This is a common question on sales interviews. I have my own take on it.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm a coach who handles situations related to the workplace. That
can involve the job search, hiring more effectively, managing, and leading. It can
involve career development . . . anything related to the workplace. Today's tough
interview question. How do you handle rejection?
I'll speak for myself and start off with when I answered this question, I
also started off with the idea that "I hate to lose and when you lose a sale it is
very very painful." That suggests to the interviewer that this means something to
you. It's not just, "oh, well, on to the next one." Although you'll see, I tie that in
later on. I want to understand why it is. I lost and why they chose someone else.
Now, I was a headhunter. A candidate fit better. That occurred many times. Many
many times. However, there are other situations where "I didn't like the way
your presentation went. I thought other people had a better
proposal for me." "in what way," so I at least understand. "Thank you," and
you thank them and then from there what you try to do is, again, they're not a
headhunter. I was. And in your business, it may just simply be go back to the
product team, see if there are offerings that we can create that are more inline
at which point you follow up later on with the client." Notice the follow-up
later to see how things are going and, thus, to see if there's another
opportunity to sell to them. When all is said and done,
number one is, "I hate to lose." Number two is learning from the client what it is
that caused them to choose someone else. number three you stay in touch with the
client and see how it goes and attempt to resell to them. I know in my case, I
found many clients who said "no," to me the first few times who eventually came back and
hired a lot of people from me. If you have stories along those lines,
tell those stories because they're very very powerful.
I'm Jeff Altman. Hope you found this helpful. My website is
You can go there and go exploring. There's a lot there that will help you. But more
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that you can watch me on there. Have a great day and take care!


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at Want to do it live? offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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