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Why The Hiring Manager Passed on Your Candidacy

10.21.10   |   Interview Advice   |   Amanda Musto, Marketing Manager at Treeline Incorporated

Top 10 Reasons Why You Didn't Get The Job


10. When a potential employer called you to schedule a job interview, you didn't answer the phone, which normally is not an issue. As you would expect the potential employer decided to leave you a message. However, after listening to your voice mail greeting which was solely comprised of Cypress Hill chanting the chorus "Insane in the membrane.....Insane in the brain!" a few times, she determined that it was quite possible that you actually were not the candidate she was seeking to fill the position and promptly hung-up the phone.

If you are seeking a job and you have submitted r?sum?s and applications to potential employers, it's likely that you are also expecting them to contact you in order to schedule interviews. Although your voicemail greeting is yet another way to express your personality, you may want to consider removing the cool hip-hop, rock, obnoxiously funny, or possibly misconstrued greeting from your voice mail and replacing it with a more traditional "I'm not available at this time" greeting.

9. A potential employer reviewed your r?sum? and became interested in you as a possible candidate to fill the job vacancy. She decided that she would email you information about a job interview and the company. However, when she discovered that the information was to be addressed to DeathStalker1570@quickiemail.com, she became a wee bit leery about a possible manslayer as her future employee. Needless to say, you never received a response from that company after your r?sum? was submitted.

DeathStalker1570, PartyGirl14, or whatever the email address describing you maybe, should be used for friends, family and unimportant contacts. A potential employer should not get a glimpse of your personality, or perhaps a negative personality trait through your email address. Email accounts are free. If necessary, create an account that is dedicated to your job search and check it daily. If it were up to you, who would you contact for an interview, DerrickSmith@quickiemail.com or JelloShotHottie@quickiemail.com?

8. You didn't know anything about the company or the position. The bills were piling up and you were in desperate need of a job, which is completely understandable. So, you blasted your r?sum? to any company that would accept it. Once you were contacted by a potential employer for a job interview, your goal was to get a job, any job. So you went to their office with the hopes of walking away with the position in hand. However, when you were asked 'Why do you want to work for this company?' and/or 'What do you know about the position?' the interviewer realized that you really didn't know anything at all.

Make sure that you at least know general information about the company. If need be, research the company on the internet. Have a good understanding of what the job entails. You don't want to give off the vibe that says you are on "just another interview." You should make the interviewer feel that you are really interested in that particular position with that particular company. Otherwise, you're sure to give off the vibe that says you are "just another candidate."

7. Although your tattoo is cute or awesome (or however you choose to describe it) and fits your personality perfectly, you probably shouldn't have left it uncovered and on display for the interviewer to see. And don't think that your body piercings impressed anyone either.

Most of the other applicants that you competed against for the position, presented themselves in a way that said "I'm all business." Your tattoo may be innocent or a great work of art, but the interviewer is on an important mission. She's attempting to find someone who is qualified, reliable and neat in appearance. In essence, she's looking for someone who someone who represents the company well.

With this in mind, you have to consider the possibility that the person interviewing you may not be as cool as you are, and when it comes to tattoos, she just may not "get it." If at all possible, cover your tattoos and remove non-traditional body piercings that cannot be covered. While these additions to your body may impress your friends, they may not impress a potential employer.

6. Let's be honest. You didn't dress for success. Some how you convinced yourself that dressing for a night out on the town and dressing for a job interview is inherently the same. Or maybe it was because you believed that business casual was good enough for an interview. Whatever the case maybe, the interviewer met with applicants who wore suits, or other formal business attire. They were dressed to impress. And then there was you. Rather than looking like someone who was there for an interview, you looked like you were ready to go to the company picnic.

The general rule for men is to wear a suit, tie and dress shoes (polished and shined helps). If possible, make sure that the suit is not too flashy. Black, blue, gray and brown suits work best. Women should wear a business suit or professional looking blouse and skirt combination with sensible pumps. Your attire should not be too revealing. When in doubt, pick your more conservative option.

Job interviews are important. Your appearance should reflect that fact. It's best to assume that the dress attire for your job interview is formal. Even if you are told that it's okay to dress casually for your interview, it's probably best to wear business professional (formal) attire regardless. Remember, you should use all of the tools you have available to you in order to land a job. Use everything from work experience to professional appearance. Look the part. If you don't, you will stand out, and not in a good way.

