Five Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

interview coaching

You found what seemed to be the perfect job. It was at the company you have dreamed of working for, a title that you were sure you were meant to hold, and offering a benefits package you were totally coveting. Everything this job was about, was what you have been looking for since the start of your career. So it really sucked to find out someone else got the gig. Look, rejection is brutal, no matter what form it comes in. But when you are literally sitting back and watching someone else sail away on your dream job, it hurts that much more. Which is exactly why it helps to figure out why you didn’t get the job this time – so that you can at least start making changes today that will hopefully give you a leg up the next time a perfect opportunity arises.

They Promoted From Within

More and more companies are starting to recognize the benefits of promoting from within, which is great if you already work for the company you see yourself still being at in 20 years. But if you are hoping to make a change, it can be a little harder to find your “in”. The good news is that if you were bypassed for an internal promotion, that isn’t really about you. There wasn’t much you could have done to change their minds – they likely had their candidate selected before ever posting the job. But the bad news is, if your sights really are set on this specific company – you may have to consider starting a few rungs down the ladder, getting your foot in the door and working your way up.

You Weren’t the Right Fit

Just because a job is your “dream job”, doesn’t mean you are the “dream candidate”. Companies tend to have very specific hiring criteria, and they make those criteria readily available to candidates. If you don’t possess the combination of experience and education they are looking for, you probably won’t get the job. Consider using that list as a starting point for improving upon your resume, though. Just because you weren’t the right fit this time, doesn’t mean you can’t position yourself to be next time.

The Background Check Hurt You

Is your Facebook page set to public, with pictures of you drinking, complaining about your job, and making less than PC remarks readily available for all to see? Did you lie on your resume about your education or work history? Do you have a long list of criminal infractions that are easy enough for anyone to find on the states criminal database? Sometimes, the background check really can hurt you. So lock your social media settings down, be cognizant of what you post, tell the truth on your resume and – address information up front that a recruiter is likely to find with a basic check.

You Blew Your Interview

Most people know when they screw up an interview, but if you’re the oblivious type – brushing up on your interview skills might be worth committing some time to. In general, you should always be researching the company and role before showing up for an interview. Arrive on time, don’t bash your previous job or boss and respond to questions in a confident and professional manner.

Another Candidate Had More to Offer You can’t win them all, and sometimes – there is just another candidate who has more to offer than you do. You may have had all the experience and education they were looking for, but someone else had more. Instead of taking that as a reason to pout and mourn the loss of your dream job, use it as motivation to continue improving upon what you have to offer. You may not have been the top candidate this time, but other opportunities will come around, and you want to be ready when they do!

Following Up, Without Getting a Restraining Order

Interview CoachingThe most generic piece of advice given to jobseekers is “follow up!”

“Follow up on your application!”

“Follow up on your interview!”

“Follow up on the selection process!”

It is advice that has been repeated and handed down so often, that people now almost see it as a must – without realizing that following up can absolutely go too far.

We need to remember that hiring managers are people too. People with jobs and important tasks to handle throughout their day. They aren’t just sitting around waiting to field your follow up calls, and they do have better things to do than respond to e-mails from applicants. So while following up can be a great way to reiterate your interest, it can also go too far.

Think about your job search in terms of dating – remembering that you wouldn’t want to obsessively call or e-mail someone you’ve just met. And then, tread carefully when it comes to the follow up.

 

Making a Call

Placing a single phone call to inquire about a job opening or to check that your application was received is acceptable, particularly if you keep that call short, pleasant and to the point. But calling more than twice absolutely places you into stalker territory, and convinces hiring managers that you are either too desperate or too high maintenance. Sometimes, job searches are just a waiting game. So trust that they have your information, and then give them time to call you if they are interested.

 

Sending an E-Mail

There are times when sending an e-mail can absolutely be a valuable professional courtesy to extend. Thanking a hiring manager for the opportunity to interview for a position, for instance, usually goes a long way to express your interest in the job. But remember to keep it at that. You may want to improve upon your answer to an interview question, or follow up on something that you discussed during that interview, but always aim to keep it as short and to the point as possible. And then, don’t e-mail again. No matter how much you want to check in to see if a decision has been made or to ask if they have set up a timeline for second interviews yet. This is another area where being too eager can very easily come off as desperate. And just like in dating, desperate is the last thing you want to be perceived as being when searching for a job.

 

Dropping By

Don’t do it. Under no circumstances should you ever just pop by the office and ask to see the hiring manager. You may be convinced that this is the best possible way to show how much you truly want this job, but the real message you are sending is that you don’t value the hiring manager’s time; that you assume they are just sitting around waiting for you to show up. They aren’t. In fact, they are incredibly busy, with schedules that include interviews with applicants who have waited until they were called and meetings were arranged before showing up. There is a perceived arrogance in applicants who just drop by, and it can be a surefire way to have your name removed from the list of possible hires. So instead, exercise a little patience and be willing to wait to meet with the hiring manager until you are called to do so. If that call never comes, it wasn’t meant to be. But showing up and putting your face in front of theirs unannounced never would have changed that outcome. And it could absolutely be detrimental if they were otherwise considering you.

 

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