5 surprising reasons you didn't get the job

You nailed it! 

At least you thought you did. Your performance at the job interview was stellar. You were convinced the company would be calling with the job offer any day. 

Yet, you never heard from the hiring manager again and a standard email notification arrives announcing that you didn’t get the gig.

What went wrong? Why didn't you get the job offer?

Was it that another candidate was truly more qualified? Did they decide to go with an internal candidate? Did you blow your chances by giving a nervous response when asked why you left your last position? Maybe. These are some reasons why you may have gotten the ax. But here are some surprising reasons why you didn't get the job:

1) You we're only interviewed for compliance reasons

The hiring manager may have already made her selection well before she called you to come in, but the company policy mandated that she perform a series of interviews with external candidates before extending an offer. As a result, the deal was already sealed before you walked through the door.

2) You didn't dress to impress

The résumé and cover letter knocked the recruiter off his feet, but your physical appearance wasn’t up to par. Simply put, your appearance gave off a bad first impression. Perhaps, the strong aroma from your perfume or cologne turned off the interviewer, or maybe the hiring manager noticed that your shoes were scuffed, your clothes were stained and ill fitting, or your fingernails were dirty. Next time, dress to impress and be well groomed. For tips, learn to dress to impress.

3) You failed the background check

This could be due to criminal history or even credit issues. If it’s the latter, it’s imperative that you immediately access your credit profile, rectify any errors or inaccuracies and devise a plan to boost your score. Identity theft could reflect on your background report, even if it doesn't represent your true background. If you're concerned about this, monitor your credit, protect your identity and rectify circumstances that could be keeping you from getting a job.

4) You presented yourself poorly

Perhaps you couldn't wait to sit in the hot seat, so you arrived 30 minutes early. That’s a big no-no; 10 minutes early is ideal. Possibly during the interview, you were filled with excitement and it showed by your being too hyper or overly talkative. Or maybe you appeared too cocky and the company feared that you wouldn't be a good team player. In essence, they thought you conveyed too much “I” and not enough "we." 

If you are giving off the wrong vibe at interviews, learn from your mistakes! Also resolve to formulate strong, brief answers to expected questions and rehearse your responses so that they don't sound scripted. Aim to have a natural sounding conversation with the interviewer.

5) You failed to follow up ... or you followed up too often

After the interview, you sat around twiddling your thumbs waiting for a call back instead of following up by email or sending a thank-you letter to reaffirm your interest in the position ... so the company assumed you didn't want the job. 

Or, alternatively, you may have overdone it by calling or emailing the hiring manager every day to see if the committee had made a decision, even if they expressed that they would call you. Forbes offers helpful advice about how to reach out post-interview.


Another possible reason for the rejection: There’s always a chance you were the chosen one, but last minute budget cuts meant that hiring for the position was canceled or delayed. Don’t give up because the position may be reposted or an even better opportunity may open up later at the same company.

There are many reasons for rejection so be ready to combat them! Work to be the best candidate, the best dressed and the best at following up after the interview. Doing all these things can help you ... Get a Job!

Guest interview by SocialMonsters.org

Related Articles
Determining if the interview went well
Rejected for the job? Learn why
The right clothes to wear on interviews
Following up after the interview

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Radically improve your job interviews!

Resolve to ace your interviews! Find expert guidance by Getajobtips.com's Kathy Bernard about every aspect of the interviewing process -- from phone, video, in-person, and panel interviewing to negotiating salary -- so you are prepared to land the jobs you want. The Game-Changing Interviews e-Book is a jam-packed 84 pages of solid content to help you ... master the interview and get the job! 

Discover strategies for handling ...


  • Phone/Skype interviews
  • In-Person and panel interviews
  • Questions to ask interviewers
  • Tough interview questions and answers
  • Following up after interviews
  • Salary negotiations and more


Turn the tables on your interviews and learn to interview well!

