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You didn’t get the job – what’s next?

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It’s never a great feeling when you don’t get a job. The further you’ve come in the process, and the more work you’ve put into preparing your first, second, maybe even third interview, the more frustrating it can get. But the trick is not to get discouraged!

Brian Acton applied and got rejected for jobs at both Twitter and Facebook. Just over 4 years later, Facebook buys the company he co-founded, aka Whatsapp, and he becomes a billionaire! Acton is just the latest entrepreneur to join a long list of those who went through rejection before making it big! Walt Disney got fired because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”, Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, and Bill Gates’ first start-up flopped.

When being turned down for a job, there are two things you can do: let it dent your confidence and see it as a sign of failure – OR – see at as an experience and learn from it for your next job interview.

The silver lining

First of all, you have to look at what you achieved. You didn’t get the job, but you beat potentially many other candidates in getting the initial interview; maybe even managed to nail the first interview and got called back to the second round. In a highly competitive market, it’s important to not take that for granted. You did extremely well!


Best case scenario, you get feedback after you get turned down for a job. Reasons can vary. Maybe your nerves got the best of you; maybe you didn’t have enough time to properly prepare and research the company; maybe another candidate had more experience. Whatever it is, feedback is helpful and something that will help you in the long run. Having a good relationship with your recruiter can also be highly beneficial. Most of the time, they will have a long term relationship with the client and will be able to relay some sort of feedback, whether official or candid, to help point you in the right direction

No feedback

Of course there are times where you were more than qualified for a position, spent a long time researching the company and preparing for the interview, and still didn’t get the job. The harsh reality is that sometimes employers go with their gut feeling; sometimes there’s no objective reason for the decision to go with one candidate over another.

This can be frustrating but essentially you have to decide whether to waste your energy on endlessly pondering the employer’s decision – or using that energy to focus on finding other opportunities.

The bottom line

Just because an employer ultimately decides to go with another candidate over you, there’s no need to be discouraged. Focus on the fact that they wanted to meet you in the first place. It means your CV was good enough to get you there, which is a great starting point! Use any constructive feedback you received and make sure you give it your all in the next interview! The digital market is currently extremely buoyant and as a skilled and specialist candidate, all the odds are in your favour to land your next exciting step on the career ladder.

Are you currently looking for a job? We’d love to hear from you! Our Digital Gurus cover jobs within Creative & UX/IA, Tech, Project Management, Client Services, Information Technology, IT Security, Mobile, Media Planning/Buying, AdTech, Advertising Sales, Social Media, Search, Marketing and more! Not all of our jobs are on our website, so send us your CV or give us a call to discuss what jobs we might have for you!

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