Did you ever leave a job interview feeling confident that you’d aced it – and then gotten the dreaded rejection letter or, even worse, heard nothing at all?
It happens to the best of us, and when it does, we all want to know why. A vague response such as “someone more suited to the position was hired” just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes it’s just chemistry, which you really can’t do anything about. However, companies oftentimes reject candidates because of several actions the job candidate does – or doesn’t – take. Here are several common reasons great candidates are rejected and how to avoid them.
Straying from the message.
Most jobs require multiple interviews with several different people. Oftentimes, the picture a candidate paints in the first interview compared to the last can be inconsistent. Do not let yourself get too overconfident or become fatigued during these multiple interviews. Make sure that you are as professional and prepared for the last interviewer as you were for the first.
- Establish a positive connection with each interviewer. Show courtesy and confidence without being smug or arrogant.
- Remember that all of the interviewers will be comparing notes. Each interviewer was chosen for a specific reason. Gear your answers based on their functional title and/or by the types of questions they ask. Customize each interview and treat it with the same importance.
Lack of attention to the details.
Oftentimes, job candidates get so focused on what they will say during the interview, they fail to be aware of the details. Even if you are highly qualified for the position, if you arrive late to the interview, are sloppily dressed, or fidget through the entire interview, it sends a bad message to the potential employer.
- Dress professionally, use a firm handshake and emit positive energy.
- Plan on arriving twenty to thirty minutes early. You need to factor in getting through security, poor directions, heavy traffic, delays in public transportation or a parking lot that is a football field away from the building. And, you want ten minutes at least to just settle in and relax before the interview.
- During the interview, be composed – not only in your answers, but in your body language and attitude.
- Bring more copies of your resume than you think you may need. You never know who the potential employer may pull into the interview.Follow up promptly with a thank you note or email that clearly states your interest and a brief summary of why the position is an excellent fit for you. If you are using an agent, you must clear this with the agent, at least get another set of eyes to help catch any careless mistakes.
- Don’t forget that you make an impression on every person you come in contact with from the moment you walk in the door. Don’t give short shrift to the receptionist. A dismissive attitude to anyone at the company could be enough to torpedo an otherwise strong impression.
It’s not you, it’s me.
Sometimes you are just not the right fit. If you got the interview, chances are that your resume is solid. But interviews are also about establishing cultural fit. If you don’t conduct your due diligence, you will not know what type of candidate the company is looking for and how to position yourself as that ideal candidate. Once you have an idea of their culture and the type of candidate they are looking for, align yourself with those traits. For example:
- If the employer wants someone who understands the nuance of navigating the politics of the workplace, don’t focus on how you are a black and white, get-the-job-done executor.
Even if you do everything right and were a good fit for the position, you may still get rejected because the employer felt you were not the best fit. If the employer has a candidate whose skills are better suited for the position, chances are they will hire that candidate instead of you. No employer wants you to be bored in a position below your skill set or to flounder in a position above your abilities.
Working with an experienced career coach can be helpful as you deal with the ups and downs of your job search. Contact Select Group, Inc. to learn how we can help you move forward from rejection and find the perfect position for your career!