Getting a rejection letter after a job interview

Written by: Ana Zlatar, psychologist

It is not easy to withstand criticism or rejection, but believe me when I say that those who do the criticizing or rejecting don’t have it easy either. Often because they don’t know how to do it. Unfortunately, this is the main part of life and work. Because of this it is important to give the feedback, but also to get it. So, as a process feedback includes two parties – those giving the feedback and those receiving it.

When negative feedback is concerned, both parties have problems. The person giving the feedback is often worried that the person they are talking to will get the wrong impression and believe that this person will not know how to deal with what has been said. The person getting the feedback thinks they should apologize, with a whole specter of information.

When we are talking about giving feedback to job candidates, we have to list a couple of main notes:

  • Immediately after completing the psychological testing or the interview you should thank the candidates and say when and how they will get the feedback.
  • You must give feedback, the sooner the better!
  • You should base the feedback on facts, not subjective attitudes.
  • Feedback must not include your opinion about the candidates or disqualify them as people.
  • Feedback should refer to specific competencies, it should be clear and complete.
  • Feedback should be given in the manner appropriate for the candidate’s level (according to Cook & Cripps, 2009).

Organizations often have their own forms they use to inform people. This can be in oral or written form. Here you can download the sample form of a rejection letter or „Notification on the results of the applications“ (.doc) (or .docx) for which you can say they take into account the candidates to which it informs.

„Some people are not influenced by other people’s opinions and criticism.“ This happens very rarely and often it is a lie- We are very much affected by feedback and it is difficult, if not impossible to disregard criticism. The solution lies not in the ignoring of the negative, because that which is negative is not always wrong. We should ask ourselves what it is we are doing wrong, what needs work and how to change it. Of course, if we are aware of the fact that we are not perfect. If we believe we are perfect and other people are always to blame, there’s no helping us. Besides, we should check with other candidates, friends or through other sources if the criticism is constructive or subjective and burdened with unusual attitudes, values or experiences of the interviewer. In other words, do they have anything to do with us?


Cook, M. & Cripps, B. (2009). Psihološko procjenjivanje na radnome mjestu. Školska knjiga. Zagreb.