!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics --> WiserUTips: It was a landslide! Guess what job seekers said was worse: waiting or being rejected. Do you agree?

It was a landslide! Guess what job seekers said was worse: waiting or being rejected. Do you agree?

be strategic in your job search, which is worse: waiting for an offer or being rejected?,
Job seekers have lots of thoughts about
being rejected and working at bad jobs.
When I asked the question, which was worse -- waiting to find out if you got the job or being rejected?, most job seekers responded that waiting is way worse. But a few people said that being rejected really hurts (I agree with you guys), while others spoke from the recruiter's perspective or said the absolute worst thing was taking a job that ended up being terrible (I agree with you, too).

Scroll to read many respondent's comments. 

What do you think? Which is worse? Share your comments!

Which is worse? 
Waiting ... here's why

Knowing I did not get a position means that the employer was conscientious enough to let me know, and the disappointment/hurt is easier to get over. Waiting seems needlessly cruel. It’s easier to hear "no" than to wait and see if the answer is "yes". -- Gordon, Chicago, IL

It is better to know the truth. Should it be painful to be rejected? For every job there can be many candidates and all but one could feel miserable, but this is not the way to face it. The best is to understand a rejection is to realize they choose somebody else, but there are many opportunities, and the positive and proactive way is to keep on, keep on, keep on. -- Joan-Carles, Barcelona, Spain

Waiting to find out whether I got the job is worse. – Hiral, Chennai, India

If the answer is no, you can move on. Not knowing is hard because you don’t know if they just haven't made the choice, or if they aren’t telling you that you didn't make the cut. -- James, St. Louis

The waiting game is torture. If you are kept waiting, all sorts of scenarios abound. “Did I or didn't get the job”; “has a decision been made?” Being jobless is no fun, but employers know they hold all the cards and quite possibly enjoy leaving everyone hanging. – Bernadette, Warwick, RI

I would rather have a known negative, so I can move on. Until you receive a firm job offer, continue the job search as if you are not going to get that position. There are a lot of organizations that won't bother to inform you that you are no longer being considered. -- Ken, St. Louis, MO

At least if you don't get the job, you know the truth, but if you are waiting on pins and needles, you are more powerless. The power is in the hands of the employer. -- Katrina, New York City, NY

Both are tough. It's nice to know where things stand so you can move forward. -- Charion, Nashville, TN

It's rude how you meet people in an interview and then they don't even let you know your status. Tell me the bad news so I can move on with my search, or invite me back to talk more! I promise I won't make it awkward when you call me to say no! -- Robert, Seattle, Wash.

I have had two separate interviews where they practically offered me the job but weeks later I have heard NOTHING. Give the candidate some feedback. -- Timothy, St. Louis, MO

Waiting is worse. You start to second guess yourself and at least if you know you didn't get it, you can move on. My wife is currently in this situation so I see how it is affecting her. -- Carl, Atlanta, Ga.

The worst is finally getting the interview then getting an email a month later saying "you're still being considered but we are continuing to interview other candidates." Another frustration is the company job board that shows you are under consideration and just stays that way. -- Gary, Victoria, Texas

The wait for a possible face to face is worse than hearing the "you are not a fit"... At least once you know, you swallow your pride and move on! Next! :) -- Rolan, Detroit, MI

Waiting is definitely the worst part of my interviewing experience. -- Julie, St. Louis, Mo.

Rejection isn't personal. Rejection simply means I haven't found the perfect opportunity yet. It is nice to get feedback when rejected. It helps me determine my next plan of attack. I am learning to expect less from most companies and am impressed when I find an exception. The exceptions, even if not hired, I will promote to my friends and family as a company worthy of doing business. The ones that treat me like an insignificant fly not worthy of a quick email ... well, I don't promote them. – Carrie, St. Louis, Mo.

Why is worse: 
Rejection ... here's why

Waiting for a good job is OK. Rejection is painful always. -- Shreenivas, Saudi Arabia

If it's a job I want, the wait is full of anticipation and hope -- even if it stretches on. When they say "no" after that, it's like getting punched, and I gotta pick myself up, straighten my tie, push my hair out of my eyes, and get back in. The wait, where they don't say anything for weeks after an interview and refuse to return my call... that's just plain rude and unprofessional. Although disappointing, it shows me that it's probably not a company culture I would want to spend my day with every day. -- Patrick, St. Louis, Mo.

I had an interview for a job that fit me like a glove. I convinced myself there was no one else with my experience and certifications. The wait was a terror, but when I read the letter telling me they had decided on another candidate, it was if I had gotten a severe beating. The salt in the wound is not knowing why. -- Rich, St. Louis, Mo.

When I first started job hunting the refusals didn't bother me so much. But they have a cumulative effect, so now refusals really sting. All of this assumes you actually get a refusal. Most employers just ignore your thank-you card and email and phone follow-ups. They kill you with silence. -- Anna, Tulsa, OK

The wait can be frustrating, but there is still hope. I was told I wouldn't be coming in for a second interview for a job I wanted. They thought I was great, but there was one aspect of the job I needed more experience in and other candidates had that experience. She gave me positive feedback, so that was nice. Not every potential employer gets back to you and gives you feedback. -- Bethanie, St. Louis, Mo.

