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How to Respond to a Job Rejection Call — In-depth Guide

How to Respond to a Job Rejection Call — In-depth Guide

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Dealing with job rejection? Guess what? We’ve all been there, so there’s really no point in crying over spilled milk. 

I could just say, “You know what? You should probably just pull yourself together and get it over with. It is. That. Easy. Really.”

But, like any other pieces of advice that we get here and there, things are truly a lot easier said than done, aren’t they?

Because of this, we have prepared detailed steps and tips that you can refer to and follow when responding to a job rejection over the phone.

Religiously read and apply all of these strategies so that you could get the ball rolling on your side of the court. Let’s begin with a quick answer to our inquiry.


How should we respond to a job rejection phone call?

We can respond to a job rejection phone call by politely greeting the caller, expressing understanding as well as post-rejection gratitude, offering ourselves for future opportunities, and ending the call with a positive message. An additional step is to send a thank-you email to the employer.


Steps to responding graciously to a job rejection phone call and turning things around

Whether you get rejected or hired, there is only one way to respond to the caller in these cases — and that is — to communicate as professionally as possible.

Let’s face it. Realistically speaking, nobody would be wagging his or her tail nor jumping for joy in response to a job rejection.

However, no matter how disappointing this situation might be, it is always a lot healthier to cope with the challenge accordingly.

To do that, here are four simple steps that you can take if and when you get to face this kind of struggle, which apparently happens to most, if not all people, at least once in their life.


Greet the caller politely

The first step might sound a bit over the top, or even quite pretentious for some, but, apparently, the caller — whoever he or she might be — is only doing his or her job.

That said, the caller is also expected to know how to greet you in the most courteous manner possible, as he or she is about to deliver a piece of not-so-pleasant news.

At the onset of the call, the caller is expected to either greet you, confirm whether you are the right person, or introduce himself or herself.

After which, you may greet the caller in return using the example English greeting expressions below to be able to execute the first step in responding to a job rejection phone call:


“Hi, (caller’s name)! Good morning to you too.”


“Hello, (caller’s name)! I hope you’re doing well.”


“Good day, (caller’s name)! I’m glad to hear from you.”


Feel free to adjust the expressions above according to your context, but do not forget to mention the name of the caller during your conversation.

Hearing your own name being mentioned by another person is great for building trust and camaraderie — something you might need at some point in the future.


Express understanding and post-rejection gratitude 

After the greeting part, the caller is expected to immediately explain the purpose of the call, together with some contextualization for better understanding.

You’ll maybe hear a couple of hedges like “Thank you for taking the time to apply for the X role…” or “It’s been a pleasure receiving your application…” before they break the news to you.

Again, the recruitment staff calling you is just doing his or her task for the hour, so you must never hold any grudges against him or her.

Instead, what you can do is express your understanding as well as your post-rejection gratitude to the caller in the most composed, placid manner.

Explicitly telling the caller that you have understood what he or she said provides a confirmatory value to the conversation, thereby eliminating chances of miscommunication.

Meanwhile, expressing post-rejection gratitude implicitly informs the caller of your personal and professional values as an applicant.

A calm demeanor can be achieved particularly by avoiding the use of unnecessary filler words and too much dead air.

To do this, you may use the following statements in your conversation with your caller:


“I understand what you mean, and I really appreciate your time and effort, (caller’s name).”


“Yes, I do understand what you mean, and thank you so much for letting me know about this, (caller’s name).”


“Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to inform me about this news. I totally understand that this is not quite the right job role for me.”


Offer yourself for future opportunities

The next step is to actively or willingly offer yourself to seek any other career opportunities that might arise in the future.

Instead of lamenting over the rejection, you can always lean toward the brighter side of the story by shifting your focus to the possible chances that you could get afterward.

Of course, doing this does not necessarily mean that you should just idly sit and wait for another call from the same employer soon.

Instead, this could mean that you might be recommended for other positions that the employer’s connections might be looking for.

You can express your interest in other opportunities and advocate yourself by using any of the following scripts, or at least along the lines of these:


“This might not be the right job for me at the moment, but I’m really willing to take on any other career opportunities that could be more suitable for me in the future.”


“Even if this job position is not for me at the moment, I am ready and willing to accept any other opportunities that you might have in the future.”


“I understand that this job role may not be very suitable for me as we speak, but please know that I am ready to accept other job opportunities, should you have any opening in the future.”

