An interview is a chance for the hiring manager to learn about your personality and how you would fit in with the rest of the company. Asking, “How do you feel about taking no for an answer” is a good way to learn about your ability to take criticism.
This question is asked in order to see how well you would work with management. You can certainly say that you are able to take no for an answer, but a successful candidate will be able to back that assertion up with an example that shows you can learn and benefit from rejection.
Points to Emphasize
In order to answer this question, you need to prove to the hiring manager that if you are actually told no, you will be able to handle it gracefully.
- Discuss times in past jobs where you were told no and describe how you handled it
- Talk about how rejection forced you to improve upon yourself
- Talk about how you positively affected your previous workplace after being told no
- Discuss any skills you learned as a result of not getting what you want
No one likes being told they cannot do something, so spin this question into a positive and talk about how you grew from the experience.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
It is easy to answer this question incorrectly, so plan ahead and craft the perfect response so that you avoid these common errors.
- Don’t say that you don’t take rejection well
- Avoid speaking negatively about your previous job or past co-workers
- Don’t oversimplify your answer
- Don’t talk about an experience where you were told no and then nothing positive came from it
Everyone has faced rejection before, so be honest and tell a potential employer how you react in this situation.
A great answer for a question about rejection should go a little something like this:
Through my past experiences, I have learned to improve upon myself when faced with rejection. Once, I was told by a project manager that I could not join a special team. I asked what I could do in order to make it onto the next team project, and once I proved that I could handle the additional responsibility, I was welcomed aboard the next team.
Employers want to know that you will not be discouraged when faced with rejection. You should view everything that does not go your way as an opportunity to grow as an individual. Understanding how to take no as an answer is an excellent way of showing your value to an employer.