Posted by Brian McCullough
That leaves us with the big question: Why didn’t I get the job?
I mean, you thought the job interview went well. It went SO well! The employer seemed enthusiastic. You even heard through the grapevine that they’d probably hire you. And you were qualified! Oh, you were so qualified for this. This job was right up your alley!
So why didn’t you get the job?
In my 15 years working with clients on their job search, I’ve found there are plenty of likely reasons why you might not have gotten hired:
- There was someone more qualified. You might even have been the best person they had interviewed so far, at the time of your interview. But then someone came along and blew you out of the water.
- The employer changed what they were looking for over the course of the interviewing process. You might have been perfect for what they thought they wanted, but later on, they decided to go in a different direction.
- You were mistaken. You thought the interview went well. You thought you were impressive. But perhaps you had this all wrong. You have to be honest with yourself in evaluating these things.
- The job wasn’t really yours to win. They were just interviewing to say they had. Really, they had someone else in mind all along.
But you know, over the years, the number one reason… by far… that I’ve seen for why otherwise perfectly qualified people don’t get the job is simple:
They Just Didn’t Like You.
I think that when it comes to job search, interviews and hiring, a lot of people underestimate how much personal relationships come into play. Obviously, the hiring manager is trying to determine if you can do the job and do it well. But they’re also deciding on something a little more subtle, but no less profound: can this person work well with my existing team?
Even simpler than that, they have to decide: do I want to work with this person day in and day out.
So sometimes, it really is a matter of, they just weren’t that into you. And I bet if you could somehow get people to be honest about it… I bet way more than 50% of the time when someone seemingly perfect for the job doesn’t get hired, it comes down to a personality call.
So if they just didn’t like you, just didn’t think you’d fit, there’s really nothing you can do. And you can’t take it personally, really. I mean, who’s to say they’re wrong? Who’s to say you wouldn’t have been a bad fit? Who’s to say you wouldn’t have gotten along with them?
If you suspect you didn’t get the job because you just didn’t click personally, think of it like dating: there are other fish in the sea. And there are other jobs you are qualified for that will end up being a better personal fit.
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