Imperial College London

How to cope with rejections from employers?


Two students sitting down outside writing on a piece of paper

Learn how to move forward after a rejection so that you can succeed in the future.

For students who have recently applied to internships, placements or graduate jobs, December can be a month of agonised waiting, or even worse, a month where the rejections begin to trickle in.

Remember that you are not alone, and it is perfectly normal to get rejected from some of the roles you’ve applied for. You can treat this as an opportunity to reflect on what’s gone wrong, to improve for future applications.

In the face of rejection, DO:

  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Remember it’s not personal.
  • Consider future applications or a Plan B option.


  • Beat yourself up – it won’t help, and you’ll just end up feeling worse.
  • Compare yourself negatively to others. You’re unique, and that’s one of your best points!
  • Give up on applications and plans altogether – that just pushes the problem further away, it doesn’t get rid of it.

Reflect on your applications

Depending on where you were in the application process when the rejection came in, you might have some feedback to look over. If they say you 'didn’t seem to know the company well enough' maybe you need to do more research before your next interview, or just practice your answers again.

If you don’t have access to feedback look at the documents you submitted, or your test scores from the online psychometric tests. Did you tailor your CV to prove you meet the specific skills asked for in the job description? Was it the situational judgement test that threw you off-balance? This information is important because this is where you can make improvements and move forward.

Resources to help you move forward and succeed


Stephanie Scantlebury

Stephanie Scantlebury
Careers Service


Careers, Students, Alumni
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