Christchurch employment recruitment specialist Penni Hlaca lists the top 10 reasons why you didn't get the job.
Regardless of whether you've been searching for a job for months, or only just begun your search, it always hurts when you finish up the interview process only to find out you've been unsuccessful in your application. Are you left wondering what happened? Here are the top 10 reasons from Randstad, on why you may have missed out on the job this time around and how to avoid making the same mistake:
1. You sent a generic resume.
Depending on the amount of jobs you're applying for, it can be tempting to submit a generic resume and cover letter. Where possible, try to customise your application so the skills you have which are most relevant for the role are easy to find and fit with the requirements outlined on the job description.
2. You arrived late for the interview.
Turning up late to any meeting is just rude. Make sure you leave plenty of time to travel to your interview - better to get there early and wait, than keep the interviewer waiting. If you do happen to be running late, make sure you call in and let them know when to expect you.
3. You didn't have enough experience.
Unfortunately sometimes regardless of your enthusiasm for the role, you might be pipped at the post by someone who was just a bit more experienced than you. Don't feel disheartened - turn this into a positive by ensuring you ask in your follow-up email or call, exactly why you didn't get the job, and then seek extra training or volunteer work to gain the necessary experience for next time.
4. You had too much experience.
That old chestnut! Sure, it sounds ridiculous but sometimes employers might not offer you the job despite your golden application as they might think you are too good to be true, or worse, assume that due to your experience your salary expectations would be out of their league. To offset this, always be upfront with the pay bracket you are happy with, and provide clear reasons for why you are seeking this particular role - perhaps you're happy to take a sidestep into the right industry or gain new skills to take a different career path than the trajectory you are currently on.
5. You badmouthed your current or previous employer in the interview.
Sure, your ex-boss might have been the manager from hell, but complaining about your past jobs will only do you more harm than good. Potential employers will only see these complaints as petty, and it will also get them wondering about what you might say about them should you end up resigning one day.
6. You weren't the right cultural fit for the role.
Sadly, this one might be outside your control, but is often a contributing factor as to why you were passed over for someone else. Businesses need to ensure that the people they hire are not only competent but will also fit into the existing work culture. On a positive note though, it's probably a good thing in hindsight. Why would you want to work for a place you wouldn't fit into anyway?
7. Your interview was an epic fail.
Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed the morning of the interview or perhaps you just didn't quite "gel" with your interviewer. Either way, you can usually tell whether you've aced an interview as soon as you walk out. To lessen the chances of messing up, make sure you are prepared and at peak confidence. Also realise that some interviewers like to "test" you to see how you deal with difficult questions and scenarios. So don't feel disheartened during the interview, you may have passed the test.
8. Your potential employer searched you online and found things they didn't like.
Research from the Randstad World of Work Report shows between 20 per cent and 25 per cent of employers admit to using social media networks to screen job applicants, so it pays to check your online footprint and know your privacy controls on social media. Prior to job searching, consider searching your name online to see what comes up and do your best to take down or delete inappropriate photos, comments or posts.
9. The job was filled internally.
Many large businesses actually have KPI's based around the number of roles filled by internal staff. The reason for this is to enhance their employer brand by providing a strong career progression path. Try not to take it personally. It means they're committed to their employees so it's likely to be a great place to work. Consider staying connected with them.
10. You didn't follow-up after the interview.
Have you ever applied for a role, totally rocked the interview, and then been completely thrown when a few weeks later you learn that the role went to someone else? It could be that this candidate may have had the exact same experience as you, the same interview technique, but the one thing that really set them apart was that they followed-up, but you didn't. Sending a thank you note or calling your interviewer post-meeting can offer you a powerful advantage over other applicants. So show your commitment and passion for the role and say thanks.
There are hundreds of reasons why you might have missed out on that dream role - sometimes it's things you can fix like presentation or preparation, and other times it might be just unlucky happenstance such as when a job is filled internally. Either way, it's important to be aware of the things you have control over to better your chances of being successful.
Penni Hlaca is the Christchurch operations manager for recruitment and HR services specialists, Randstad.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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