Pay and download Game Changing Interviews now for just $17.97


"I just bought your e-book on interviewing and am really enjoying it. Thank you for being such a terrific resource to me in my job search. You have helped me tremendously. What is really special about all your advice is you tell me exactly what to say. You are so great and I have turned all my friends on to you as well. I really respect all your advice." -- Kathleen, New York City

How to share other people’s articles on LinkedIn


Have you ever come across an interesting article online, either on a web site or in an e-newsletter, and wished that you could share it with your LinkedIn network? You can … and it’s so easy to do. 

share article on LinkedIn
Sharing articles is easy, it helps spread the author's message and gives you
the chance to become a thought leader on the topics that you share.  

Here’s how:

  • Find an article online either on a web site or in an e-newsletter.
  • Click on the headline (which is typically a live link).
  • Click your cursor into the browser window (the web address box). Doing so highlights the entire web address of the article.


browser window
Click into the browser window. Doing so highlights the web address.

  • Copy the web link. To copy the web address on a PC computer, click Control C; on a Mac computer, click Command C.
  • Paste the web address into your LinkedIn home page’s “Share an update” box. On a PC, click Control V to paste the web link into the box; on a Mac computer, click Command V.
  • Once the story appears (usually with its related image), delete the web address (the story won’t disappear) and then add a quick comment like, “Interesting article!” or “I disagree with this article because …” 
  • Sometimes you will have the option to select which image that you prefer. Pick the image that best represents the article.
  • You will have the option to “Share with the Public”, or to share with “Public + Twitter”, or just your “Connections”.  The default setting is "Public".
  • Click Share.

Voila! The article will appear on your home page where your connections and others can view it when they scroll through entries. 

An even easier way
social media share buttons
Use social media
share buttons to
easily share articles.
If the article includes social media buttons, the process is even easier. Simply click the LinkedIn “in” icon found either on the top, bottom or side of the article and the system will automatically place your article on your LinkedIn “Share an update” box so that you can share a comment and post it on LinkedIn.

You will also have the option to post the article to select LinkedIn groups or to send it to individuals. 

When you click the “Post to groups” option, you can start typing the name of a group into the box and the system will recognize it. Actually just type a letter of the alphabet and the system will bring up all of your groups starting with that letter. Be sure to only post into groups that would find the article relevant. 

Share on LinkedIn groups
The LinkedIn social media share button let you share articles on your LinkedIn
home page, in LinkedIn groups and with individual connections.

When you select the “Send to individuals” option, you can start to type the names of connections who you want to send it to and the system will eventually recognize their names.
Click other social media buttons from the article to share it on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Why share other people’s articles?
It’s an easy way for you to build a reputation as a thought leader on the subjects that you share which could be beneficial for you whether you are using LinkedIn for business or career. 

It can also help you further the reach of the author’s message. Most writers appreciate those who spread their message and many are glad to share articles that you write in response. And because you are sharing the actual article with all of its editorial and photographic image approvals built in, you usually can share such articles without copyright infringement concerns. Just make sure to read if there are any special sharing limitations posted on the original article before sharing.

Share people’s articles on LinkedIn! It can help you be perceived as a thought leader in your field or industry … and that can help youGet a Job!

What questions do you have about posting articles on LinkedIn? Share ‘em here! Thanks, Kathy


Join Kathy Bernard for these upcoming free webinars


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St. Louisans: Join Kathy for a free job workshop ... 

Enlisting Recruiters in Your Job Search, Saturday, Jan. 24, 9 am 

  • Learn precisely how to enlist recruiters/headhunters in your job search
  • Hear how recruiters work and what they look for in top candidates
  • Discover what to expect when you meet with recruiters
  • Practice interacting with recruiters through targeted exercises
  • Learn how to get a recruiter to REALLY help you and much, much more. 



How to choose a college internship

graduate job search strategies
In today's overcrowded job market, internships can be crucial for launching your career. 

They not only help you to acquire new skills and experience, but also allow you to establish your career direction and get to know professionals who are already part of your industry. Sometimes, an internship can be turned into a full-time and decidedly serious job offer. 

