So, you've had your interview. Maybe it went well, maybe not... But you don't know the outcome yet. Often, companies don’t provide feedback if they decide to pass on a candidate. There could be various reasons for their silence. Let’s start with the reasons for rejection.

Reasons for Rejection

Personal and Subjective Reasons

This is the most unpleasant type of rejection. It could be anything - maybe you were considered too old (which they can't legally say), or maybe you just didn't click with the decision-makers. We're all human, including recruiters. The downside? You'll likely receive no feedback or a vague response if you ask. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen too often.

Cultural Fit Issues

It's hard for HR to explain this one, but it's a legitimate reason. I recall a case where a friend, let's call him Sasha, got into a big product company using insider tips, despite not being a good fit due to his reserved nature and dislike for noisy environments and constant overtime. He quit as soon as he found another job. If he hadn't used the insider info, he wouldn’t have wasted his and the company’s time.

Professional Incompatibility

This is the most common reason for rejection. Normally, you should be informed about what specific skills or experiences you lacked. This can be particularly constructive for first-job seekers.

Another Candidate

Another candidate might have been a better fit, whether professionally, culturally, or subjectively. Often, recruiters use this reason to cover other factors as well.

If They Don’t Get Back to You…

What now? Firstly, keep preparing for other interviews. Secondly, feel free to follow up either by phone or email. A phone call can be more direct and may elicit more honest responses. An email gives the HR manager time to think and respond more thoroughly. Be polite and ready for rejection. Even if the reason seems unreasonable, it’s best not to argue.

If you’ve heard nothing after a week, you might send an email like:


We had our interview a week ago. 
I'd like to know if you've made a decision and what the next steps are.

Regards, ..."

If you get a rejection citing professional mismatch or a better-suited candidate, ask for feedback from the technical interviewer. This can be invaluable for your growth and shows your determination.

Increasing Your Chances of Receiving Feedback

Be polite and considerate during the interview. If they promise to call, at the end of the interview, show understanding that not all rejection reasons are easy to express. Ask how long you should wait before moving on. If there’s no call within the agreed time, you can consider moving on from that company. Try asking for the technical interviewer's opinion, especially if the issue was your technical fit for the role.

And most importantly, keep preparing for interviews according to your plan until you have an official offer in hand. It's always beneficial.