Home Career Services Why Didn’t I Get that Job?

Why Didn’t I Get that Job?


By Eileen Shacklefordgimmicky-cover-letters
Contributor, Career Services

Haven’t we all asked that question at some point? If you have ever been in a job search, you know there will be times when you leave an interview thinking, “I nailed that! The job is mine.” Then what? A “thank you for your application” email arrives. If you are like me, you like the unvarnished, plain ole’, unarguable truth. Sometimes in today’s corporate speak, it is hard to drill down to what expressions like ’not a good fit’ mean.

As a spouse of a veteran, I have been a job seeker many times in my life during relocations. Selecting the opportunities that best fit me and my family’s needs was a challenge. I have always appreciated when someone gave me “meat and potatoes” feedback – not a lot of fluff.

So, why didn’t you get that job? If you do some honest soul searching, you know the reason. What does your gut tell you?

If your gut is not working, here are some observations to ponder.

These are the hard truths we, in talent acquisition management, hear from recruiters about why applicants are disqualified:

  1. You did not complete the application correctly—or at all. That’s right: if the application isn’t filled out correctly or is incomplete it does not even get to a recruiter’s hands.You didn’t even get past ‘go’. Do you really want this job? Put the time in to get it right, the first time. Make your information correct and consistent.
  2. You do not understand the job or company. Some recruiters call candidates to get a base line assessment of interests in the company, position, and wage expectation. Candidates are disqualified or withdraw their application after finding out more details during this conversation. Most of the time with a little research on the front end you can determine all the above items.
  3. Your work history is inconsistent. Everyone has job changes and even periods between employment (layoffs, parenthood, hot-headed job exits, etc.). Be able to explain these in a business-related way. Don’t know how? Ask for help! Career coaches can be found at almost every college and university (including yours) and there are many resources on the internet. I once hired someone who had a felony. Why? Because during the interview the candidate effectively expressed the steps he had successfully taken to change his life. He was honest, open, and able to relate his experience back to being employed.
  4. Relocation is not an option. Be honest. Would you really move yourself or your family away from community, church, family and school systems? This decision is hard and it is big. Do you really want to invest your time completing an application for a job that you will likely not pursue? Applications take a lot of time; invest your time where you will get the best return possible.
  5. When the interview is over, the recruiter does not understand how you will ‘fit’ into the culture. Imagine the hiring personnel having a sign around their neck, “What’s in it for me?” Can you leave the interviewer with three solid reasons on why you are the one—your skills and experience, your new ideas, your identification with the employer’s culture? If you do not show your value, you will not get the opportunity to see if they are a good fit for you.
  6. You did not take the experience seriously. Did you dress for success, prepare for the interview, and use professional language? If you don’t take the interviewer seriously, why should they take you seriously?

These statements are based on the honest and open answers corporate recruiters share with my colleagues and me. I share them in the spirit of improvement and success. Stop what you are doing, evaluate it, change it if you need to change it, and “Go get ‘em!”





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