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8 perfect ways of how to tell someone they didn't get the job

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Rachita Jain

Author

When it comes to hiring someone, a recruiter or an HR needs some exceptional skills for the most unlikely position of having to tell them that they didn’t get the job. When a candidate doesn’t get a job offer from you, it can be an awkward and uncomfortable situation, and often times HR doesn’t know how to tell someone they didn't get the job.

If you communicate the decision in a rude or hurtful way, it will likely come across as unprofessional and will reflect negatively on your company's reputation. You need to be very polite and you must always thank the candidate for their time. A little empathy can go a long way in easing the pain.

It can be hard to know where to start when you don’t know how to tell someone they didn't get the job that they hoped for. While it’s never easy to turn someone away, it’s also important to maintain a professional image. Scroll down as some of these below-mentioned points will help you understand how to tell someone they didn't get the job.

How to tell someone they didn't get the job

1. Be polite and empathetic

  • Knowing how to tell someone they didn't get the job without hurting their feelings can help you maintain your company’s reputation and improve each candidate’s experience with your organization.
  • Politeness and empathy are two keys to unlocking the mystery of how to tell someone they did not get the job.
  • Believe it or not, at least once in a lifetime, we have all been rejected by a company. We all know how stressful and disheartening this experience is.

Keep this in mind and be as compassionate as possible while telling someone that they didn’t get the job they applied for.

2. Thank them for their valuable time

Remember to always thank the candidate as it is one of the first steps in the process of how to tell someone they didn't get the job.

  • All the candidates made a lot of efforts to apply for a job in your company, which is why it is your moral responsibility to thank them. A little extra courtesy goes a long way in building trust with candidates and reducing the sting of rejection.
If you’re making the rejection phone call and don’t have a valid reason for the rejection, then thank the candidate for their time and simply apologize for the decision. Thanking the rejected candidates shows that you highly appreciate their interest in your company, the time that they have invested, and the efforts that they put forth for the job application.

3. Personalize the rejection letter

Nothing can overdo the damage of rejection, but being acknowledged can definitely do a lot of damage control.

  • You can reject a candidate however you want, be it an e-mail, letter, or phone call, but make sure you personalize your response.
  • Including small things such as applicants’ names, the job title they applied for, and things you liked about their portfolios can do wonders in easing the pain of being rejected.

4. Provide constructive feedback

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Nothing can be worse than being rejected for a job without being given a valid reason for the rejection.

  • It is not feasible to provide feedback to every candidate, but those who have reached the interview process deserve one.
  • Constructive feedback on why they were not selected will help them identify their weaknesses, which they can later improve for their further approaches.

5. Explain to them that you are pursuing other applicants

Now, this is not easy, but it is the right thing to do.

  • Tell the applicant that you appreciate their time and that you enjoyed meeting them for the interview. However, you will be pursuing other applicants for the specific position.
Let them know that you honestly contemplated their application, but you will be moving forward with a better fit.
  • Do give them some positive remarks so that they don’t lose their morale. This shows that your company cares about those who are outside its set of stakeholders.

6. Mention the strengths of other candidates

Rejecting a candidate for another candidate without appropriate reasons is vague and might lead to legal allegations in some cases.

  • Hence, if you have already decided to go forward with another applicant, then do highlight the strengths that made you choose him/her over the rejected applicant.
You can tell them that the selection committee was highly moved by their application, but the candidate who has been selected has previously worked in the same position, and thus holds profound experience in the same field.

7. Tell them that many qualified candidates applied for the same job

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The suffering caused due to rejection can’t be entirely dismissed, but knowing that you are not alone certainly helps.

  • Letting the candidate know that there were more equally qualified applicants who applied for the job will prevent him/her from taking the rejection personally.

8. Encourage the deserving candidates to apply again

A candidate who is a misfit for the current opening can be a perfect fit for future job openings. Nobody would want to miss out on a strong and deserving candidate in the future.

  • So let them know that you like their profile and would want them in the future.
  • You can tell them to apply for other similar job openings in your company in the future.
To show your interest in their profile, you can also tell them to follow the social media platforms where your company regularly posts new job openings.

Templates

Template of job rejection email

Once you have decided to reject a particular candidate, the next thing to do is write a job rejection email. A job rejection email can be a good way to tell someone you're not interested. Here is the template

Dear [Candidate Name]

We thank you for your time and effort in applying for the ABC position at XYZ Company. It was a pleasure to meet and learn about you. We were profoundly impressed with your resume/interview but unfortunately, we won’t be moving ahead with your application at this time. Your educational qualifications speak for you, however, there was huge competition for this opening and we went forward with a more experienced candidate. We sincerely apologize for not selecting you.

While we are considering the other applicant, we highly appreciate your time and effort with our company. We keep posting new job openings on LinkedIn and our official social media handles and would love to hear from you in the future.

Good luck with your job search.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

[Designation]


How to tell someone you're not interested in their application over the phone

You: Hi [Applicant’s Name], this is [your name] from [Company’s Name]. We are calling you regarding your job application with our company. Is it a good time to talk?

Applicant: Yes.

You: We thank you for your time and effort in applying for the ABC position at XYZ Company.

It was our absolute pleasure to meet and learn about you. Not only your resume but your interview was also very interesting. But unfortunately, we won’t be moving ahead with your application at this time. We were highly impressed with your application, but there is huge competition for this opening. As for now, we are looking for a more experienced candidate. We sincerely apologize for not selecting you. While we are considering other applications, we highly appreciate your time and effort with our company.

We keep posting new job openings on LinkedIn and our official social media handles and we would highly appreciate you applying to them as per your interest. Your educational qualifications and internship were splendid and we would love to have you on board with us in the future.

Good luck with your job search.


Rejection letter after interview

Telling someone they didn’t get the job after the interview is pretty rough. And thus, writing a good and polite rejection letter after an interview is highly essential.

[Date]

[Candidate Name]

Address

Salutation,

We were profoundly impressed with your resume/interview but unfortunately, we won’t be moving ahead with your application at this time. Your educational qualifications speak for you, however, there was huge competition for this opening and we went forward with a more experienced candidate.

Choosing amongst so many applications is always a tough choice. But after careful considerations and screenings, we have decided to not offer you this position for now. We sincerely apologize for not selecting you.

While we are considering the other applicant, we highly appreciate your time and effort with our company. It was a delight to interview you for a position with our company. We keep posting new job openings on LinkedIn and our official social media handles and would love to hear from you in the future.

Good luck with your job search.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Designation]


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