You got a rejection letter!?

Written by: Zoran Tučkar, psychologist.

The job application is maybe set up for the worst possible candidate. In the “friend of a friend” cue, but as a rule, in successful companies and firms, such employing is avoided – because the company is making a big risk such a way!

Today it is very difficult to find a young person who hasn’t at least once, encountered these words after finishing their education: “Dear Sir/Madam, you were not chosen in the selection process for the job of… or “We chose someone else who we found was better suited for this workplace…”

These kinds of notifications are first and foremost unpleasant, because they imply that the particular candidate in not good enough. Beside, rejection letter is also a sign that another hope of employment (and solving existential problems) has died. In a capitalist society (whatever it is) the worker is the one selling his know-how, skills, abilities and experience to the employer, who then sells it further on (most commonly to the end user).

Odbijenica nakon natjecaja za posao

Bearing in mind the constant crisis and recession there are some aspects we should remember:

  1. It is possible that the interviewer made a mistake, as it is possible that the psychological tests made wrong prognosis or a mistake in judgment was made on the basis of former employment, stereotypes and so on. Also, the candidate can also wrongly assess that the workplace will solve all of his problems…
  2. It is possible that the company is not hiring the best candidate for the job, but rather the worker who will make the most money for the amount invested. In some cases this explains hiring interns, which are (according to the current laws) employed, but the state is paying for them.
  3. Maybe you will work more than the company will be present on the market In other words, if a worker is entering the company which is already on shaky grounds, maybe he will be the first one to be laid off when the financial balance of the company diminishes according to the “last to come, first to leave” law. Hiring fast and laying people off fast is a great stress to the new worker. It is possible that the new employer (especially if he’s incompetent or prone to blaming others) will blame you as a newcomer for the bad condition of the organization.
  4. Maybe the people working in the personnel department/HR department think of you as a good candidate, but not for the said job position. For example, they are looking for a person for the sales department, and they think that you are not used to work in unstructured situations. It is possible that they will think of you when they are looking for someone for accounting, for example.
  5. Maybe it is the problem of “bad chemistry” – that you misunderstood each other in the interview. Or maybe, on the personal level which doesn’t have to have anything to do with professional communication, the communication between the interviewer and you “didn’t click”, unlike someone who maybe isn’t a strong as candidate as you, know-how and abilities-wise. Not getting ready enough or candidate’s mood during the interview also are in this sphere.
  6. Maybe you are a good and nice team player, and you are applying to the company ruled by unwritten rules of competition where the desire to maintain good inter-personal relations is small or non-existent. Or the other way around.
  7. Maybe this job is not for you, or not in the context the company is expecting you to perform it. Maybe there were things they didn’t tell you in the job interview or they told you indirectly that they expect you to perform your job contrary to your work ethics and profession. If you really love your profession this dilemma is not difficult to solve.
  8. The job application is maybe set up for the worst possible candidate. In the “friend of a friend” cue, but as a rule, in successful companies and firms, such employing is avoided – because the company is making a big risk such a way! Firstly, because it hands out the better candidates for the position to the competition, and these candidates will do a better and more work for the same money (and we all know what this means in the market). Secondly, they are exposing themselves to a big risk that the candidate will not adapt to the workplace and will not perform well. According to current laws, such worker is hard to fire – he can “hide in the sick leave”, be in cahoots with the local politician, use mobbing to blackmail and so on. In this case the company has to hire an additional worker or settle with the stagnation and general decrease of atmosphere in the work environment, because the profit is being shared also between those who are contributing adequately. So, it is not necessary for you to think about the job position which was intended for someone else. If this really is the case, the firm will get what it deserves and without any emotions from you.

What next?

  1. Get informed on test results and interviews. Maybe they will not be able to tell you anything specific, but maybe you will find out about some other options about other jobs with their business partners.
  2. If it is necessary, cry and scream in your pillow– After this, burn this emotional bridge!
  3. Job hunting continues! People with the best references don’t get the best jobs, but rather people that don’t give up on looking, who are informed and are active on job interviews. But, some people find it easier to become (or stay) passive!

Anyhow, there’s life even after work and after loosing employment, rejection letters and bad employers (I have experience with all of the above).