Why Didn’t I Get the Job?

This guest post is by Beth Taylor, HR Supervisor of Situation Interactive

Job searches are hard, but interviews are harder. You often don’t know what to expect going into an interview, and you may even feel nervous and anxious before the first handshake. What to wear, what to say, what to ask; the options are endless and you struggle with each decision. Nonetheless, you pull through and you nail it. They even call you back for a second or third interview. But you still don’t get the job offer. Before you lose your mind trying to figure out what you did wrong, think again. Here are a few reasons why that offer never came:

Cultural fit.

That doesn’t mean you should have interviewed differently or said something false about your personality. After all, you want your job, the place where you spend eight hours a day, to be in line with your ideals. Sometimes they won’t, and that’s okay. One of Situation Interactive’s core values is that we “live in beta,” meaning our work environment and our methodologies are constantly in flux, changing and evolving. Candidates who rightfully suggest that they thrive in a work environment that is consistent with standardized processes and a clear delineation of roles will not be happy where I work. Therefore, they won’t get the job, but not because they aren’t technically qualified to do it.

You bashed your current boss.

Why are you leaving your current job? There’s the honest answer—you hate your boss, you want more money, you’re overworked. There’s also a right answer that doesn’t involve bashing your current employer. Regardless of your reasons—no matter how valid—don’t speak ill of your current employer to your interviewer. When people bash their boss to me in an interview, it makes me wonder how quickly they’ll be doing the same about their future boss and co-workers. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the kind of person I like to work with.

It just wasn’t meant to be.

If I’m in a situation where I’m considering two great candidates, and I believe both would succeed, it comes down to an unquantifiable guess on who we think will be happier at our company longer, who will acclimate the quickest and other unsystematic variables.

In the end, if you interview and don’t get the job, bank it as a learning experience. The more you interview, the more comfortable you become and the better you’ll be at it.


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