Why didn't you get the job?
You got an interview for a coveted job – congratulations, that means you were earmarked as a suitable candidate. But if you don’t wind up with a job offer, you have to ask yourself: what did I do wrong?
There are many possible reasons for not getting a job offer, and it may simply be that one of the other candidates was more suitable for the role. However, it pays to reflect on how you performed in the interview, and whether you committed any faux pas without even realising.
An interview is your opportunity to shine and show a prospective employer what you have to offer. Yet it’s surprising how many key mistakes candidates can make – and some of these mistakes can really damage your chances of securing a job.
- You didn’t do your research
If you turn up to an interview without doing any research on the company or the position you have applied for, you will come across as unprepared, uninterested and unprofessional. Make sure you’ve thoroughly read the role description and visited the company website and social sites prior to your interview. You’ll not only feel more prepared but you will demonstrate the type of initiative that employers look for in a candidate.
- You didn’t ask questions
Most interviewers will end an interview by asking if you have any questions for them. Ensure you prepare a few beforehand, avoiding overly direct queries about salary and other entitlements. Intelligent questions about vital aspects of the role or business will show that you’ve thought through key issues and are curious to learn more.
- You spoke badly of your previous employer
One of the most important questions you may be asked in an interview is, ‘Why did you leave your previous job?’ You need to prepare this answer carefully, especially if the termination of your employment was less than amicable. Instead of bad-mouthing your former workplace, use a positive approach such as wanting to continue your professional development or broaden your skillset.
- Your resume is part fiction
There is a difference between representing yourself in the best light and misrepresenting your experience to secure a role. False statements and exaggerations may well be picked up at the interview, and lying is in nobody’s interests. At the end of the day, you want a role within your capabilities based on your actual experience, so stick to the truth.
- You looked like you didn’t care
Turning up to an interview in casual attire, or an unironed shirt, will make any future employer think you just don’t care. Show you mean business by presenting yourself in a way that exudes professionalism and polish.
There are many factors that go into securing a job offer, but the last thing you want is to lose out on an opportunity because you’ve made a fatal interview mistake.
Follow these tips for a successful interview:
- Do your research on the company including: the position, the team you are joining, new and exciting initiatives the company is launching that you can refer to and the company values – make sure your values are aligned with theirs.
- Ask questions: an interview is a two way process – it’s not just whether you fit with their company but how the company fits with you and your career motivations and aspirations.
- Be positive: you may have parted from your previous company on bad terms but don’t criticise. Instead refer to the future and wanting to expand your skillset or face new challenges.
- Look and act professional: studies have found that first impressions are formed within seven to 17 seconds of meeting someone and 55 per cent of a person’s opinion is formed by physical appearance.