If your job seeking wardrobe is a bit thin and money is a factor, consider buying an "interviewing outfit" that you can wear to all of your interviews. You may be able to find great bargains from places like discount outlets and secondhand stores. If you simply don't have money to spare, wear the best that you have, prepare for the interview, and be confident.

5. You weren't friendly to the janitor. Well, maybe not the janitor. But, did stress (or personality disposition) cause you to be short with someone in the office where the job interview was to be conducted?

Think about your workplace. Think about all of the work-relationships and think about who "talks" to whom. The office is a little community and work-relationships may not be based solely on position, but rather on common interests. This means that offending the person on the low rung of the ladder may affect how the interviewer, near the top of the ladder, views you as a job candidate. Since you're not familiar with the potential employer's community (and as a decent person) be sure to treat everyone with respect.

4. You made it abundantly clear; You really don't like your former (or current) boss. But that tsunami of skillfully articulated and creatively strung-together adjectives describing your denunciation and disdain for your former employer was a bit too much. If you ever want to make a potential employer squeamish about hiring you, speak badly about your former boss. It'll work every time.

As far as it depends upon you, leave the negative aspects of your current or former supervisor/subordinate work-relationship out of your comments and answers during your job interview. If you must bring a negative work-relationship to light, do so in a way that is matter-of-fact and doesn't include potshots or unnecessary details about the work-relationship. Say what needs to be said to provide the interviewer with an acceptable answer and nothing more.

3. You were late. Maybe it was due to traffic. Maybe you forgot to set your alarm. Maybe you had a close encounter of the third kind. It really doesn't matter. You didn't arrive at your job interview on time. And because you were late, you were flustered and you didn't have a chance to relax a little and mentally prepare yourself. You had to spend time that should have gone toward small talk and breaking the ice, on being apologetic and explaining the circumstances that caused you to be tardy. Being late took you out of your game plan. You spent the entire interview trying to get into form but, it didn't happen.

Additionally, the interviewer instantly wondered if it was your habit to be tardy. During your interview, her mind wandered as she asked herself if she could justify hiring a person (that person being you) who had a tendency to be late. Her answer to herself ultimately, was no. You know that you're not habitually tardy, but you only had one time to prove that to the interviewer. And since you only met her once, in her mind, instead of being on time 100% of the time, you were late every time you met, which may have only been that one time but, for her, once was enough.

2. You weren't prepared. Be honest. You tried to wing it. You thought that you could just go into the job interview, hear the questions, and respond with brilliant answers. But instead, you stumbled through your responses, broke the record for the number of times the words uhhh and ummm were used in one sitting, paused more times than a DVR, and sat in silence longer than Charlie Chaplin. You made as much of an impact on the interviewer as a flaming marshmallow speeding toward Earth. That was your one opportunity, and you gave it away.

You'd do well to remember that there are people who really, want (or need) the same job that you seek. Some of them will go to the job interview with their game faces on, ready to take the job out of the hands of all who dare to seek it. They manage this by preparing answers for the most likely interview questions. They practice their responses in the mirror or with a helper. They practice how to answer in such a way that they will separate themselves from the rest of the pack. These are the candidates that will ultimately be asked to fill job vacancies.

1. You weren't the best candidate. It's okay. Sometimes there are candidates with a better education, better experience, better credentials, and a better job interview. There's nothing you can do about that. They deserve to be hired. You for your part should remember that a job interview is the great equalizer. There may be an applicant who has better qualifications than you, but you may be able to express your value to the potential employer better than they can. View the job as yours to lose. Your goal in a job interview is to make it as difficult as possible for an interviewer not to hire you. If r?sum?s were enough, there would be no need for job interviews. This means that although someone may be a more qualified applicant than you are (at least, on paper), you can use the interview to express why you would be a superior employee over all those who applied. Prepare for your interview. Don't leave your success to chance. Much of whether or not you get the job depends on you.

What are some other reasons a Sales Hiring Manager might pass on your candidacy? Leave us a comment and let us know!



"Job Interview - Top 10 Reasons Why You Didn't Get the Job." Advice Before You Buy. Web. 21 Oct. 2010. <http://www.advicebeforeyoubuy.com/JobInterview/Top-10-Job-Interview.html>.

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