The Real Reason You Didn’t Get That Job

Posted on June 23, 2017 by

The Real ReasonYou just finished a long series of grueling interviews and ended up not getting the job.  We’ve all been there – it is just part of the job search process.  Oftentimes, you will simply be told that you didn’t get the job but you aren’t provided with much of a reason why, other than the standard ―“it was a tough decision but we went with someone who had a little more experience” or something along those lines.  Do you ever wonder what some of the more popular reasons are that people don’t get the job (outside of simply not being qualified)?

“Candidate was a few minutes late for the interview.”  Even if just a few minutes late, this can kill your chances.  The feeling that is shared is that if you are late to an interview, what will happen once you have the job.  In order to avoid this, make sure to get there at least 30 minutes early (but don’t go into the lobby until 10 minutes prior to your interview or you will make them uncomfortable). Better to be early than show up late or sweaty from having to run to your interview.

“Candidate wouldn’t stop talking ― they never got to the point.”  Longer isn’t necessarily better.  If we have 3 candidates interviewing for a position and the first two interviews last 30 minutes and the last one an hour, we have found that usually the last one wasn’t a success, even though every time candidate interview feedback  is positive.  Usually this is a case where a candidate may be overly verbose and not succinct with their responses.

“They didn’t have the experience that his resume said he did.”  It is better to not over-inflate your skill sets ― at some point it will come back to bite you.  We have found that it is better to be upfront and honest about your strengths and not exaggerate on skills that you do not possess.  Most of our client’s share that they would rather a candidate be honest and they can usually tell if they don’t have the expertise to back up what is on the resume.  If you don’t have the experience, when asked, be honest about it and share that you are capable of learning and have an example ready to share on how you were able to pick something up quickly in the past.

“She was wearing really strong perfume.”  This can also pertain to cologne.  Everyone has different sensitivity to smell and so the safest thing to do is to not wear perfume and cologne into an interview.  It truly is a no-win situation.

“He didn’t have one question to ask.”  This is the kiss of death. The feeling is that if you are interested in this opportunity and company, you should have some questions on the role, the career path, the team, etc.  The questions you ask (or don’t) can make or break you.  Do not use this valuable time to ask about things such as benefits or hours. There is a time and a place for that, but not while you are being interviewed.

“He asked me that exact same question.”  Oftentimes, you will be interviewing with several different people.  Keep in mind that after the interview, they will all get together and compare notes.  If you ask the exact questions to everyone, they will know.  You need to be prepared to ask different questions of everyone.

These examples may not be fair, but they’re real.  In your quest for a new IT Job, you’re going to be interviewed by real people, with real faults and real biases. You need to present a professional but neutral image to them, in every way.

In my next blog, I will share additional IT Career Tips that are shared with us by hiring managers and how you can use these to your advantage in landing your next job.

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Author's biography:

Ted co-founded KCM Solutions and now oversees all business development and client projects. Previously, he founded a financial staffing firm after working with a large investment bank. With passions in mountain biking and triathlons, he can often be found with bags of ice all over his body. When he isn’t training or onsite with our clients, he is still trying to figure out how to corral two, very active boys.