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5 Possible Reasons Why You Didn’t Get The Job


4/22/2014 3:04:03 PM

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5 Possible Reasons Why You Didn’t Get The Job May 1, 2014

Here are five real reasons why you got rejected from the job.

By Bob McIntosh, Career Trainer

The process of getting a job at a company for which you’d like to work can be grueling, cruel, and full of questions and uncertainties—but I don’t need to tell you this if you’ve been conducting a rigorous job search.

A job seeker who attended a number of my workshops and sat with me for a mock interview and a resume critique recently got a job. I was extremely happy to hear of his success, but it wasn’t an easy process for him. He worked diligently to land his job, while suffering through multiple rejections.

He and I knew he was qualified for the positions for which he applied. He made it to many last-round interviews only to find out he wasn’t selected. Recruiters continued to knock on his door to set him up for more interviews; at least one a week. He was becoming despondent, and I was trying to be supportive. His story ended positively.

Sandra McCartt writes in her article, It’s Not Your Fault—It’s a Negative Flawed Process, Deal with It Positively, job seekers who enlist the help of recruiters often don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes during the hiring process and what goes terribly wrong when job seekers think they have the job wrapped up.

You may have not considered or want to accept this, but there are various reasons why employers erroneously hire who they do. “First, this process does not always result in the best candidate being selected. "There are a whole host of good reasons for this to occur,” writes Ms. McCartt. There are also as many poor reasons for why candidates aren’t hired.

1. Legitimate reasons.

Ms. McCartt mentions legitimate reasons such as relocation, compensation, or other financial issues. Hiring a candidate is a business transaction, so if you’re going to put too much of a dent into the company’s pocketbook, there’s only one solution—the company ends the business transaction. Or you just don’t make the grade, whether it’s because you lack the technical skills or you don’t have the personality for the work environment—no fault of yours.

2. They went with someone inside.

It’s not uncommon for a company to advertise a position even when they have an internal hire in mind. But the company wants to make certain that they hire the best possible person, so they test the water and conduct a traditional search. You’re better qualified but not as well known as their internal candidate. By making this move, the company is fostering good will among its employees as well.

3. You’re too good.

Many job seekers have told me that the hiring manager who interviewed them was less knowledgeable; that they could do his or her job. Understandably the hiring manager felt insecure, harboring “you’ll-take-my-job” feelings and decided to go with a safer, less qualified candidate. Perhaps one of the other candidates the recruiter sent to them for consideration.

4. Hiring managers are sometimes incompetent interviewers.

Many hiring managers aren’t trained to conduct interviews to capture the most complete candidate. Their priority is usually hiring someone who has the best technical qualifications. In finding someone who can handle the responsibilities in their sleep, hiring managers neglect another important aspect of the job—the personal fit. Great interviewers realize an interview that involves a combination of traditional and behavioral-based questions is the most effective way to find the best overall candidate, you.

5. Unfortunately hiring managers make decisions based on personal biases.

Nepotism is one blatant reason why people are hired for a position. One of my customers was told she was being let go so the owner could hire his cousin. He actually admitted it to her. And there’s always a candidate’s appearance, attractive or not, that may come in play. “Am I going to tell a less than attractive candidate that they didn’t get the job because the hiring manager thought they were butt ugly?” writes Ms. McCartt. “Of course not, they can’t do anything about it. The next hiring manager may be double dog ugly and think that candidate is a doll.”

What we’re left with after a candidate isn’t hired for one or many of these reasons mentioned above is a disheartened job seeker; a recruiter who won’t receive a bonus; and a hiring manager who hopes he or she has hired the ideal person for the job. There’s only one winner out of the possible hundreds of candidates in the process. I’m not stupid enough to believe telling you the reasons why you didn’t get the job will provide you any solace, but hopefully you’ll understand that you’re not to blame.

Unfair as this seems, it’s a fact of life that the hiring process is flawed. What should you do in the face of such adversity? “Accept the rejection as just that, the result of a flawed process with vague outcomes,” Ms. McCartt advises. "And never take it personally."

About the Author

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer at the Career Center of Lowell, where he leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Bob is often the person jobseekers and staff go to for advice on the job search. As well, he critiques resumes and conducts mock interviews. One of his greatest accomplishments is starting a LinkedIn group, which is one of the largest of its kind in the state, and developing three in-high-demand workshops on LinkedIn. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Please visit Bob's blog at www.thingscareerrelated.wordpress.com.

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