You Get Knocked Down and Get Up Again. Five Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job Offer


You were a promising candidate. The interviews went well but you didn’t get the job. Rejection sucks. It also sucks you’ll likely never hear from the employer as to know why. Employers explain they need to protect themselves against lawsuits. That’s true. It’s also true that most employers are simply horrible at closing the loop.

Here are some of the top reasons job-seekers end up not getting hired.

Failure to ask questions. This is one of the top CEO complaints along with asking questions that are easily answered by doing a quick Google search. You can be a promising candidate well on your way to getting a job offer but if you don’t ask questions throughout the interview, you are showing the interview you haven’t done your homework and have no interest in the position or the company.

Having no questions gives the interviewer the impression you do not understand the job well enough to ask intelligent questions, don’t have any professional curiosity, or don’t  even care about how things are done at the organization.

Failure to display any curiosity. To be successful in almost any professional role, you need to have a high degree of curiosity, or to use an overused word passion. That’s not to say you need to be bouncing off the walls with energy, but if you look like you’re about to fall asleep in the interview, you’re not giving the interviewer the impression that you’re going to dive into the job with any degree of interest or professional curiosity.

Your body language, voice inflection and the way in which you show excitement when you tell that story about solving a problem all display your curiosity. It’s incumbent upon you to communicate a love for the work you do, and yes, the interviewer has a responsibility to create an atmosphere in the interview that allows this to happen.

Failure to connect with the job description. All too often, candidates come into an interview thinking they know what the job requirements are just by reading the job title. Most job descriptions do a halfway decent job of explaining some of the main skills and/or experience needed to be successful in the role. It’s unfortunate that candidates often ignore this information and try to spend most of the interview talking about skills and experience that have no relevance to the job.

It’s OK if you lack some (or a lot) of the direct experience listed in the job description, but if you make a conscious effort to connect your experience to the skills the employer is looking for, that’s a huge plus. This shows that you took the time to read and understand the job description, understand the value you offer, and properly prepared for the interview.

The position was eliminated. Yes, the job was posted and you interviewed. However, budget cuts, staff changes or a new boss taking the department in a new direction, positions can quickly go from available to nonexistent. But this doesn’t mean there’s no hope. You’ve made yourself known to the company and, if you crushed the interview, they’ll likely remember you when they’re ready to hire again.

You’re not a good cultural fit. One of the hardest things for first-time job-seekers and for employers is determining cultural fit. Fit means that you have the skills to perform a job, and the drive to use those skills effectively. It also means the employer feels you are well suited to the organization and its culture.

Companies try to find candidates with similar passions and personalities to create a good workplace environment. If the hiring manager was correct in his/her assumptions, s/he may have saved you a lot of torturous days and sleepless nights.

Perhaps you noticed skills aren’t on this list. There’s a reason for that. You would not have gotten the interview if you didn’t meet the competency requirement for the position. The next time you’re preparing for an interview, practice demonstrating passion, make sure your stories connect your experience with the job description, and prepare to ask questions. You’ll have a much greater chance of landing that offer.



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