Have you ever excitedly interviewed for a job that seemed to fit you like a glove? The requirements matched your experience perfectly but you didn't get the offer. Why do so many seemingly well-matched candidates find themselves getting the, "Thanks but no thanks" spiel well into the interview process?
If you've ever found yourself wondering why you didn't get the job even though you clearly had the skills and experience, this week's article is for you. As an experienced hiring manager and recruiter, I'm going to spill the beans on what might have held you back from getting that offer letter you thought you had in the bag.
1. You Didn't Mind Your Manners
Elizabeth P. Cipolla
You were taught at an early age about the importance of saying a simple, "Thank you." However, many job seekers seem to forget about this when they interview for a new career opportunity. If you lack immediate follow-up with a personalized thank you email or note, it sends a message to the hiring manager that you are one of two things: rude or disinterested. Would you want to hire a rude or disinterested candidate?
2. You Seemed Like You Wouldn't Be Happy In The Position
It's good to demonstrate ambition and confidence in the interview process, but there is a fine line behind ambition and being a bull dozer. In other words, if you're interviewing for a position as a manager and your entire focus is on knowing what you'd need to do to become a director once hired, it makes the recruiter think twice about hiring you. Why? Because they need to hire a manager, but you're only interested in asking about advancement opportunities once hired. This sends a red flag that you might not be happy for long if they hired you into the position they need to fill today.
3. You Came Across As Desperate
Interviewing is much like dating. When you're dating, it's a turn off if your date comes across like they have low standards or if they try to throw themselves at you. Desperation is not an appealing quality. The same rings true in the interview process. Much like dating, interviewing is a give and take relationship, and you want to come across as genuine in your interest to learn more about the company's opportunity. Even if you're bursting with excitement to get hired, it's important to exude a calm level of confidence.
4. Your Social Media Fingerprint Was Inappropriate Or Non Existent
Like it or not, many recruiters and hiring managers will Google your name at some point in the interview process to learn more about you. What they find - or don't find - is often more telling than what you demonstrate during the interview. For example, perhaps you're interviewing for a sales manager position and you boast about expert networking skills during the interview. When the hiring manager goes to check out your LinkedIn profile, it is non-existent or, you have only 10 connections with an incomplete profile. Perhaps your networking skills were expert 10 years ago, but what are you doing to tap into modern day business networking practices today? Worst yet, don't be the candidate who has inappropriate pictures with expletive-filled captions posted on your other social media accounts.
5. They Just Didn't Like You
Let's face it, when a hiring manager is searching for the newest addition to their team, it's important for them to find someone they can see themselves happily working with. Not convinced? Let's revisit the dating analogy. Perhaps your type is a person who is athletic and funny with dark hair and blue eyes. On your first date, you're excited to see a smiling, dark-haired, blue eyed, physically fit person standing at your door. However, as the date continues, you realize you don't really connect with your date and the conversation is awkward at times. This isn't a match. The same is true with interviewing. Sometimes, a candidate might look great on paper, but when push comes to shove, the hiring manager isn't feeling the chemistry to hire you as a person with whom they'd like to work closely on a daily basis.
Finding a new job always takes more time than any job seeker would prefer. If you've been turned down after an interview for a position you are qualified to fill, reflect upon what you can do differently next time to land the job that is meant for you.
Elizabeth P. Cipolla, SPHR, is a business communications professional specializing in the areas of leadership training, creative recruitment strategies, employment branding, professional development and executive coaching for nearly 15 years. Her leadership experience comes from various industries including marketing, mass media, apparel, education, manufacturing, nonprofit agencies and insurance. To contact Elizabeth, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.