How To Deal With Job Rejections As A Software Engineer

How To Deal With Job Rejections As A Software Engineer


3 min read

Have you ever been rejected from a software engineering role? Maybe not once, twice, but dozens of times?

Don't worry. It happens more often than you think.


I failed and messed up so many. Definitely more than I passed.

This article will help you deal with job rejections through interview loops.

Let's start.

1. Interviewing is stressful

Know that interviewing is a second job.

It's stressful, frustrating and exhausting, especially if you have a full-time job.

Software engineers have to go through what I call "interview madness": lengthy interview processes involving multiple rounds.

Many companies have around 3/4 rounds of interviews. Imagine handling 3/4 interviews for each company you're applying for. Let's also add that each company has a different way of conducting interviews. That's insane!

It gets particularly stressful when recruiters ghost you or don't get back to you within a short period with the interview's outcome.

Even though the market for software engineers is hot, it doesn't automatically mean landing a job is easy. The preparation for job interviews is lengthy and tiring. Plus, you're competing against many other candidates.

2. Each company is different

Each company has a different interviewing style.

The problem with software engineering interviews is that there's no set standard.

There are three main interviewing styles:

  • Data structures and algorithms challenge.

  • Pair-programming exercise.

  • Take-home exercise.

You cannot predict which one of the interviews styles a company will adopt.

3. Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback will improve your job-hunting process. You cannot expect to improvise your odds if you don't know what's going wrong.

[...]So start by gathering all the feedback you can from the recruiter โ€“ and through them, the employer. If the feedback feels a bit superficial or generic, don't be afraid to ask for a more detailed assessment. You put a lot into the process, after all, and you're entitled to get some actionable insights at the end of it. [RobertWalters]

4. Self-reflect

Have you truly given your best? Sometimes we go to interviewers knowing that we're not as prepared as we should be. Self-reflect and analyse the areas where you could have spent more time preparing.

5. You're potentially dodging a bullet

Every time you get rejected by a company, you're potentially dodging a bullet.

Sometimes, not getting the job can be the best thing for you as you'll have avoided working in an environment that wasn't right for you. By seeing this positive aspect of your rejection, you can feel more confident and secure in yourself when applying for the next opportunity. If you spend too long in a job that doesn't fit you well, the experience you do get may hinder your career growth. [Indeed]

Related:How To Choose A Software Engineering Job

6. Don't get invested in any company

Approach interviews with the mindset of just knowing a company. But avoid getting emotionally invested in a company.

Don't get attached until I receive a written job offer. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Before that, keep in mind that anything can happen.

7. It wasn't meant to be

If you don't get a job offer from a company you're interested in, it means it wasn't meant to be.

What is meant to be yours will be yours.

Getting a job rejection means that you'll find something better for you.

8. It's a numbers game

Interviewing is a numbers game.

Apply for as many roles as possible, and use the company you don't fancy as a practice.

The more companies you apply to and interview for, the higher your chances of receiving an offer.

If you fish in a sea with few fish, it's unlikely you'll catch one. Similarly, if you're chasing too few positions, you'll find that landing a new position seems to take forever. [Forbes]


I hope you've found this article helpful and will find something soon!

Hang in there, and good luck! ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€

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