What to do when you are turned down for a contract

11th July 2016

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Being told you’re not the right fit for a contract can leave you with a sickly feeling each time it happens. It may happen over and over, but you never get used to it. Instead of taking it personally, we’re here to give you some ways to reflect and examine where you can improve for the next time around.


Ponder these four questions next time it happens:


Did you actually want the job in the first place?

It’s quite common to overlook certain details like what the contract entails or whether you’re adequately qualified for the role. Being under-qualified is standard, but don’t underestimate being over-qualified either.


Perhaps you were swept up in the reputation of the company and thought you’d make a great fit at that major brand before reading the entire job description and seeing if you really are the right candidate. When interviewing, your levels of enthusiasm also shine through, so if you’re only seemingly a bit interested, it will be very clear to your prospective employer.


Take some time to weigh up the variables and determine what drew you to the role before you apply, to see if you really are a great fit.   

What could I improve?

Putting in your end of the deal is paramount. There’s no point mulling over how much you had prepared or what you think you said to the interviewer. Focus.

How many questions couldn’t you answer? Did you do enough research on the company? Were you appropriately dressed? Was your CV tailored for the job you’re going for? How was your body language and chemistry with the interviewer?


It’s very easy to switch to autopilot when you’re applying for jobs to secure your next contract before your current one is up. Chancing it, or thinking of answers on the spot, isn’t going to get you the next job. Preparation and determination, on the other hand, gives you a fighting chance.


Should I have expected the rejection as an outcome?

It’s easy to overlook details inside and out of the interview. Were you polite to everyone you encountered on the way? Have you cleaned up your social media profiles because the chances are your interviewer checked you out? Were you on time and well presented?


If missing out on contracts becomes a habit then we need to be honest with ourselves as to why and change tack.


What could I improve on?

Nobody’s perfect. Improvement is the key to staying fresh and ahead of the curve. So, next time you apply for a job ask yourself the above questions and you’ll be able to put together a small list of things you need to improve on.


We have plenty of guides for contractors on our website and be sure to pre-register with iContract here – we go live in September, when you will be able to access new work opportunities.


We look forward to seeing you there!