Here’s why you didn’t get the job

by | 13.10.23

Job hunting can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, especially when you’ve been turned down for a role that seemed like a perfect fit. While it’s true that sometimes the reason you didn’t get the job is outside of your control, other times it is. But don’t wallow in where you may have gone wrong, identify the reason or reasons and make positive changes that will help you land the next job you go for. Here are some possible reasons you were unsuccessful:

You’re not qualified

You were convinced you were perfectly qualified for the job and you may have convinced the Interviewer you were qualified too. But after reviewing all the candidates, the Interviewer decided you weren’t as qualified for the job as they wanted. It’s also possible you are qualified for the job but not as qualified as other candidates.

You’re not selling yourself

Maybe you were the best candidate for the job, but if you didn’t promote your strengths in the interview there is no way for the interviewer to know what they are. In most cases you only need a few minutes to wow the interviewer, so there’s no time to waste when answering questions. The best way to sell yourself is to promote your strengths and your relevant experience.

You appeared uninterested

You indicated you were interested in the role by sending the Company your CV but was that the message you gave in your interview? If you were late for the interview or showed up unprepared you’re telling the interviewer that you are not interested in the job. Likewise, your body language can send unintended messages. Slumping in your chair, looking bored or tapping your foot are all actions that send negative messages.

You haven’t researched the company

Whilst the Interviewer doesn’t expect you to know everything about the Company or the role they do expect you to know the basics, so make sure you do your research on the Company by checking out their website and also ensure you read the job specification or advertisement carefully so you have a reasonable idea of what the Company do and what the job is all about.

You didn’t follow instructions

Some employers will give you specific instructions on what to bring and what to expect at an interview. For instance if you know your interview is going to be a panel interview make sure you take enough CVs so that each member of the panel has one. Furthermore, if you are asked to bring proof of your right to work in the UK documentation or details or your references, make sure you do provide this information.

You looked a mess

Even for online interviews it’s important that you dress appropriately. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit but you should definitely present yourself professionally. Check the Company’s web pages and social media to get a better idea of the everyday dress code and try to dress one step up from that.

You were negative

Whist acknowledging your weaknesses during the interview can help an employer better understand you as a worker, being negative is usually one way to ensure you don’t get the job, so don’t dwell on your faults and weaknesses, concentrate on selling your strengths.

You failed to ask questions

At the end of almost every interview you will be asked if you have any questions. Employers do this because they know interviewing is a two-way street and want to answer any question you may have, the questions you ask also tell the employer how interested you are in the role. Go for an interview with a few questions in mind so you have something prepared, hopefully your questions won’t be answered during the interview.

You overshared personal information

An interview is all about getting to know one another. Some Interviewers are all about business and some will ask personal questions. While it’s time to chat about a shared interest in pets or even the weather, avoid getting too personal. Do not overshare information about your personal life, relationship or financial situation.

You didn’t say thank you

Maybe you forgot to send a thank you note or email after the interview. This should be done within 48 hours to have any effect. Never, ever be negative about an interview you’ve been to on social media as you don’t know if the employer will check you out and this could lose you a job offer.

You got a rubbish reference

When it comes to providing professional references be sure you choose someone who will respond quickly and who can speak about your professional abilities. If it takes too long for an employer to obtain a reference it could cost you the job. Equally if you get a negative reference then that will definitely lose you a job offer.

You were pipped at the post

Finally, sometimes you don’t get a job for reasons outside your control. It could be that a dark horse internal candidate suddenly applied and was a better choice for the role. Budgetary or economic winds could have shifted and suddenly the position is on hold or even gone. Unfortunately it happens and the reason you didn’t get the job is entirely out of your hands.

Finally, just because you didn’t get the job doesn’t automatically mean you did something wrong. There are plenty or valid reasons that have nothing to do with you! However, if you find yourself landing interviews but not getting jobs, do some self-reflection and see if you need to change things up and adjust your approach.

Good luck

Angela Burton