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Do Recruiters Call or Email to Reject?

When applicants appear for a job interview, they do so with a lot of hopes and dreams. For days they prepare for their coveted jobs, and it does not matter whether one is just starting their career or looking forward to advancing it with a better position than the last.

All candidates feel the same degree of excitement when they wait for the recruiters to get back to them and tell them that they had made the cut and that the job was theirs.

However, that period of waiting can be tense. One might not know how to handle the stress and tension of that period, and things might seem uncertain. While following up after an interview is a great idea, it still does not guarantee exactly when one is going to hear back from their recruiters.

The hiring managers might simply say that they are still screening the applicants and will get back when the decision has been made.

So, do recruiters call to reject? It is a good idea to know if your hiring managers call or email to reject a candidate. Here are some things that you should know about which will make the duration of waiting easier.

Why Will Some Recruiters Call or Email to Reject a Candidate While Others Won’t?

Why will Some Recruiters Call or Email to Reject a Candidate while others Won’t?

Even until a decade ago, recruiters didn’t really bother about getting in touch with candidates to tell them they were not selected for the job. Some companies sent out automated emails, but even they were pretty few in number.

Calling up each candidate to tell them they were not selected was time-consuming and also emotionally draining. So unless the recruiters had a large team of human resource professionals, most of them did not contact the applicants back to tell them they were rejected.

It was assumed that if the candidates did not hear from the recruiters within a week or so, they would themselves arrive at the conclusion that they were not hired. Some would call the organization themselves to know about the status of their application process, and it was only then they would come to see that they were not hired.

However, the scenario is quite different now, and organizations around the world have become more professional. Employers around the world are now aware of the fact that competition is stiff, and candidates apply to different organizations simultaneously while looking for a new position. Being unsure about the status of their interview process makes things more complicated for everyone.

Moreover, not letting the candidates know about their rejection also means that some of them keep calling or sending follow-up emails, and answering them simply results in wasting more time. This is because the candidates do not understand whether they should wait some more or move ahead with their job search. Being direct and informing the candidate settles the matter once and for all.

Emailing the candidate is not a new concept. It is direct and is not emotionally draining for either party. Usually, no further interaction is required as emails also tend to mention that the recruiter’s final decision is final.

3 Reasons Why Recruiters Call a Candidate to Tell Them They Were Rejected

3 Reasons Why Recruiters Call a Candidate to Tell Them They Were Rejected

There are several reasons why a recruiter may call a candidate personally to tell them they were rejected. However, it would be best to remember that every organization is different, and every recruiter will have a different approach.

1. Your Recruiters Are Considerate

Firstly, it is a polite thing to do. Most recruiters today go beyond asking the candidates only common questions pertaining to their academic qualifications or work experience. There are a series of interactions over multiple rounds of interviews as well. Hence, simply sending an email often comes across as rude.

Organizations that are particular about their image and respectful towards their workforce will take a more personal approach and call up the candidates to tell them about the decision and also wish them luck for their future endeavors.

2. Your Recruiters Want to Provide Constructive Criticism

Secondly, suppose the candidate was really promising but was unable to make it just at the last moment due to some factors. In that case, a genuinely appreciative recruiter might provide feedback about why they were rejected.

While the rejection may hurt initially, constructive criticism goes a long way in helping the candidate in the long run. They don’t make the same mistakes again and work on the aspects that prevented them from getting the job for the first time.

Since candidates have a reasonably good idea about their capabilities, some might want to know the reason behind the rejection, and some employers are happy to do that and help them out. In fact, some employers also call to let the candidates know that although they did not make it this time, if they are willing to work on some of the aspects they noticed during the interview, the candidate can try again next year.

This gives something positive to the candidates, and they learn something new from the process. They might be rejected, but they don’t feel discouraged about it.

