Job Search – How to Handle Rejection and Follow Up

Last Saturday evening my wife and I visited friends at their home. They are a couple I have known since elementary school days, seventh grade as I recall. Yes, childhood! They grew up living next door to each other, dated during high school, and are still together. Last year they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

They had invited several people for dinner – all of whom I have known since childhood. After dinner we were seated in their family room talking about some of the silly stuff that has happened over the years. Suddenly their cocker spaniel, who happens to have run of the furniture, wanted attention, and jumped into my lap. I was a little surprised, because at home we will not allow our dog on the couch, and I was not expecting little Rex to land on me. But I decided that is okay. I am a dog-person.

I petted Rex for a while, and when I stopped he stuck his muzzle under my arm and pushed upward – hard. He wanted to be petted more. A few minutes later when I again stopped, he gave me the muzzle-up treatment again. I said, “No, Rex,” but he continued to want me to rub under his ears. He would not take “No” for an answer. So he persisted. Rejection did not bother him. He simply continued to let me know what he wanted.

People do not enjoy rejection, and most will go out of their way to avoid it. Therefore they will no ask to be hired. They might be turned down. Then they do not try to contact the interviewer again a few days later to see how things stand. Have you been there? You have gone through an interview, did not get the job at that moment, and a couple days later when you want to call back, suddenly the telephone seems to weigh 2,000 pounds. You can not bring yourself to call.

Relax. The business is looking for a particular person to fill the job position, they had more interviews to do, and the owner wanted the office manager to interview everyone who applied – whether or not they qualify. You are on the list, and you helped put yourself at the top of their list. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. You just have to call to keep reminding them you exist. You have to be like little Rex, and not take no for an answer several times.

Almost nobody calls back to follow-up with the interviewer. How crazy is that? Other people applying for the job all have telephones that seem to weigh a ton. When you follow-up you are making yourself stand out again. Do it. You will be surprised.