Why Didn’t I Get the Job?

You applied with high hopes.

Those hopes got even higher after you completed your interview. You wrapped up by stating how much you really wanted the job, and then heard those vaguely promising words from the hiring manager as you left:

“We’ll be in touch.”

You sent a note of thanks, reiterating why you were the best choice for the position. But then, after days of waiting, you received a call or email saying that the employer went with another candidate. Now, you can’t help but ask yourself:

“Why didn’t I get the job?”

Honestly, there are hundreds of potential reasons why an employer may pass you over, ranging from interview mistakes and culture fit to skills gaps and bad references.  Even if you ask, you may never get a straight answer from a hiring manager.

But if you get turned down for a job, try not to feel sorry for yourself. Do a little introspection to see if you can figure out where things went wrong – and then use what you learn to improve your results the next time around.

Here are a few questions from PrideStaff for you to consider:

Did I make a “rookie” mistake? Like it or not, simple things such as arriving late (or arriving more than 10 minutes early), not dressing professionally, or speaking negatively about a former employer or co-worker can ruin your chances at landing a job. Jot down a list of minor mistakes you may have made and vow not to do the same things twice.

Did my skills really fit the job? Were you overqualified for the role, or did you lack essential experience? If so, the employer may have found a better-suited candidate whose skills and experience more closely fit the available role.

Was I a good match for the culture? Consider your personality and work style from the employer’s point of view. Could their environment be too laid-back? Too fast-paced for you? If so, getting passed over is probably for the best. Even if you had the right skills and experience, you wouldn’t thrive in an organization long-term unless you meshed with their corporate culture.

Did the interview really go well?

  • Did you make appropriate eye contact – or fidget and stare at the table?
  • Did you make a strong case for why you were the best choice – or focus too much on your shortcomings?
  • Did you answer the interviewer’s questions directly and succinctly – or stumble over your words and occasionally lose your train of thought?

Like word processing, soldering or writing code, interviewing is a skill. If you determine that your interview performance could’ve cost you the job, try practicing with a friend or family member. Make sure you know the answers to common interview questions (e.g., “Why should we hire you?”) and send the right nonverbal cues to convey your enthusiasm and professionalism.

Looking for a job?

PrideStaff can put you to work quickly. When you register with us, we can help you:

  • improve your resume and interviewing skills;
  • broaden your experience with a variety of temporary assignments;
  • earn money while you look for a full-time job.

Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.