Developing Your Career

Developing Your Career

Four Common Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

By Greg Simpson on October 1, 2013

You’re convinced the interview went well and you met all the qualifications for the position. So why didn’t you get the job? Often, applicants receive little information that would help to answer this question. From the HR perspective, any further discussion is unlikely. In fact, to avoid legal ramifications, explanations are typically discouraged by organizations.

There are many reasons why an applicant isn’t selected, but here are four of the most common:

  1. Another applicant was a better fit. Sometimes there are candidates with the perfect combination of skills, experience and education. Yet, organizations hire another candidate who feels like a better fit, not just in terms of technical qualifications, but in terms of working style and attitude. Sometimes the “likeability” factor trumps other, more tangible factors. Most hiring managers will agree that to some degree skills can be taught but the right chemistry with the workgroup must be right from the start.
  2. Hiring for the position is put on hold. This can happen suddenly when new information becomes available about pending budgets, reorganizations, etc. If the position is re-opened, HR may either re-connect with you or start the search anew.
  3. You shared too much information. Avoid sharing personal dramas in an interview.  While personal stories that provide a little insight into who you are can be very helpful as you establish rapport, it’s important to maintain boundaries.  No matter how comfortable you feel, always keep the stories positive.
  4. You didn’t demonstrate enough enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm for the position is conveyed through your energy, attitude, ability to articulate what you can bring to the organization, and through curiosity and questions you ask during the interview. Companies are looking for individuals who are truly interested in the role, invested in the organization, and possess the dedication to go the extra mile.

Review these four factors prior to your interview to determine how you’ll address each. Careful preparation and an understanding of hiring decision making will enhance your performance and get you closer to landing the job you want.

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