- Grieve as Necessary
- This Wasn't Your Only Chance
- Think of the Bigger Picture
- Don't Stop
- Related Reading
- Success Next Steps!
- Offer Delay
The time after an interview can be tough. The anxiety of whether you get the offer or not can distract you for days on end. Unfortunately, The only way to speed up offer decisions is by notifying the company of any other expiring offers that you may have.
When you hear back there will be two outcomes: either you get rejected or you get the offer. This guide is two parted: one part is for when you pass the interview, the other is for when you get rejected. Read whichever best fits your situation.
The one constant about rejection is that it hurts. It always hurts and it usually hurts more than we expect it to. For many of us, we take rejections personally and let it ruin our mood for days. Remember, everyone gets rejected at some point. Each rejection is a step closer to an offer. So, everytime you get rejected, imagine that you have gotten one step closer to success.
Eventually, we feel better and more importantly, our lives get better. Our once grim prospects go back to being hopeful and amiable. Ultimately, the pessimism was overblown and frankly unnecessary. Rejection will never leave us, so our best choice is to learn how to approach it.
First and foremost, we are not telling you to stop grieving. Grieving a loss is a normal and healthy process. Don't feel stupid or weak for doing so. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to call your friends for encouragement, then call them. If you need to journal your thoughts away, then journal. If you need to curl in bed and listen to sad music, then curl and listen.
The important thing is to not let your grief overtake you. Don't let it cloud your thoughts. Being entrenched in grief isn't healthy or practical and will only make your situation worse. You will get through this.
Opportunities and interviews can feel like once in a blue moon. Everytime you feel this way, realize it's not true. The job you got rejected for today wasn't and isn't the only chance you'll get to get a job. It might take months, but opportunities will come back, they always do. Try to hold onto the hope that another chance will present itself.
Everyone has goals in their life. Maybe getting this job was one of your goals, but focus on the bigger picture. What are your long-term goals? Surely they don't revolve around working at this specific company right now. What are other things you can achieve to help reach your overarching goals? The path to accomplishment is never a straight-forward linear path. It has twists and turns that eventually lead to the destination. If you think about other avenues you can take to reach your broader goals a) you'll realize this opportunity wasn't the be-all and end-all of reaching that goal and b) you'll be able to find yourself other things to do that preoccupy your mind.
Take the next steps of your job search at your own pace, but the worst thing you can do right now is give up altogether. We know that the last thing you want to do is try again and start applying. Who'd want to relive the same pain so soon? But if you let one rejection get you this down, then you've made a bad situation worse. This is an opportunity for you to be persistent, and you should keep trying in spite of the presence of rejection. If you don't, you won't grow or learn and then what was all of this for? Don't let a faceless company tell you who you are or what you can do. That's for you to decide.
Note that the job process is not perfect. You could have been the perfect candidate and still be rejected. There is luck involved. Do your best to learn what you can from your journey, but remember it is okay and keep applying!
- Overcoming Rejection, When People Hurt You & Life Isn't Fair
- The Surprising Truth About Rejection
- How To Get Over Rejection
- Emotional First Aid
Congrats! You got the offer. Revel in what you're feeling, you deserve it. The countless hours of work, rejection, and persistence finally paid off. So what's next? Well first we highly recommend you read the Tech Interview Handbook Post Interview guide. Most of this content won't be directly relevant for internships, but is valuable to know as you trek through your corporate journey.
When you get an offer, your recruiter will also set an offer expiration date. If you don't accept by that date, the offer will expire.
This often becomes inconvenient, since each company has different timelines, and your offer might expire just as you begin interviewing with other companies. If this is the case you are left in a predicament: do you accept the offer and stop interviewing or do you reject the offer in hopes of a better one?
A good alternative to this instead is to ask your recruiter to extend the deadline. When choosing a date, be a bit aggressive with the extension date. It's a negotiation in itself and you don't want to sell yourself short!
Here's an example email you could send to your recruiter:
I hope you have been doing well. I am excited about the offer for the internship with XXX. If I remember correctly, the deadline to make a decision is October 2nd. Is it possible to extend the deadline to November 1st?
Reneging an offer is when you decline an offer that you already accepted. This usually occurs because you received an offer from another company that you'd rather work for. In general, do not do this.
Reneging is dangerous, especially at big tech companies. Since recruiters at these companies switch companies pretty often, your name might become black-listed at multiple companies as a result of your renege.
Furthermore when you renege a company you have to think about how important the company you're reneging for is. Even if it's your dream job, your dream job will probably continue existing over several years. The recruiter you worked with will likely be understanding if you explain that you love the company and hope to maintain the relationship for future opportunities, but that you've made a commitment already. Showing integrity during this process leaves a good impression and will put you in a good place to apply again in the future.
Ultimately the decision is up to you, but we highly recommend taking caution when reneging and seek some guidance out first.