How to reply to a rejection email - best sample

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When you get rejected after a job interview, it’s natural to feel frustrated and disappointed you’ve lost a job opportunity.

But did you know the hiring manager that rejected you, may help you get your new job?

It all depends on how you respond to the rejection email.

There’s a misconception that getting rejected means you didn’t do well in an interview and you missed the opportunity.

However, getting rejected doesn’t always mean you performed poorly in your interview.

Sometimes exceptional candidates get rejected because hiring managers feel stuck between a rock of two great candidates. With only one vacancy available, they have no choice but to regrettably reject another great candidate.

When this happens, hiring managers are keen to keep in touch with the candidate and consider them for another position.

For example, a client Inessa got rejected after a job interview. She followed up with them to thank them for the opportunity and asked to keep in touch. A couple weeks later, the hiring manager called Inessa to say their friend who’s an executive for a renowned company is recruiting and felt Inessa could be a great fit for the position. The hiring manager referred Inessa for the role, and two weeks later, she landed the job.

This job opportunity would not have been created if my client saw the job rejection as a burned bridge. By nurturing her relationship with the hiring manager, even after getting rejected, the hiring manger was keen to refer her for another position.


That’s why it’s so important to handle a job rejection letter with grace. It’s a small world and you never know how one opportunity could lead to the next.


In this blog post I'll share how to best respond to your job interview rejection to best open up the opportunities.

Let’s start with what not to do

If you respond to a rejection poorly you could be blacklisted for future roles at the company and referrals. To avoid getting blacklisted, avoid doing these three things.

#1 - Being frustrated or rude

You might be frustrated with how the interview went and how they treated you. But try to bite your tongue! Nothing good ever comes out from taking your frustration out on them.

#2 - Telling them you didn’t want the job anyway

Even if you didn’t want the job, it’s better to NOT mention this.

If you showed interested in the job in the interview and then say you didn’t want the job after you got rejected, you come across as insincere.

#3 - Saying what you don’t like about the company

Even if you think the company wasn’t the best fit for you, again, don’t mention it. Highlighting what you didn’t like about the organisation can make you come across as bitter and critical.

WHAT TO DO IN YOUR RESPONSE

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To come across as the candidate they were unlucky to lose, respond to your job rejection by doing the following things.

#1 - Thank them for the opportunity

Showing gratitude for meeting the team and learning about the company shows you were genuinely interested in the company. This makes you appear like a good fit for them in the future

#2 - Say you were disappointed but are still interested in the company

This shows that your interest in the position and company is sincere. You understand you haven’t been hired for this position. And yet, you’re resilient and haven’t given up on the idea of working with the company in the future.


#3 - Say you’d like to know if there are other positions you could be a better fit for in the future

It can be helpful to mention that you hope your paths cross again one day.

And that if you weren’t the right fit for this position, is there another role they think you’d be a better fit for? This gives a hiring manager who likes you an opportunity to think about referring you for another role.

Doing all the above makes excellent candidates seem not only professional, but also likable. This can inspire hiring managers to ask you to apply again in the future or they’ll refer you to another position internally or a role their contact is hiring for.


TEMPLATE e-mail RESPONSE

Subject Line: Your Name – Sales Manager Position

Dear (first name of your main contact),

It was a pleasure to meet you and the team to discuss the [position name] position at [company name]. Am ever so grateful for your time.

It was really meaningful to learn about your goals, your company’s history and growth, and the great opportunities opening up in your organisation.

For that reason, I am disappointed that my experience wasn’t quite what you’re looking for in this position.

Having said that, I am still very interested in your company.

Would it be possible to be considered for another position that you feel would be a better fit for my skills?

Thanks so much for your time and encouragement.

Best wishes

[Your name]


And that’s it my friends! This is how you turn a rejection into a new job opportunity and offer.