Tips for making the most of an internship -- 

Research your industry
If you've already been eyeing a sector or two, now it's time to see whether your preferred career path is really for you. An internship is an occasion for making sure that your character, personality and preferences could work in a specific professional environment. First, you should carefully research your industry to see who are its big time players and which company could grant you a real insight into the sector.

Take finances into account
Undertaking an unpaid internship can take a toll on your finances. As a college student, you've got a lot of prospective expenses to consider before entering into such a commitment. When looking through options available for your career path, you're bound to find one or two that offer some kind of financial benefits. Depending on your situation, you might be best opting for the one that promises more benefits.

internship
Internships can provide learning opportunities that can help you land a career.

Focus on internships that offer learning opportunities
The best internships are those that offer you the opportunity to work closely with a leader in the field and that provide you with real, hands-on experience. 

When browsing internships offers, see whether companies will assign a mentor/supervisor for you and whether you'll be working on a specific project or program. This way, you'll make sure that the internship won't just be you mechanically preparing coffee, but a real learning opportunity – teaching you something you'd never get to learn in class.

college internship
Ask others about their internships.
Doing so can keep you from
making a mistake.
Ask around about the internship
It's great to get recommendations from past interns whether they worked for the company you or considering or not. If they were satisfied with their internship and it helped them to grow professionally, you might be steered towards a similar internship opportunity. 

If you've been eyeing a particular opportunity, but past interns have nothing good to say about it, you can let it go with no hard feelings. Problems that can arise during an internship can vary from poor management to overwhelming responsibility to mind-numbing boredom.

Talk to students who are currently taking the internship that you are considering – their opinion will also help you make the right decision. After all, they are experiencing the good and the bad right now while it's still fresh in their minds.

Proceed with caution
When choosing an internship, remember to carefully read the job description – it's more informative than you'd suspect. Not only does it convey an idea about the company culture, but it also shows you what exactly the company is offering, what it will expect of you and what your role will be in helping its project come to life.

college internship
Consider the financial consequences
of taking on an internship ...
particularly an unpaid one.
Keep in mind that companies aren't just hiring a warm body for their internship. They expect you to be productive and proactive, so take the position seriously. Work hard. Word smart and accomplish more and better than is expected of you. By taking such steps, you will have a much better chance of securing recommendations and landing a permanent position with the company. 

Consider the freedom-to-responsibility ratio
Depending on the company and sector, some internships offer you more freedom and responsibility than others. 

Before you choose an internship, make sure you have an idea about what you want your experience to look like. Are you looking forward to being more independent, or would you rather help someone else in realizing a project? Do you want to be part of a big production or a small, manageable undertaking?

Think about your schedule
Some internships offer relatively flexible schedules, allowing students to participate in other activities like classes, sports or other responsibilities. 

If you know that your schedule won't allow for a full-time internship, take this into account at the beginning of your search. 

Sometimes, internship offers mention schedule flexibility, other times you can negotiate your schedule yourself.

college internship


See whether the company hires its interns for permanent positions
After spotting your dream internship, have a look at the company’s politics toward its interns – ask around to see how many of them were later hired as full-time employees. Give special attention to companies with long-term potential.

The bottom line: Consider an internship ... it could get you the needed experience that you can help you ... Get a Job!

Guest post by Kelly Smith, a dedicated tutor and writer. She develops her passion at Career FAQs, one of the leading providers of career and educational resources in Australia, where she provides career advice for students and job seekers.

Thanks, Kelly! Both Kelly's company (Career FAQs in Australia) and Getajobtips.com are passionate about helping you find land a career. If we can be of help to you at Getajobtips.com, let us know. Visit the Services page to learn how we can help you. -- Kathy

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Related articles

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Kathy Bernard's upcoming free webinars ... 

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St. Louisans: Join Kathy for a free career-help workshop ... 

Enlisting Recruiters in Your Job Search, Saturday, Jan. 24, 9 am 

  • Learn precisely how to enlist recruiters/headhunters in your job search
  • Hear how recruiters work and what they look for in top candidates
  • Discover what to expect when you meet with recruiters
  • Practice interacting with recruiters through targeted exercises
  • Learn how to get a recruiter to REALLY help you and much, much more. 

