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July 13, 2023, by mzyhe3

My Top Tips for Dealing with Placement Rejection

By Hannah Evans, third year cancer sciences student blogger

Applying for placements comes with a lot of ups and downs. Some applications will be a walk in the park, whereas others will feel like a marathon up a mountain. After having my fair share of application wins and losses, here’s my advice for dealing with those not so good responses.

Feel your emotions

It can be rough when you’ve poured hours into writing cover letters, filling out application forms and going to interviews only for them to turn around with a “no”. I know I was pretty sad and angry when I had done all of that for a company to then get a one sentence email rejecting me. It’s important to let yourself feel those things though. If you’re sad, cry. If you’re angry, scream. Letting those emotions out will make it so much easier to move forwards. I personally found just being able to have a rant to a friend over a bottle of wine was a HUGE stress reliever. Getting stuff off your chest clears your head, and means you can move on to the next one without the past hiccups looming over you.


Now you have a clear head, you can look back at what happened. Firstly, think about what you did well. I know that I was very calm in my interviews and answered questions about myself very well, and so I knew that was something I should do again in future. Next, think about things that didn’t go so well. For me, that was answering technical questions about specific proteins or techniques. Once you know what you struggled on, make a plan for how you’ll work on this. I went away and did more research into the company and what specific research they do for my next interview so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. If you genuinely don’t know where you went wrong, it’s always worth contacting the company for feedback. That should give you a better idea of how you can improve for your next application.

Keep looking forwards

One rejection is not the be all and end all. I personally found that the first interview I went to, the interviewer never even showed up, and the second one I did was riddled with complex scientific questions that I had no idea how to respond to! It sucks when that happens, but future ones will be better. I found that once I knew what I did well and what I needed to work on for next time I went in so much more confident. That confidence and positivity is contagious! If an interviewer sees that it will hugely help your chance of getting the job. The next interview I went to was for a placement at GSK, and that one was a success! So, keep your chin up and face the next one head on. You’ve got this!

Find out more about Making applications and how to deal with the ups and downs that come with it!

Posted in Applying For JobsInterviewsStudent Bloggers