7 Common Reasons You Failed the Interview and Didn’t Get the Job

 

 

Hey, everybody. Don Georgevich here with Job Interview Tools. And today, I want to talk to you about why you didn’t get the job. I’m specific, I want to talk about 7 reasons why maybe you didn’t get the job.

And I know you didn’t get the job because, well, you’re here watching me and I’m just not that entertaining and people don’t watch my channel who already have a job.

So, you’re either interviewing for a job or maybe you had a job interview and it didn’t work out. You’re trying to figure out why; why didn’t they hire me?

Well, that’s what I want to talk about today because employers, they won’t tell you why. And as a job seeker, you spend so much time just looking for jobs to apply to and then when you get the interview, you put a whole lot more energy into that interview and then maybe you spend three or four hours interviewing with a company, not to mention all the prep work that you did ahead of time. And then after this huge time investment on your part, they say, “No, we found someone else” or if you’re lucky to even get that.

A lot of employers, if they don’t hire you, they just ignore you. You’ll have to bug the crap out of them just to get them to say, “Oh, yeah. We went with someone else”.

So, they’re kind of rude in that sense, and I don’t like those kind of employers or interviewers. I don’t think they’re intentionally being rude, but they’re kind of just ignorant of the fact that someone put a lot of time into something. They deserve a little bit more than silence. I mean, I think so anyway.

So, I want to help you come to terms with maybe what happened during the process. I mean, a lot of times, maybe you were right for the position, but we don’t get every job. I mean, there’s been a lot of jobs that I was right for (at least I thought it was right for them) and I felt in my heart I was right for them, but I didn’t get them. So, you’re not going to get every job, even though you feel that you’re right for it.

But the number 1 reason, the first of the 7 reasons that you didn’t get the job, is they found someone else. I mean, you were qualified, but someone else was a little bit more qualified.

And that could be anything; that could mean that they had a little better education, that could mean that they had more experience, or maybe you had more experience and they had less, but maybe their experience was a little bit more narrowly focused on what the company was looking for. So, they went with the person who maybe only had 5 years versus the person 10 years, but that 5 years was more focused on the specific competency that the employer was looking for.

Simple as that. That’s the number one reason. If you ask me, I found that that’s why employers choose one candidate over another. It’s because that experience that they have is a closer match for what they’re looking for. Just simple as that.

I mean, you’ll never really know why, because well, they won’t tell you. In a lot of cases, their own company policies prevent them from talking to job seekers to telling them why. And it just has to do with legal issues, and liability, and stuff like that. So, that’s why employers are kind of {indistinct 03:33} on why they didn’t pick you.

So, don’t feel bad. Don’t feel bad if they didn’t pick you. At least you learned something from the process. You sharpened your skills, you got better, you learned how to be better. All right?

So, number 2; next reason why. You weren’t as qualified as you thought you were. I mean, this is me too. I’ve gone into a lot of job interviews where I felt really good about it and I felt like I matched the job description. And then as we got near the end of the interview process, I didn’t get the job and I’m like, “Why not?”

And I learned a lot of this because I was an interviewer as well. What can happen during the interview process is after an employer interviews a handful of candidates, they change the requirements for the job.

Because employers learn from job seekers too. Employers are learning as they’re interviewing people. It’s their way of gauging the level of talent that’s out there on the market for that particular competency or that job.

And as employers are learning and growing and educating themselves about the level of talent that’s out there in the market, they alter the job description midstream through the interview process and they won’t even tell you. They’ll be like, “Wow, we found that we can get a lot more experience if we aim for this group of candidates”.

And unfortunately, that kind of cuts you out because maybe initially, you have the experience they’re looking for, but then they found that they could get a little bit more or they learned that they needed a certain level of experience as they interviewed candidates and you just kind of fell on the other side of the pool there and you didn’t get the job.

That happens. It’s weird. It’s a very weird situation to be in. Because initially, you felt great, you looked good, you met all the requirements and then midstream, somewhere along the way, they changed things and now you’re not qualified anymore and they don’t even tell you. So, that kind of really just leaves job seekers scratching their head the whole process is done.

So, again, you won’t really know if this happened. And for a lot of these, you won’t really know if that’s the reason or not. I’m just trying to shed some light on possible reasons that maybe you can read these over, watch this video and just maybe get a better understanding of what happened to you and put a little bit of closure to past interview, so that you can move on, so you can be better.

I mean, that’s the whole thing; right? You want to learn from each interview. You want to know what you did wrong, so you don’t make that mistake again so that you move forward. That’s what I want to help you with.

Number 3; you turned off the hiring manager; simple as that. You probably said something about how you acted or what you did in a certain job or it could have been something personal. But for some reason, you turned off the hiring manager. And it happens; we all do it and we don’t even though we do it.

