It’s natural to wonder why you didn’t get an interview – or perhaps make it to the second round – for a job you thought was a perfect fit. While I always feel it’s best to ask the hiring manager what went wrong, do a little self-analysis first. Didn’t get a call back for the job? Perhaps you made one of the following mistakes:
1. You Didn’t Follow-Up, And Someone Else Did
At every part of the job search process, it’s important to follow up with the hiring manager. My general rule of thumb is to state you will follow up in one week on your cover letter. Thereafter, it’s appropriate to follow up once a week for a few weeks. You can e-mail the manager, give them a call, or even write them a small thank you note and drop it in the mail. A follow-up can make the difference between landing a job and being another submission in the pile.
2. You Didn’t Sell Yourself
When you walked into the interview, were you just desperate for a job, any job? Hiring managers can tell if you aren’t necessarily interested in their open position, and they will ask you questions accordingly. You need to be prepared to answer what your short-term and long-term goals are, how you can help the company and why your past experience makes you ready for this position. You also need to identify any weaknesses or areas of inexperience you have. Tell the hiring manager why they don’t need to worry about these.
3. The Position Was Filled By An Employee Referral
More often than not, referrals end up getting the job over online applicants.
4. You Didn’t Seem Passionate Or Interested Enough
Did you ask questions about the organization? Did you research it well, and identify how you can be of service to the company? Although job searching can be a frustrating and long process, you still need to convey your interest for the organization and position in order to seem like an ideal candidate.
5. You Didn’t Listen
A big red flag to a hiring manager is a candidate who doesn’t really answer the questions they’re asking. You need to be completely focused on all aspects of your search, whether it’s an e-mail correspondence or an interview.
6. You Didn’t Have Any Stories To Share
When managers ask about specific situations you’ve been in or mistakes you’ve made, you need to have a few interesting stories ready to tell them. Compile these stories from past experience and education.
7. You Didn’t Seem Natural
Smile. Relax. Take a breath. These sound simple—but many people can’t seem to do them in an interview! A hiring manager wants to get to know you, the real you. Although you still need to be professional, don’t be afraid to act naturally and be relatable.
What else would you add to this list? Have you done one of these and it cost you the job?