Virtually everyone gets rejected for a job at some point in their lives – and some never hear back from the interviewer. Here’s why great candidates may not get the job.
Don’t take it personally
Have you recently been to a job interview and found out that you weren’t selected? Or maybe you haven’t heard anything, and it’s been a couple of weeks since the interview? If so, don’t be disheartened! There are dozens of reasons why you might not have got the job – and in many cases it will have nothing to do with your abilities or personality.
Keep your chin up!
Remember that your performance at a job interview – which typically doesn’t last more than 30 to 60 minutes – is only a snapshot of who you are and what you’re capable of. Many factors can impact on how you well you do – from how much sleep you got the previous night, to how nervous you were during the interview.
So, here are five reasons why great candidates may not get the job:
1. You had a different skillset to what the job required
Employers and hiring managers usually try their best to shortlist candidates that have the relevant skills/experience for the role. However, sometimes companies are under pressure to hire new employees quickly, which means they may not have time to check every detail of your CV to ensure you’re the right fit. Other times, the job specification may have been posted too hastily – meaning the company may not have had time to make sure the description accurately represented the required skillset/experience of the new role.
If this happens, it’s not your fault! The company just didn’t reach out to the right skillset.
2. The company decided it didn’t need anyone after all
Like the previous point, sometimes companies may have a sudden upsurge in business activity, which could prompt them to start interviewing potential employees. Later, however, things may quieten down, and the business may no longer need anyone – so the job never gets filled. Understandably, this is very frustrating, but it happens more often than you might expect.
3. The interviewer thought you didn’t show enough enthusiasm
Perhaps you just didn’t seem that interested in the job. Even if you have excellent qualifications and relevant experience, an employer will be reluctant to give you the job unless you can convince them that you really want it.
When answering the ‘what made you apply for this position’ question, maybe you didn’t make it clear why you wanted this job and why you thought this company stood out against others (i.e. competitors). An interviewer will be looking at answers along the lines of ‘this will help me build my skillset’ and ‘your company has the right working culture for me’, etc, as these will show that you don’t just want the job – you want the job at this company.
4. You went astray
No, we don’t mean you left the room half way through the interview! Rather, you might have gone off topic or waffled a bit too much while answering the questions (i.e. talking about your work experience and then talking about hobbies or other things unrelated to your work). Don’t worry, this can even happen to experienced interviewees, especially if they spend several minutes responding to a question.
5. They went for another candidate who asked for a lower salary
Yes, this can seem really unfair, but sometimes when companies are torn between two candidates, they may go for the one asking for less money. This is not the smartest way to hire talent, however; what’s more important is the value the candidate can bring to the company, especially in the long term. Often, the best employers will be willing to pay a little more in order to secure – and retain – top talent.
So, whether you’ve recently received a rejection or you’re still waiting for a response, don’t get too disheartened – and don’t give up!
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