I mean, you could have been talking about your favorite sports team and maybe the hiring manager is like, “Wow, I hate that sport. I don’t want anybody working here who does that sport”. It can be as simple as that.

I mean, it might be weird for a hiring manager to go to that level, but we’re all human beings. We have personal feelings and we have certain biases about certain things.

Another example is maybe your interviewer was a hunter and you talked about how you loved playing with your bunny rabbits and kitty cats and they kind of felt that, “Well, we really don’t want someone soft and furry like that around our office” or the reverse could be true. Maybe your interviewer is a real big animal lover. They like to go to petting zoos and stuff like that and you mentioned how you love to hunt. The two are kind of at opposite ends and maybe they didn’t want a hunter in their work environment because they felt that would be somewhat of a clash because they have certain biases associated with personalities of hunters or sports fans; it could be anything.

But the driving reason here is it’s possible you said something that ticked off the hiring manager and they just don’t want you there, regardless of your experience. They don’t care if you’re qualified or maybe there was something about the values that didn’t align with what their values are and what they’re looking for. And so, that’s a completely valid reason on their part to disqualify you from the process.

But again, they’ll never tell you why. They just won’t. And nothing you can do about that. All right, let’s move onto the next one.

Number 4, you weren’t a culture fit. I mean, we can’t match everybody’s culture. We’re our own being and we’re not going to fit into every different type of corporate culture that’s out there.

I mean, maybe you have an Apple culture to you. You know, Apple Computer Company, maybe have that kind of laid back, easygoing culture and you were interviewing at a job that was like IBM. You know, it’s very formal, strict culture, kind of like a law office. And they just didn’t see your loose personality and style fitting in with their culture.

Or the reverse is true; maybe you went in and maybe you’re a very formal individual and you are applying at a very relaxed company and they thought you might be just a little bit too stuffy and not really gel with the current staff. It’s totally possible, but it is a valid reason that you weren’t a culture fit on some level.

Or maybe your values weren’t aligned. But there was something about you; the way you talked, the way you spoke, the way you did things that just didn’t align with their culture.

And maybe it’s the culture that you came from; maybe you came from a very formalized culture, maybe you worked for a formal government agency and now you’re trying to get a job in the corporate world and those two cultures, those two departments, are just completely at odds with each other.

It can happen and it does. But again, you’ll never know. They won’t tell you. This is something for you to maybe figure out after the fact. All right, let’s move on to the next one.

Number 5; you weren’t able to articulate why you were the best person for the job. This is a very common reason as well. Because when we go into a job interview as job seekers, we’re nervous. Our nerves are there all the way up to here. And sometimes, we’re not ourselves and we’re unable to explain why we’re the best candidate for the job.

We have a difficult time expressing, getting that feeling out as to why they should invite us in to their company. Some people call it a ‘brain freeze’. They go in there and they can’t say everything that they want to say. And so, they can’t express themselves. They can’t express why they’re the best person for the job.

And it’s like, “So, Don. Why should we hire you?” And you’re like, “Well, I think we’ll do a good job here”. That’s not going to sell them.

For you to express why you’re the best person, you need to go deeper than that. You need to let them know the things that you’ve done in your past jobs and how that is going to help you be successful in this job.

And you can’t just say, “I’m going to be successful. I’m going to do great”. You have to go into detail. Before you go into detail, you have to understand what they’re looking for, you have to understand the position, you have to understand the problems facing that position and you have to present yourself as a solution to those problems.

Most people don’t do that. They don’t know how to present themselves as a solution because they don’t even understand the depth of the problems facing that position in the first place.

So, that’s where I would encourage you to truly understand the problems your interviewer or your employer is facing and what they’re really looking for and ask them questions about it. Dig deep so that you can understand what they’re really looking for and only then can you present yourself as a solution that position. That’s the only way to do it.

So, that’s one of the most common reasons that you didn’t get the job is you weren’t able to articulate yourself. I mean, maybe you had the experience. Maybe you had 20 years of experience, but if you can’t express how that level of experience is going to help them, they don’t care. They’re not going to hire you; they’re just not.

So, try to be more passionate about yourself in the interview. But before you can do that, you have to think about what you can bring. What do you have? What energy, what enthusiasm, what competencies do you have that can help them in this position and help them grow?

But you have to understand what they’re looking for before you can present yourself as a solution to their problems. All right, let’s move on the next one.

Number 6; the job was already set aside for someone else. And this is kind of one of those reasons that employers will never tell you, no matter what. And we had to do this before when we worked at Exxon. What will happen is, let’s say for an example, in my department, we have an opening for a programmer.