How NOT to lose the job during the job interview

interviewing effectively
This is getting frustrating. You have updated your resume, crafted a killer cover letter and assembled an impressive portfolio. The interviews are coming, but ... you keep falling just short of getting the job.

It's time to examine what, specifically, is holding you back. 

Have you put so much time and effort into getting in the door that you've neglected what comes next? 

There are several obstacles that could be preventing you from securing your dream job. Take a deeper look into your job search efforts to determine what's keeping you from landing opportunities. 

Say goodbye to the obstacles holding you back and hello to a bright future.


Make a Good Impression

You have about seven seconds to make a strong first impression. That's enough time for a smile, a firm handshake, eye contact, and a quick "Hello". 

Be memorable with these first impression basics:
  • Arrive 10 minutes early. Not earlier (awkward) and not later.
  • Dress appropriately for the position. Even though you know the dress code is casual, don't show up in ripped jeans and a tee for the interview. Step it up a notch and keep it classy (more on that to come).
  • Show up prepared with several copies of your resume, your portfolio (if applicable) and a pen (please bring a pen).
  • Research the company. Be prepared with an understanding of their mission, their core services or products and what charities they support. There will be a quiz.

looking for a job, job interview


Dress the Part

In preparation for each interview, you stare blankly at your clothing selection. So many things hang in your closet, but, alas, you have nothing to wear. You are not alone in this anguish; however, what you wear is an important element to getting the job you want. Invest in classic pieces with crisp fabric that can be mixed and matched easily.
  • Ladies: Purchase a classic pant suit or polished dress for your interviews. Pair with tasteful accessories, comfortable but stylish shoes and a sophisticated tote with enough room for your interview deliverables.
  • Gentlemen: You can't go wrong with a gray suit. Keep your outfit smart, streamlined and unpretentious. Also, stand out from the khaki-and-oxford IT applicants with a fitted sweater and slim pants. GQ recommends maintaining clean lines by putting your phone in your cross-body messenger bag.


Bite Your Tongue

Nailing an interview takes finesse, especially knowing what to say and when to shut up. Some people say too much while others say too little. If you focus on trying to figure out what the interviewee wants to hear, you'll lose ground, because you stop listening in order to prepare your answer. If your interview skills aren't cutting it, grab a friend and practice answering common interview questions. Or, better yet, find someone with an HR background to bounce ideas off.

Keep in mind, sometimes you can say too much. An interviewer may let you talk and talk and talk ... right out of the running.


Fill Your Skill Gaps

Some jobs require a technical skill that you haven't quite mastered or that you have zero knowledge about. Don't let that break your resolve. You can quickly amp up your knowledge in the area, whether you watch YouTube tutorials or enroll in classes. This way, when asked about the skill, you will look like a go-getter. Interest in continuing education is impressive, so reveal your knowledge and how you are actively acquiring it in your interviews.

Guest post by SocialMonsters.org -- Thanks, Kathy

Related Articles
Answering difficult interview questions
Asking the right questions
What to wear on the interview

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Improve your job chances with the Game-Changing Interviews e-Book by Kathy Bernard!

Find guidance about every aspect of the interviewing process so you are totally prepared to land the job you want. Game-Changing Interviews is jam-packed 84 pages of solid content to help you ... Get a Job! 

Discover in-depth strategies for handling ...

  • Phone/Skype interviews
  • In-Person and panel interviews
  • Questions to ask interviewers
  • Tough interview questions and answers
  • Following up after interviews
  • Salary negotiations and more
Turn the tables on your interviews and learn to interview WELL!

Download Game Changing Interviews now for just $9.97



"I just bought your e-book on interviewing and am really enjoying it. Thank you for being such a terrific resource to me in my career/job search. You have helped me tremendously. What is really special about all your advice is you tell me exactly what to say. You are so great and I have turned all my friends on to you as well. I really respect all your advice." -- Kathleen, New York City 


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