All (?) of us have been sent a ‘thanks but no thanks’ email from an employer we’ve applied to at some stage in our lives, job rejection is a reality. With Seek currently reporting that applications per job listing continue to rise beyond the already record levels seen in 2023, competition for jobs across the country is higher than it has been in recent times. That is across all sectors, not just IT.

Throw in the reality of a decreasing employment rate (Dec 2023) and you will find there is little room to even move between jobs at the moment.

Getting to the point; expect to miss out on a few jobs before you land one. Yes, it is hard to take and you are likely to feel deflated as you go through the process, especially if you miss out on something that sounded like a dream job. The trick is to use this process and the feedback that comes from it to help you succeed sooner. It is the key to moving forward in your job search by making yourself more appealing to employers.

Job Rejection is Not Personal, It’s Part of the Process

The interview process isn’t personal to employers and it shouldn’t be to you either. Job rejection is rarely a reflection of your worth as an individual or professional. Hiring decisions are influenced by numerous factors beyond your control, including organisational needs, budget constraints, and the specific skill set of other candidates. Accepting that rejection is not personal but rather a standard aspect of the job-seeking process will soften its emotional impact.

Avoid falling in love with a job description, even if it’s your dream job. Think about how well you sell yourself during an interview, for example,  good employers with strong brand awareness can sometimes do the same and over-sell the position. Do your research, ask the good questions, but keep your emotions in check when evaluating a potential workplace. If you fall in love too early, the rejection will be more keenly felt.


Anyway, it’s possible that after reviewing the vacancy, you may be less convinced the employer’s culture or working environment was the right fit for you, and being rejected could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. You can also take small solace in knowing that a staggering 95% of employers admit to making bad hires every year. This means that you could have been right for them all along.

Hiring is hard and no one has the perfect hiring procedure

Despite making it through the application process and various interviews, receiving a phone call from your Recruiter regretfully informing you that you didn’t get the role is when you are most in danger of letting rejection cripple your job-hunting efforts. It’s very natural to question whether you did something wrong when talking to the employer face-to-face, it’s far more likely not to be a reflection of you as a professional, as employers fill many vacancies with internal candidates.

When Asking for Feedback

When you receive that dreadful rejection call or email, the first question on your mind should be; should I ask for feedback? If you think it can help you refine your skills or help you come across as more confident in an interview, then the answer should always be a solid “Yes”.

Taking the initiative to ask for feedback can be incredibly beneficial. Employers are often willing to provide insights into your performance during the selection process, offering valuable information on areas for improvement. Most feedback is a solid resource for professional development, enabling you to address specific weaknesses and improve your appeal to future employers. Feedback is an excellent way to further yourself as a person too (not just a jobseeker), and if you’re not using a recruitment agency then you need to carefully consider the way you approach an employer. Be sure to stay professional, stick to the situation and not the personalities involved in the interview, for example.

Remember, this is still a business communication and it can have an impact on your personal brand. It’s a good idea to always start by thanking the employer for the opportunity to learn more about them and their role, and end by asking them to keep you in mind should a position that better fits your experience come up.

Keep in mind that you’re asking for feedback, not a second chance, as interviewers are most likely to make their decisions within the first 15 minutes of you walking through the door.

Self evaluate when dealing with rejectionImproving Through Self-Evaluation

The feedback you receive is a great tool for self-improvement. If you find out you lack certain experience or skills, that gives you the opportunity to look at how to acquire them. Reflect on your application and interview experiences to identify any gaps in your skills or knowledge that may have influenced the employer’s decision. Consider aspects such as your technical competencies, communication skills, and how well you demonstrated your fit for the company culture.

Alternatively, you may have a problem with how you interview, such as talking too much without really answering the interviewer’s question. In this case, you could listen to their feedback and better prepare yourself for the next time you’re in this position.

You can cut down the process of asking an employer for feedback by using a recruitment agency. If you are rejected from a role you interviewed for, your Recruitment Consultant will notify you over the phone and discuss your options going forward, as well as any available feedback.

Don’t shoot the messenger

Not every employer will offer you feedback on request, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from your experience. The same goes for your recruitment consultant – rest assured that they are pushing for feedback at every opportunity and there is no reason they wouldn’t share it if they had it. Some employers are simply overwhelmed when hiring which means feedback will be slower than you would like.

Self-evaluation is another particularly important part of improving yourself.

An interviewer will attempt to focus on your key strengths and weaknesses to get a complete picture of you. Ask yourself if they seemed satisfied with your answers or did they keep pushing the same question. Were they focusing on a particular section of your work history or skills? Paying attention to what questions they ask or repeat will be a good indication of areas for you to adjust in your interview.

However, if you find yourself being rejected before having a chance to talk to an employer then you may have an issue with your CV and should consider the assistance of a specialist Recruiter to help secure an interview.


Job rejection, while often disheartening, should not deter you from pursuing your goals in the IT industry. By understanding that rejection is not personal, seeking feedback, and engaging in self-evaluation, you can turn these experiences into triggers for growth. It’s easier to say than do, but learn to embrace each rejection as a learning opportunity and use it to refine your skills, knowledge, and approach to job seeking. Also, don’t think you’re alone. Most of us have been rejected for a job we wanted. Just remember that every rejection is an opportunity to learn and move forward stronger.

As an experienced IT recruitment agency offering guidance to professionals across New Zealand, Sourced can help you overcome job rejection and move your career forward. If you need help with your CV, interview technique or you’re just in need of general advice on your IT career, get in touch.

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