Now, we already know who we want to put in there. It’s like we have a personal recommendation from one of the staff members that said, “Hey, this guy, Joe, working over at this other company, he’d be perfect for this job. I’d like you to hire him”. “Okay, that’s great. But we can’t just go hire someone else without interviewing a whole bunch of other candidates”.

So, the first thing we have to do is make a public job description and post it on the job boards. And then this is required by the company. HR says we can hire anybody we want, but you first have to interview at least 10 outside candidates. And then after you interview those 10 candidates one time, then you can hire the person that you want. They have they have these internal policies that they have to go through.

So, this is what could happen to you. You might be one of those external candidates. You apply for this job, you do really well and they’re like, “Wow, you sound great” and all, then you never hear from them again.

That’s because they went with someone else. They went with an internal candidate. They went with somebody else where the job was already set aside. Before you even interviewed for this job, someone already had it. It was already given to someone else. They just didn’t tell you now.

I mean, this is dirty. I don’t like playing this way and it’s a huge waste of time. It’s a huge waste of your time. It’s a huge waste of time for the employer, but some of these larger companies, and you’ll only find this with larger companies. Rarely will you find this with a small company. A small company doesn’t have the time or energy to interview 10 candidates just to discard them all, so they can go hire the one that they want. And the smaller companies general don’t have those types of policies and procedures placed on their hiring methods. They can pretty much just do whatever they want.

But if you’re interviewing at a large company; big company, the job could be set aside for someone else. How often does this happen? Maybe 10 percent of the time; maybe. It’s hard to say because no one will ever really tell you, “Oh, yeah. We set jobs aside all the time”. No, they won’t tell you that, but it’s possible reason.

So, if you went in for an interview and you did really well and you only got to the first round and then you heard nothing else, it’s possible the job is set aside. There’s also other reasons too, but it’s a possibility.

So, don’t beat yourself up. If you went into an interview and you felt good about yourself and you delivered a good presentation, don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t feel that you’re not good at interviewing. You just need to keep interviewing. You need to keep going out there because all the jobs are not set aside for all the positions.

The more you get out there and interview, the more you practice talking about yourself and expressing the value and the experience that you can bring to a position, the more you do that, the better you’ll get at interviewing. And sooner or later, usually sooner, you’ll end up getting a job. All right, so let’s move on to the last one.

Number 7; you didn’t seem enthusiastic enough about the position. And again, this happens a lot too. And sometimes, our enthusiasm is masked by our nerves.

I mean, we might want the job and we might be like, “Yeah, we really want it” but we just have a difficult time expressing our self in the interview and we just kind of come across as, “Yes, I’ll take the job. Please, I would like it”. And we just come across in this way that is just dull and boring and just not being ourselves. I mean, that can do it. That can do it right there for you.

Another possibility is maybe the job itself just isn’t that interesting. And maybe you’ve been interviewing for a year or more and you go in to interview for a job that’s just kind of boring and it doesn’t really excite you; it’s not exactly what you want, but you just kind of want it because you need a paycheck. I mean, that happens too.

So, when you go in there, you’re not excited. And how did you get excited about something that’s boring or that’s about the type of work that you don’t really want to be doing. It’s hard to fake that level of enthusiasm.

So, interviewers will pick up on this. They only want to hire people who are enthusiastic about the job, who are excited, who want to do it.

I mean, think about it; who are you going to hire? Are you going to hire the person with 20 years’ experience who comes in and says “Yeah, I would like this job” or are you going to hire the person with you know 3 or 4 years’ experience that says, “Yes! I can do this. This is something I want to do. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Here’s why I’m a great fit for it. Here’s my experience. I’m a little short here, but you know what? I can make up for that. And here’s how I’m going to do it”.

I mean, who are you going to hire? You’re going to hire the enthusiastic person. You always hire enthusiasm over experience.

Now, granted, you can’t just be overly enthusiastic. I mean, you can’t go in there and say, “Yes, I really want this brain surgeon job. You know, I’ve only got three years of school, but I know I can do it”. I mean, all the enthusiasm in the world isn’t going to let you be a brain surgeon. You’re never going to get the brain surgeon job or that astronaut job. Maybe you have three or four years of experience but, “Yes, I really want to be an astronaut”. All the enthusiasm and excitement in the world isn’t going to get you a seat on a rocket ship.

So, enthusiasm is great, you have to have it, but you have to combine that enthusiasm with some experience and show that this is an area that maybe you don’t have all the experience, but you have some and you want to grow in it and here’s how you’re going to grow in it. All right, that’s how you do it. I just gave you.

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About The Author

Don Georgevich

Author of 4 top selling interviewing books, speaker, and job interview strategy coach. The one person everyone calls on before a difficult job interview.

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