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Great job interview but no offer? Here's why...

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Trish Skram
July 21, 2011

Maybe you got a polite turn down or a rejection letter. Or worse yet, you heard nothing back from the company you were looking to work for. Waiting. More waiting. No phone call. No email. Crickets chirping…

I’ve been there. I remember applying for a few jobs fresh out of college. It can be frustrating. You ask yourself questions like, “Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong in my interview? Why didn’t I get an offer even after a really good interview?” And it hurts.

But what really happened? What was the reason?

I called a few of my human resources/employment contacts in Janesville to get the scoop. Here are some possible reasons why you didn’t get the job and a few ways to up your game the next time:

No follow-up.

Following up at every step in the hiring process is critical. It shows that you have passion for the open position and are interested in working at the company. “It’s also a great way to establish a relationship with the hiring manager and help them learn more about you,” says Vicki Donalson of Express Employment Professionals in Janesville. She says it shows you’re motivated and have enthusiasm. “Try and build rapport throughout the entire process.” So, make sure to follow-up after your interview via email or phone. You could even send a thank you card.

You didn’t sell yourself.

Maybe you used a lot of filler words such as “um” and “like.” Our younger generation tends to use filler words. Or you may have stumbled on your answer a few times or struggled to come up with an answer. Whatever it was, you didn’t sell yourself as well as you could have. My personal advice: practice your interview answers on your own or with a friend before you interview. Vickie echoes that advice. She says it’s important for applicants to use several examples in interviews to demonstrate problem solving, action-taking and the traits necessary for the job being sought.

You didn’t demonstrate dedication to past jobs.

Karen Ellis, employment/recruitment coordinator for Mercy Health System says sporadic work history can be a negative to a prospective employer. “Working at a facility for two months, then on to another, and on to another. This sometimes demonstrates a lack of commitment or dedication,” she says. Vicki agrees. She says job history is one of the first things she looks at on a job application.

You didn’t clean up your online presence.

More and more companies are looking to the Internet to get a “feel” for job applicants. If you didn’t clean up your Facebook page or personal blog, it may be a fair reason. “You should be tasteful, positive and have good manners online, just like you would in person,” Vicki says.

You didn’t seem like a good cultural fit.

You thought you answered the hiring manager’s behavioral interview questions well. But, maybe there was something about you that didn’t sit well with the recruiter. For one reason or another, they couldn’t picture you working at their company. In an interview, if you didn’t demonstrate your understanding of the organization, its strengths and weaknesses, its competitors, etc. you could be passed over for someone who does. “Sometimes your perception is off,” says Vicki. “You may think it went well, but the HR manager may have thought otherwise.” For example, Vicki remembered an instance where the HR manager said the applicant talked too much about their boss in a negative way or shared too much about their past employment.” She says that can be a huge turn-off for employers.

What would you add? Do you agree or disagree? Join the conversation!

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