Recruiters’ perspective
As an IT recruiter, I can say follow up is what separates the good and bad. So many recruiters do not understand it is a key element to being successful and building a strong network. Most will just try to fill the current need but lack the follow up to keep the relationship going. If the consulting company has a solid book of business there should be multiple options available to keep candidates informed, good or bad. Call a candidate to let them know you still have not heard anything, Put yourself in the candidates’ shoes and treat them as you would want to be treated. With the lack of positions, it shouldn't be difficult to keep track of their candidate pool. Successful recruiters will be the ones that have kept these relationships going. -- Tyler, IT Recruiter, St. Louis

The Department of Labor does not require an employer to make contact with applicants who submitted unsolicited resumes. In years past, every applicant was contacted personally or by letter. Today skeleton HR crews are unable to reach out to every applicant. -- Ouss, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC

In defense of those doing the hiring, it is difficult to interview people and get back to them. Other people need to interview the prospect. Scheduling can be a nightmare. Cut the companies some slack! -- Sandi, St. Louis

Different perspectives

What’s worse is getting into an interview and realizing you wouldn’t work for the organization doing the interviewing. The very worst thing is accepting a job and then learning you made a doozey of a mistake. -- Rich, Milwaukee, WI

Neither choice is worse. We need to be optimistic and positive towards life in every situation. When one door closes, God opens the other one. No one can reject you if you are not rejecting yourself -- Sanjay, New Delhi, India

So many recruiters want to contact you because the more people they get to interview, the better their chances are of getting a commission. Once you’ve had the interview and the company is not interested, the recruiter no longer has a need for you, so they just let you keep wondering. -- Mike, St. Louis, Mo.

More than knowing I have been rejected, I want to know why I was rejected as it would help to overcome my shortcomings and make me better prepared for my next interview. Learning makes one a better student. -- Rizwana, Mumbai, India

Never play the waiting game. Once you have done all you can to enhance your candidacy for the job, search for a better job. This way, by the time you get rejected, you will be excited about another opportunity. Alas, if they extend an offer, you have to agonize over whether to take it or to wait to hear back from the better opportunity you just found. Don't wait ... move on. -- Harold, Raleigh-Durham, NC

What annoys me is not being given the courtesy of a rejection. It doesn't take much time to send a form '...thanks but no thanks' email to applicants. It's yet another example of not paying attention to 'what goes around comes around'. What if that person you failed to communicate with ends up being the person who interviews you for a job someday? -- Anne, New York City, NY

Whichever is worst is a reflection of your deepest needs. I want feedback. It makes me feel like I am still in the game and gives me permission to go on to the next step. For those who dislike rejection, their need is probably more for validation that they still bring value. -- Stan, New York City, NY

The worst is hearing secondhand that someone else was selected, and NEVER being notified by the firm that that was the case. I am a big boy and I can take the rejection, but I would rather hear directly. It is the height of rudeness and arrogance not to let the other candidates know what you decided, and even better, give me the chance to ask why it was not me. Maybe I can learn something for my next interview. -- Paul, New York City, NY

Learning someone else got the job on LinkedIn before being told by the employer is annoying, especially after you call and e-mail to find out what is going on. Once it is down to a few final candidates and you've been through lengthy interviews, a personal note is in order. A standard rejection letter is not so bad, but I dislike the rejection phone call. How are you supposed to respond? I ask why the other person was chosen over me and hold my tongue from saying how unfair I feel the process is, and why I am the better candidate. If I've never gotten so much as an interview, it doesn't bother me to not hear back from the employer since you are one of many candidates. -- Annalese, Minneapolis, MN

I had been in the running for two jobs. It took both companies 2+ months to make their decisions and both ended up going with internal candidates. In retrospect, I believe at least one of these companies knew that was the direction they were going from the beginning, yet I was invited back for a second interview. Companies could do a better job defining what they want upfront to save themselves and the job seeker time and energy. Two months is a LONG time to be strung along. -- Ruth, St. Louis

Learning you didn't get the job without as much as a reason why is the worst part. I have received three e-mail notifications of "no thanks", and one phone call out of a bazillion applications, one with in minutes of applying, and my knee jerk reaction is to reply back with, "Why?" I know the amount of applications they receive prohibits the nicety of personal rejections, but what a great tool it would be to have that insight. Once after spending agonizing hours composing a killer cover letter and resume, I received a rejection 10 minutes later with a "thanks for the note, but I don't think it's a good fit" reply. I asked why and got a valid answer back, to which I was satisfied. -- Karen, Philadelphia

Waiting can take weeks. It’s exhausting. Getting the job ... well, that's a whole other can of worms. -- J.D., St. Louis, Mo.

What's worse? Getting the job and then finding out what a fraud it is. -- John, Atlanta, Ga.

Knowing you have been rejected is tough to accept, but every point is a learning stage. Rejection always teaches us something new. Keep moving and trying. -- Ruchi, New Delhi, India

HR, last I checked, stood for Human Resources. What happened to the "humanity"? Companies say they embrace honesty, integrity, communication skills, etc., yet they don't treat prospective employees well. If I'm not being considered for a position, tell me. If I'm being considered, I'll be patient. If I were in charge of an HR, I'd mix humanity in with the technology. The hiring/recruiting process speaks loudly about a company ... it sets a tone for prospective employees, potential clients, business partners, etc. What happened to the idea that everyone should be treated with respect because you never know when your paths might cross again? – Carrie, St. Louis, Mo.

Taking a job you hate is the worst. I got stuck there for 18 months because I didn’t want to start all over again. -- Fabulous Ruby via Twitter

Perhaps Kadi (below) found the best answer to the question ...

I do not have to worry about that ever again. -- Kadi, business owner, Philadelphia

Readers: So what do you think? Which is worse? Share your comments!


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  1. Waiting. Definitely. Especially if you really wanted the job. I can get over disappointment, but it leaves a bad impression of the company if they simply blow me off. Don't call me back when your pick doesn't work out and you change your mind.

  2. Waiting, im pretty sure everyone would agree.

  3. No doubt, waiting is the worst.


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