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What to do when you don’t get the job

March 30, 2017 by Hana Woolerson

What to do when you don’t get the job

So you’ve found your dream job, spent hours on your application, thought you’d aced your interview…but didn’t get the job.

Don’t lose hope! Although it can be really disappointing, there are a few steps you can take to turn this negative experience into a positive one.


Self-reflection can be hard to do, but it is an invaluable skill for your career journey.

After a few days, take a step back and assess the situation. Do you think you didn’t talk up a skill set that the employer felt was important for the job? Did you stumble over an interview question? Were there experiences you could have highlighted but didn’t?

On the flipside, what did you do well? If you got to the interview stage – great job on the resume and application! Always remember that to get to an interview, you did beat out other candidates to get there.


Send a follow-up email to your interviewers – thank them for the opportunity to apply, acknowledge their decision to go with a different candidate and ask that they keep you in mind for future positions.

Add a line asking for feedback such as: “If there’s anything I can do to improve my candidacy for similar positions, I’d really value your thoughts”. It is rare that an interviewer will respond to this, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get!


Why was this job your dream job? Was it the company or the position that enticed you? What particular aspects? Was it the opportunity to work in a small but creative team at an up-and-coming start up, or as part of a large team for a corporate firm?

Having a think about these questions will help you with your job search, and might even open your eyes to an opportunity or career direction you hadn’t thought of.


Don’t be too hard on yourself. There could be a variety of reasons you didn’t get the job, and many of them completely out of your control.

Dust yourself off, look at this set-back as an opportunity to learn something about yourself, and move on to the next application.

And remember, you can visit Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership for help with any stage of the job application process.

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