Are you a job seeker wondering if you will be notified if a company opts not to hire you after they have interviewed you to evaluate your candidacy? Or are you a hiring manager who needs to let a candidate know that they weren't hired?
Even though the appropriate protocol is to notify all the candidates that employers interview for a job, this, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen. Employers aren't required to notify applicants, even though it's courteous to inform candidates who haven't been selected to move forward in the hiring process.
When Employers Notify Applicants
Employers don’t always provide applicants with the courtesy of letting them know where they stand in the hiring process:
- Some employers let every candidate know the status of their application.
- Some companies notify applicants who haven’t been accepted for an interview, while others only contact candidates they wish to discuss the job with.
- Some employers don’t even notify applicants who interview that they weren’t selected for a second interview or the job.
- Other companies may send rejection letters to applicants who are not selected for a position after the interview process is complete.
You may not receive a letter directly after your interview, if the organization notifies applicants.
Many employers wait until they have hired someone for the job before notifying the other candidates.
That’s because they may want to give the applicant pool another look if their leading candidate rejects their job offer.
What is Included in a Rejection Letter Sent After a Job Interview
If you do receive a rejection letter, don’t expect it to include a reason why you weren’t offered a job. Employers are concerned about discrimination issues.
Reasons for rejecting an applicant could be construed as discriminatory if they are based on age, gender, national origin, religion, marital status, pregnancy, or disability.
It’s safer, from a legal perspective, for companies to write a simple rejection letter that thanks the interviewee for taking the time to meet with the hiring manager. If the company is interested in considering an applicant for other openings, the letter may state that as well.
Examples of Rejection Letters
If a company does send rejection letters, the following are examples of what you may receive if the organization has decided not to pursue your candidacy for a job.
Rejection Letter After a Job Interview Example
City, State Zip Code
Dear Candidate Name,
Thank you very much for taking the time to interview with us for the Customer Service position. We appreciate your interest in the company and the job.
I am writing to let you know that we have selected the candidate whom we believe most closely matches the job requirements of the position.
We do appreciate you taking the time to interview with us and encourage you to apply for other openings at the company in the future.
Again, thank you for your time.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Rejection Letter After a Job Interview Email Example
Subject: Marketing Associate Position
Dear Ms. Hagardon,
I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me to discuss the Marketing Associate position at ABC Company. Your time and interest in the position are much appreciated.
I would like to inform you that we have filled the position. However, we will keep your application on file for consideration if there is a future opening that may be a fit for you.
Again, thank you for meeting with me.
What to Do if You Don’t Hear From an Employer
What is the best way to handle it, if you don’t hear back from an interviewer? It’s appropriate to follow up on the status of your application, especially if you are juggling multiple job applications or offers or need to make an immediate decision on another job offer.
Following up immediately after an interview with a thank-you email is a particularly effective strategy, since this allows you to remind the employer of your qualifications, answer any questions you feel were not fully addressed in the interview, and keep you “top of mind” as employers make their hiring decision.
It is also fine to contact the employer with a second email or phone call after two or three weeks, if you still have not heard from them.
Keep in mind that you may not receive a response. So, while you're waiting, be sure to continue to proactively job hunt.
Don't consider your job search complete until you've received—and accepted—a job offer.