Sunday, July 24, 2011

The REAL Reason[s] You Didn’t Get The Job

The Things That Potential Employers Will Never Tell You Even If They Are True

You nailed the interview.  You are eminently qualified. You answered every question with as much detail as necessary.  You were personable and charming.  You saw visual hints in terms of smiles and nods to indicate that you and the interviewer[s] were ‘on the same page.’ And, you just got a call telling you that they have given the job to someone else, “Who was more suitable.”
Most job seekers will confirm that they have, “Been there and done that.” Sometimes a sure thing evaporates in a flash. Sometimes you will get an explanation, but probably not. Even if the interviewers do give you a reason, the information does nothing to ease your bruised ego or relieve the stress of being unemployed.
What follows are the REAL reasons you didn’t get hired that no employer will ever tell you officially.

REASON 1. None Of Us Liked You
Likeability is intangible and does not show up on your résumé. Different people will respond to you in their own ways regardless of your personality. It’s not like you can fake a new personality at each interview and it is silly to even try.

ADVICE: Be your true self as much as possible – but be your best self when job hunting. Keep showing extra enthusiasm. Go out of your way to make others feel good about you. Trying to be someone you’re not will lead to frustration and early burnout and no one needs that!

REASON 2. You’re Not Attractive Enough
Take a look around at a fitness facility, a beauty salons, retail and the hospitality industry, and you will see that certain occupations within these fields are not kind to the less photogenic.
ADVICE: Spruce yourself up in reasonable ways.  Upgrade your hairstyle. Wear flattering clothes. Consider getting a manicure and a pedicure to help you feel better and look better.  Just remember to not go overboard.  If you are contemplating plastic surgery, you should be checking out alternative avenues for employment.

REASON 3. You Are Too Old
There is no way to get around how old you are.  Some employers prefer to hire younger employees because they believe that they will need to spend less time and money for training.
ADVICE:  Keep the focus of the interview on what you bring to the table.  Demonstrate how you have kept your skills up to date and how your experience can save money for the potential employer because your ‘ramp up’ time is far shorter than those with little or no work experience.  If you know the salary range, reiterate that the pay is within your expectations.
REASON 4. You Are Much Too Qualified
The interviewer[s] can see that you are more qualified to do their job than they are and fear for their own job security.

ADVICE: Continue to focus upon what you bring to the table. There is nothing that you can do to relieve their fears.

REASON 5. We Hired The Vice-President’s Brother-In-Law Instead
Hiring family members (nepotism), long time friends, or romantic partners. Factually speaking, you never know who will apply for the same job or be asked to submit their resume at the last minute.
ADVICE: Chalk it up to experience. This sort of thing happens and there is nothing that you can do about it.  There is no need to take it personally and there is nothing that you could have done to change the outcome.

REASON 6. We Intended To Hire An Insider All Along
It was a set up from the start. You were interviewed just so the employer could claim that they looked at a few “outsiders.” You end up angry they wasted your precious time. 

ADVICE: Ditto REASON 4. Let this one roll off your back like water off a duck’s back. Unless you have the inside scoop on every job you apply for, occasionally you’ll get snared by this little deceit.

REASON 7. We Found Someone Who’ll Let Us Exploit Them
Unfortunately, there are some employers who have built their business on people that they can take advantage of.   These companies go out of their target and hire immigrants and/or younger, naive employees who will put up with just about anything as long as they desperately need the experience.

ADVICE: Keep on looking for a place that respects your rights. The better employers never hire not for short-term exploitation. Good employers focus upon developing their people over a period of time, assisting them in growing into greater levels of responsibility.

REASON 8. We 'Googled' You And Didn't like What We Found

Recruiters and hiring managers will ALWAYS do an Internet search on you before they call you in for an interview.  Not only will recruiters and hiring managers do a general search, they will often contact those in your professional network for some 'off the record' comments and thoughts with regard to what they believe to be your 'suitablility' for the position they are trying to fill.

A recent survey published by Jobvite [Social Recruiting Survey Results - 2011] reported social recruiting is on the rise and that Employers will invest more in recruiting across multiple social networks as competition for talent intensifies:

  • 89% will recruit in social networks this year

  • 64% use 2 or more networks for recruiting

  • 55% will spend more on social recruiting
  • 78% expect increased competition for hires

ADVICE: Clean up your all of your social media profiles.  Check the privacy settings on those sites and remove people who you believe may have unflattering things to say about you.

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at