Looking for that perfect job can be a frustrating and sometimes a most despairing endeavor. There are, however, certain things you need to be aware of when you go in for that big interview. If it turns out you didn’t get the job, here a few of the possible reasons why…
11. Did you get dressed in the dark?
Did you dress for success, as they say? You may have showed up looking much too informal for the position you were interviewing for. Formal business attire is always the way to go when interviewing for a position. It is best to be overdressed than to show up looking like you really don’t have your act together. This is your future so you need to act like it. How long do you plan for a date? Especially a first date? You just can’t leave anything to chance. Your first impression is critical to how the rest of the interview will go. If you find yourself in a tie for a job, that first impression can mean the difference.
10. Your time management was a joke
There is absolutely nothing worse than showing up late for anything; never mind an important job interview. Do you really even have to be told that? You may be running late through no fault of your own due to traffic or the weather. If this is the case, and you know you won’t make it on time, call the interviewer and try to reschedule. It will show professionalism and it will be appreciated and respected. If you just show up late, chances are pretty good that the only thing the interviewer will remember is that you were the candidate that showed up late. On the other side of the coin, don’t go showing up thirty minutes or more early. If you do get to the interview earlier than ten minutes or so, stay in your car and go over what you are going to say and review your notes.
9. You forgot that you are You Inc.
You must conduct yourself as if you are your own company. That means you must always dress the part and be prepared for everything. How is your marketing? Your cover letter and your resume must shine. They are two of your most important weapons in your fight for an important job. If you can’t really get a handle on those two things yourself then hire a pro that can polish them for you. After that, like every great company, you need your commercials and you need to practice delivering them. You need to have your answers to the most commonly asked questions at job interviews. Why should we hire you? Tell me about yourself. Why did you leave your last position? Where do you see yourself in a few years? What are your salary expectations? Where do your strengths lie and tell me about your weaknesses. You must be ready. Practice interviewing with a friend or simply practice in front of a mirror. You can’t afford to not get these questions right.
8. Your enthusiasm really lacked enthusiasm
Believe it or not, when recruiters and HR pros are consulted, they state that, aside from actually being prepared for the interview, most candidates simply don’t show much enthusiasm about getting the job. The job hunt can be extremely grinding and frustrating but you need to put your game face on when you go to an interview. Also, the interviewer was not likely thrilled that you didn’t do any due diligence on the company. Most get asked why they have chosen this particular company and most candidates just sit there with a dazed look on their face. Get fired up and know the company you hope to work for.
7. Your networking simply wasn’t strong enough
Networking is difficult at best, especially for you introverts out there. There is an old adage that states that you are only three people away from anyone in the world and it is, most assuredly, true. You need to force yourself out there and mingle up a storm. Let everyone know you are looking for work. Have certain target companies? Get out on LinkedIn and Facebook. Do your research and send out the feelers. Make those connections. Many is the time when someone who networked harder than you got the job. Don’t forget that many companies have referral programs for their employees. Help someone get that bonus!
6. Your references couldn’t make the close
Your references are absolutely critical to your success. They can make you or break you. Like your networking efforts, you must ensure that your references are lined up and ready to roll. They can close the sale for you, if you will. Stay in regular touch with all of them. Make sure you have all of their up to date contact information and make certain that they are still on board for you. So many times a job is lost because references had unknowingly bailed or had new contact information that you were unaware of.
5. You failed to ask any questions
In line with enthusiasm and preparation, many recruiters state that someone didn’t get a particular position because they didn’t ask any questions. Inevitably toward the conclusion of the interview, the hiring agent will ask if you have any questions. Sadly, most people simply shake their heads and ask nothing. Unless this is the first job you are going for straight out of college, there should be a ton of questions for you to ask. How will they train you for the position? How are employees evaluated at the company? What will I need to do right away to make an impression and to make my transition into the company easier? If you have to, turn the tables a bit on the interviewer. As him or her how they like it at this company. Ask them about how they got to be where they are. Ask them what they hate about the job and also why they love coming to work everyday. Interest, enthusiasm and preparation. You must make time for it.
4. You didn’t engage and deploy your ABC’s
The most successful of sales reps will tell you to never forget your ABC’s – Always Be Closing! The great sales reps know that if they want the sale, they have to ask for it. And, yes, you are a sales rep for You, Inc. so you had best remember that if the job sounds perfect, then ask for it! Turn up the heat on the potential sale after things are looking to wrap up. Let the recruiter know that your interest is even greater after talking with them and you are very interested in accepting the position. You know, you say, that there are other candidates to be seen but ask him or her to give you some specific reasons why you would not be a perfect fit for the position.
3. You stumbled on the salary question
You will likely be asked what your salary expectations are for the position if it hasn’t already been established prior to interviews being set up. Again, you are the sales rep for You, Inc. and you can’t stumble on this most important of questions. If asked, try and defer your answer until, perhaps, the second interview. Tell them that if they are seriously thinking about you for the position you will be glad to discuss it with them at a later date. There is always room for negotiation so never jump at the first offer. If you do, you will seem desperate to say nothing of your missing self esteem. Head out to such sites as Glassdoor.com and Salary.com. You can find what the job, or similar positions, are currently paying and pay attention to where you are. The salary for the position will be vastly different according to where you are. If you are forced into the proverbial corner, go with a range. That will leave room for later negotiation.
2. You trashed your last company, didn’t you?
This is a huge mistake that too many job candidates make. They trash and bad mouth their last employer. It makes you look bad and it gets the recruiter wondering what you will say about them if things don’t work out. If your last position really was a horror show, side step it and focus on such things as not seeing the opportunity for advancement you though might be there. This is especially helpful if you quit your last job. You say how grateful you were for the learning and growth experience but you felt you were ready to move on to greater challenges. Not much you can say about a layoff but, if you were fired, try spinning it into a positive direction for yourself. Be upfront about it because they can easily check. Don’t get branded a liar and a malcontent. That will get you nowhere. Say that you understood the reasoning behind your last employer’s action and that it was a great learning experience that has allowed you to become stronger in areas where you were formally weak. The experience will prove that you are to be a more valuable employee going forward.
1. You just didn’t fit the culture puzzle or…
This is, unfortunately, something everyone runs into at least once in their job hunt. It is really nobody’s fault. You were just not going to be the right fit for the company culture. Most companies have a particular culture that tends to be encouraged from the top on down. It doesn’t mean they didn’t think you a strong candidate, they just felt that you were not going to be the new piece for their corporate puzzle.
The other final reasons that were likely out of your control is that the company decided to promote internally for the position or they simply decided that it would be in the company’s best interest to simply eliminate the position altogether.
Sometimes trying to get a job can seem like a hopeless battle but if you take control of those things you can control, you have significantly increased the odds in your favor that the next interview will produce the results you have been looking for.