Didn’t get the job offer you wanted? Got the bad interview blues? Does “I got rejected AGAIN” feel like your new mantra? I know it doesn’t help all that much, but please know that even seemingly “perfect” candidates experience those feelings.
With all my heart, I wish that you would get the offer you want every time you interview. And then YOU can be the one who gets to decide whether to accept the job or not. But sometimes you just don’t get the offer — even if you’re totally qualified.
Wondering why you didn’t get the job offer?
Maybe you got a polite turn down. Or an impersonal rejection letter. Or worse yet, you hear nothing back from them. Waiting. Waiting some more. In deep silence. No phone call. No email. Not even a rejection letter. No response at all. Crickets chirping. Grrrr.
And you can’t help wondering “Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong in my interview? Why didn’t I get an offer even after a really good interview?” And it hurts. You feel utterly frustrated by the whole hiring process!
OK. Maybe it’s as simple as you just didn’t have the right skills. Or someone else fit the job so exactly that even a wonderful candidate like you has to be turned down. Or someone’s nephew got the job.
But apart from reasons you can’t control, what else might have gotten in the way of a job offer? Or even a second interview? Hopefully these possible reasons you didn’t get the job offer can help you with your NEXT interview. You only need ONE yes!
Things that can turn an interview cold
- Low energy.
- Vague answers.
- Way too talkative or way too quiet.
- Not listening well, and instead answering with whatever you feel like saying.
- Not offering strong examples of things you’ve done well.
- Arriving late.
- Dressing inappropriately.
- Acting unprofessionally and / or overly friendly.
- Poor eye contact or body language (too stiff, too shlumpy).
- You act the way you think they’d want you to and aren’t being yourself.
Any of this sound familiar? Good news is you can work on any or all of these things. And you can come to the next interview prepared with your best interview posture, good eye contact, fully-engaged energy, great stories about things you’ve made happen, etc.
Of course, there’s also the possibility it wasn’t a bad interview after all. Maybe they simply hired someone else from the company they already knew. And the posting was just protocol. Or there just wasn’t any chemistry. This happens even to truly wonderful candidates.
Job interviews really are about finding the right match. It’s a lot like blind dates. If there’s no chemistry, there’s almost nothing you can do to make it work. You just need to put this behind you and move on. The right match is out there!
An interview is never over until it’s over
One note: Even if you get the feeling the interview is going south or was never a real interview to begin with, you still want to give your strongest, most naturally likable interview no matter what. Don’t decide to reject them before they reject you.
Also remember to send a polite thank you note. And stay in touch if you really like the place. Regardless of how it went and what happened — even if you didn’t get the job offer. Why? Because there may be someone you meet during the process who remembers you for another time.
In fact, I once recommended someone I met the year before who was wrong for that job, but seemed exactly right for the new position they were looking to fill.
So it always pays to turn on your best interview charm until you are out the door. And out of the building. Remember … each person you meet counts. Even impressions made on receptionists and doormen matter!
Whether it’s a job interview or anything else…
All you can do is your best.
If you don’t get the job, it just wasn’t meant to be — at least not this time. Use each rejection as a chance to redouble your determination to get the next one. Or the one after that. Your job is coming.
But … if you aren’t sure you’re interviewing at the top of your game, this is definitely a chance to brush up your resume. This can help open up different types of jobs. Also, work on your interview skills. For interview help, you might find this post helpful:
Didn’t get the job offer?
MORE POSTS TO HELP BELOW!
[Post updated 2020]
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work To The Wise and Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker.
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