3. Your Recruiters Want to be Sure

Another reason recruiters call to reject is simply that they want to be absolutely sure that the message has reached the candidate. Sometimes, the emails do not land in the inbox and go to spam, and the candidates keep calling and asking questions. Calling them and telling them about the decision eliminates all confusion and saves a lot of time.

Why Would a Recruiter Schedule a Call?

Why Would a Recruiter Schedule a Call?

 A recruiter might reach out to you and first schedule a call. Usually, this is done when there is something important to discuss. The recruiter might want to provide the applicant with feedback or might have some other offer for them. Scheduling a call might mean that the recruiter really liked you and could be open to discussing other possibilities with you, even if you were rejected for the role you applied for.

Do Recruiters Usually Call to Reject?

The recruiters might or might not call to reject a candidate. Calling is more emotionally-demanding and time-consuming, so some recruiters prefer to email instead. Whether they would choose to call to reject a candidate depends entirely on the dynamics of the organization. Maybe, a recruiter will not call to reject a candidate for a junior position.

However, if they were looking to fill a senior position, then there is a possibility that many high-level professionals might have applied for the role. In such cases, the organization will call and tell them that they did not make the cut since it is a more polite and professional approach and shows due respect to the individual.

Is a Scheduled Call Always a Rejection?

 No, a scheduled call is not always a rejection. Sometimes, the recruiter will call you to say you need to prepare better on some aspects, or you need to provide some more documentation before you can be onboarded. A downright rejection does not take much time, so the recruiter will not schedule a call. If they schedule a call, it would mean they might want to speak to you at length, so it is better if you take some time out for the call. Once you fulfill the criteria, you can be ready for the position.

What To Do When You Get a Call For Rejection?

What To Do When You Get a Call for Rejection?

So, you have been waiting for quite a few days to hear from your employer, and now your phone is ringing. The first thing to do is to calm yourself before answering the call. If the unfortunate happens, you still need to keep calm and thank the recruiters for the opportunity.

Going forward, you can do two things here.

First, the recruiter might offer to tell them yourself why you were rejected. Although the news was unexpected and distressing, do pay heed to what the recruiter has to say at this point. It is an opportunity to learn, and it will prevent you from making similar mistakes in the future.

You can also ask the recruiter very politely why you were rejected. You can tell them that you wish to learn from the experience. Your recruiter might reply that you were a perfectly capable candidate, but there were very few vacancies, and the company has decided to continue with someone else.

Or, the recruiter might graciously agree to answer your questions and also schedule another phone call. This will also give you enough time to think of questions you may ask the recruiter that will help you perform better the next time. You can also learn more about the industry in general in the process.

On the other hand, if you get verbal cues that the recruiter just wanted to convey the message to you and is not interested in any further conversation, just thank them politely for letting you know, and you can say goodbye and end the call.

What to Do When You Get an Email For Rejection?

Sometimes, your recruiter might send you an email to let you know that you have not been selected. If it is an automated email, there isn’t much that you can do. However, if your recruiter sends you a personalized email, then you can ask them politely if you can call once to understand the reason behind the rejection. In most cases, the recruiter will grant you permission or might tell you to ask your questions over email.

When you get back to them, ask only a couple of pertinent questions that can really help you understand why you were rejected and how you can do better the next time. Do not try to change your recruiter’s mind or request them to consider you again for the position. That would be unprofessional. Keep the call or email short, and make sure to incorporate whatever you have learned the next time you appear for an interview.

Bonus Read: How to Respond to a Rejection Email? (With Examples)


Interview processes can be long and tiring, and sometimes, the results are not favorable. It can take multiple interviews to land your dream job so getting calls for rejection is something you should learn to handle. Losing your patience while waiting for the call will only make things more unbearable for you.

Now that you know that you may get either a call or an email for rejection, you can prepare yourself in advance to respond to them accordingly. The attitude you have while waiting for them can make all the difference, and one day you are sure to get that call that says you have been selected for your dream job at your coveted organization.