Why didn't I get the job? (Part 1)
You lied on your application
Everything you put on your application is discoverable. If an employer finds out that something you’ve said isn’t true it’s almost certain that they will immediately disregard you as a candidate. Employers are well trained in spotting potential lies on a CV. And if not, these lies are more than likely to be uncovered at the interview stage.
Use your CV and covering letter to highlight your strengths and suitability for the role but don’t stretch the truth to the point where you’re not portraying an accurate image of your skills and experience. If you’re not right for the job, don’t apply.
You didn't sell yourself
It’s all about selling yourself to the employer and getting across why you’re the candidate that should get the role above everyone else. Go over the job description so you can sell to the employer the key points about yourself that make you right for the role. Also look up some of the key interview questions that employers often ask and practice your interview technique with others. They may be able to give you an insight as to how you come across and how you may be able to improve.
You didn’t draw upon examples
Employers don’t just want to hear the common speech that you’re dedicated, organised and a team player. Whatever you say – you need to prove it. They want to be given specific examples of when you’ve proved these traits in your past experiences. Avoid listing off a number of qualities without offering the interviewer examples of when you’ve demonstrated them.
You weren't prepared
Research the organisation fully. You should have done this before the interview stage, but take time to go over your research again and familiarise yourself. Questions which the employer may ask are “Who do you think are our main competitors?” or “Tell us what you like about our company.” You need to be able to answer these questions accurately and confidently. If you’ve not taken the time to research the company, you’re not going to come across as a dedicated candidate for the role.
You didn't clear up your online presence
It’s the potential downside of social media. It’s now very common for employers to research about a potential employee by searching for them on social networking sites. It gives them an insight into you as a person outside of a formal environment such as a job interview.
Although this has its advantages, it’s also created a lot of problems for candidates when employers find something which they don’t want to see. Check the security preferences of all your social media profiles. Make sure that everything that you publish is something that you wouldn’t mind a potential boss to see. Don’t have anything online that would turn someone against hiring you as an employee.
You came across negative
Employers want an enthusiastic employee and one who will fit in well with the team. One of the big reasons why recruiters are turned off is by a candidate’s attitude. Whether you meant to come across in a negative way or not, if you appear bored, agitated or arrogant, it’s going to put the employer off.
Find out some of the key formalities and body language which should and should not be used at an interview. Again, find someone to help you practice how you come across as they may spot bad habits which you may not be aware of.
You didn’t show long-term potential
Employers want people in their organisation to have the desire to work their way up so it’s important to show that you can and want to grow within their company. At the end of the interview ask questions such as “how do you see the role evolving in the years to come” or “what is the potential for promotion in the future?” It shows that you have envisioned your future at the organisation.
Regardless of how the interview goes, turn each meeting into a positive. After each interview take the time to analyse what went well and what could have been done better. If you have the opportunity to ask for feedback, do so.
Remember, if you were the second or third choice candidate, slightly adjusting your interview technique might be what gets you the job the next time round.
Date published: 12 February 2013