By expressing enthusiasm in “other possible job opportunities,” you are simultaneously hinting to the employer that they can opt to recommend you for other positions.

In a nutshell, doing this means that you are conveying a positive attitude towards the rejection, and at the same time, you are also prompting the employer to endorse you to their network. 


End the call with a positive message

Last but not least, you have to end the call with another positive note to further establish your value to the employer, notwithstanding the rejection.

Ending the call with a positive remark is a way of saying that you are professional, polite, resilient and that you can handle rejections with flying colors.

Not only does this show how emotionally mature you are in terms of dealing with uncomfortable situations, but it also reflects your good attitude as a person.

You may use any of the following lines to end the call:


“Again, thank you so much for your time, (caller’s name). Have a great day!”


“Once again, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to call me today. Enjoy the rest of your day, (caller’s name)!”


“I really appreciate your time, (caller’s name). Have a good day!”


Send a thank-you email to the employer

A bonus step that you can take when dealing with a job rejection professionally is to send a gratitude email to the employer, particularly to the person who just called you.

If you have the caller’s email address, it is recommended that you send a simple thank-you email to increase your remarkability.

Making yourself appear memorable leaves a significant mark on the employer, which would then make them want to offer you another opportunity, or recommend you to their network in the least.

Most rejected applicants do not bother sending a gratitude email, so doing this should set you apart from the general population.

Also, sending an email allows you to share your contact information with the employer, which is apparently easier to retrieve because it gets stored in a digital library.

So, you can strategically increase your chances of landing on another job — probably even a better one — by sending something like this:


Dear Jane, 

Thank you for letting me know your company’s decision as soon as possible. I really appreciate the call you have made earlier. 

I understand that the (Marketing Specialist) position may not be for me at the moment. But, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me should there be any other more suitable openings in your company in the future.

Please feel free to contact me at +1-800-675-9976 or [email protected]

Have a pleasant day ahead!


All the best,

Joe Daniels


To further help you with writing emails effectively, please check on our additional resource that covers tips and examples of ending an email professionally during your free time.


Additional tips on handling a job rejection

Just like any other form of rejection, dealing with something related to your career and personal development is not something that all people can just shrug off.

To further help you sail through a job rejection healthily, here are two more tips that you can make use of, as you wish.


Sound confident

Confidence is key in dealing with particularly challenging situations, even the most undesirable ones like job rejections.

Even if you don’t think you are confident enough, you can always demonstrate confidence over the phone by reducing your vocal tone.

A high-pitched, breathy voice may inform the listener that you are anxious or nervous; hence, you should avoid sounding like in a beauty pageant’s Q&A to increase the confidence in your voice.

You should also be conscious of what you are saying to avoid grammatical mistakes and getting off-topic, which are two of the top communication issues.

Also, speak slowly but surely to avoid sounding emotional rather than professional.


Use a good posture while talking

A good posture also increases how well you could communicate orally because it improves your breathing, thereby making you more relaxed in the process.

Do not hunch or curve your back while speaking over the phone. Instead, you can either sit or stand with your back straightened and keeping your shoulders back.

When sitting, avoid reclining on the back of the chair to prevent straining the quality of your voice while speaking too.

All in all, a good posture positively increases the amount of confidence in your voice while speaking, not only over the phone but also in other oral speech cases.

The opposite of a job rejection is a job offer; hence, you may also want to learn how to ask for time to consider a job offer over the phone to prepare for such a scenario.


Frequently Asked Questions on “How to Respond to a Job Rejection”


How can you respond to being rejected?

Being rejected is a natural phenomenon. You can respond to any form of rejection by confidently accepting the turn of events and asking for feedback from the person or organization that rejected you. 


How do you respond to a job rejection email?

To respond to a job rejection email, you can thank the employer for the time and effort spent in reaching out to you. Then, you can express your interest in any other opportunities that might arise in the future.


How to ask for feedback after job rejection?

You can ask for feedback by thanking the employer for their timely response, expressing understanding of the rejection, and actively asking for both positive and negative feedback from the employer.



Whether we like it or not, rejections are a natural part of life. So, it is always up to us how we would handle these kinds of uncomfortable events.

We can choose to stay in the negative town, or we can always turn our heads towards the brighter side of the sun to cope accordingly and even leverage the situation in our favor.

Join us again next time for more interesting language-related discussions and then some!