Why You Didn’t Get The Job Even After A Great Interview

Ok, I know that there are some obviously answers to this question. You know that you bombed the interview if:

  • You asked to pass on a question or asked to phone a friend for help
  • You asked for a few minutes of silence so you can look over your resume
  • Any of these Top 10 Reasons

The Perfect Interview

It’s pretty clear that you bombed an interview if you did something or said something that made you immediately undesirable or unqualified for the job. Unfortunately we all can remember putting our foot in our mouths and blurting out some insanely personal story or flirting with the recruiter, ok well maybe not everyone flirts with the recruiter (flirting with the recruiter is an automatic job offer :)…ok not really…seriously folks don’t flirt cause it makes things awkward).

I’m talking about the interviews that you know you did perfect in. I mean so perfect that you wish it was recorded and could be submitted to the International Olympic Committee and then awarded a gold medal without actually doing anything athletic. The point is, if you did so well why weren’t you hired?! The most common reasons you may not get the job, which you have no control over is because of target hires and/or nepotism. Even if Recruiters already know who is going to get hired we still have to go through “fake interviews”. This is to make sure that the target hire is actually the perfect candidate, which is not always the case but we are forced to hire them anyway.

I Blame the Hiring Manager

Hiring managers can be funny people to work with. Sometimes the power to hire whoever they want gets into their head. As a recruiter I need to find candidates that I think can do the job. Hiring managers sometimes want to hire their friends or family even though they are not qualified for the job. I understand the pressure to hire people you know but at the end of the day I need to be confident that the person I suggest and vote for will not be sitting infront of HR again discussing grounds for termination. If this “friend” or target hire doesn’t work out it looks bad for the person who suggested them. I care about my reputation too much to be pressured to hire a friend who isn’t qualified.

Three ways to tell if you are not going to get the job:

  1. You Are Only Interviewed By The Recruiter

    If a manager is not present and you are only sitting face-to-face or on a phone interview with just the recruiter you are not going to get the job. This is because a manager makes the decision to hire not the recruiter. We are just the ones to find the right candidate. If you find yourself in front of a recruiter minus a manager then use this “fake interview” as another practice run. Listen to all the questions and really try your best. This scenario usually happens when the manager has a target hire or nepotism is involved, either case you couldn’t control. Just do your best and hope the recruiter thinks of you when another similar role comes up.

  2. You’re Not Asked Any Interview Questions

    I’m all for turning an interview into a conversation but the conversation should still be about the job, your skills and how they match. If the interview turns into an update of “The Bachelor” or “what do you think will happen next on Gossip Girl?” then you are not going to get the job. Small talk to try to get the nerves out of the way is fine but that’s why it should be small talk. As a recruiter we have to ask the same questions over and over again if we can change the subject a little because this interview doesn’t really count (sorry but this does happen) then we will so we can kill 20-30 minutes.

  3. (#3 is a 2-4-1 deal today)
    If They Don’t Ask for References

    You should always have a list of references ready to hand over but wait for the interviewer to ask for them. If they are keen to hire you they will ask immediately after the interview and if they don’t ask at all, you are not going to get the job.

    If You Don’t Hear Back From Them

    Well this is an obvious one and I’d like to apologize on behalf of all the lazy and rude recruiters (you know who you are) who don’t call candidates back to let them know they didn’t get the job. During an interview you should always ask when they expect the interview process to be finished and when you should expect to hear from them. If the interview process will be completed by the end of one week i.e. Friday then you should hear from someone on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. If you don’t that means you didn’t get the job. Some recruiters will say that it might take awhile to offer a role and blame it on bureaucracy. If you were the successful candidate they would call or email you right away. This is because the recruiter wants to get the references started and hopefully get you to accept and provide notice to your current employer. Its really to get the ball rolling while paperwork is being completed. If you are the candidate they want you would be hearing from the recruiter right away.

At The End Of The Day

Target hires, nepotism or the recruiter is just blind and can’t see that you are the best candidate for the role, whatever the reason you didn’t do anything wrong. You did your best and that’s what matters.

Need help with writing a resume or have a question…Ask Dorothy!

photo by: A National Acrobat

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