a ceiling on their growth opportunity, some situations are toxic, the company culture is not the right fit, or they might just need to make more money.


Candidate rejection obviously takes place during different phases along the hiring arc.  If the candidate is rejected early in the hiring process the reaction tends to be one of the frustration and anger. “why was I not given a chance to show what I can do and to prove myself?”  responses like this tend to dissipate quickly.


The more serious kind of candidate rejection happens when that person moves deeper into the selection process.  These are candidates endure multiple interviews and discussions which lead them to believe that they have a real chance at the job, and perhaps the big opportunity they have been searching for.  This type of rejection can be dramatic and very difficult to move beyond.  A person will often feel they were not liked and unappreciated in spite of their efforts to put their very best foot forward.  This can actually be devastating to one’s self confidence and self-esteem.


To move beyond a traumatic rejection is important to give yourself time to move through the stages of grief.  The first age will be denial, where they believe the employer may have made a mistake.  Next is anger because of the lost Time &Energy spent during the interview process.  Next comes a bargaining in which a candidate will question what went wrong.  They might even reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager in an attempt to negotiate a second consideration.  When this attempts does not go well it can result in the candidate suffering from an even lower sense of self-worth.  Finally, after enough time passes, there will be acceptance and a realization that the job was not meant to be and peace in the decision can finally be accepted.

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