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Job Offers: 10 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job Offer

Interview doldrums got you down? Didn’t get the job offer you wanted? Got the bad interview blues? Does “I didn’t get the job” feel like your new mantra?

Although I wish with all my heart you would get the job offer you want every time you interview and then be the one who gets to decide whether to accept the job or not, sometimes you just didn’t get the job offer – even if you’re totally qualified.  Instead, you got a polite turn down or a cool rejection letter…or worse yet, you heard nothing back from them. Waiting. Waiting some more. In deep silence. No phone call. No e-mail. No rejection letter. No response at all. Crickets chirping. Grrrr.

And you can’t help wondering “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. You feel utterly frustrated by the whole hiring process!

But apart from just not having the right skills or there being someone so exactly suited to the job even a perfect candidate like you has to be turned down, what kinds of things might have gotten in the way of a job offer or even a second interview? Let’s see if these tips can help you with your next interview!

Things that can turn a job interview cold – and get you rejected!

  1. Low energy
  2. Vague answers
  3. Way too talkative or way too quiet
  4. Not listening well and instead answering what you feel like saying
  5. Not offering strong examples of things you’ve done well
  6. Arriving late
  7. Dressing inappropriately
  8. Acting unprofessionally and/or overly friendly
  9. Poor eye contact or body language (too stiff, too shlumpy)
  10. You act the way you think they’d want you to and aren’t being yourself

Any of this sound familiar? Good news is you can work on any or all of these things and come to the next interview prepared with your best interview posture, good eye contact, fully-engaged energy, great stories about things you’ve made happen, etc.

Of course, there’s also the possibility it wasn’t a bad interview after all.  Maybe they simply hired someone else from the company they already knew and the posting was just protocol. Or there just wasn’t any chemistry. This happens sometimes. In either of these particular cases (other than staying in touch) there’s really nothing you can do; you just need to put this behind you and move on. As in a dating relationship, when it’s not right, best to let it go and look for one that works.

An interview is never over until it’s over

One note: Even if you get the feeling the interview is going south or was never a real interview to begin with, you still want to give your strongest, most naturally likable interview no matter what. Don’t decide to reject them before they reject you.

Why? Because there may be someone you meet during the process who remembers you for another time.  In fact, I just recommended someone I met a year ago who was wrong for that job but may be exactly right for the position they’re looking to fill now.  It always pays to turn on your best interview charm until you are out the door – and out of the building. Remember…each person you meet counts. Even impressions made on receptionists or doormen matter!

Whether it’s a job interview or anything else – all you can do is your best

If you don’t get the job, it just wasn’t meant to be – at least not this time. Use each rejection as a chance to redouble your determination to get the next one. Or the one after that. Your job is coming.

But…if you aren’t sure you’re interviewing at the top of your game, this is definitely a chance to brush up your resume (may open up different types of jobs) as well as your interview skills. For interview help, you might find these earlier posts helpful:

15 Things I Look for When I Interview People

The Single Most Important Thing in Any Job Interview

Good luck!  Hope you find a job you love.

~ Ronnie Ann

Do you have any stories about your own interviews? Did you ever feel the room go cold?

You might also find this post helpful 

Not Hired? 10 Possible Reasons Outside of Your Control

Not Hired? 10 Possible Reasons You Can Control

How To Tell If a Job Interview Went Well

How to Work with Internal Recruiters

How to work with External Recruiters


 

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

Comments

  1. A great list, Ronnie Ann! And while it indeed serves to explain why someone may not get a job, it’s an even better reminder list to read before going into an interview. That way, you can avoid the mistakes that can sink an interview—and a job offer.

  2. A great list! For the first time in my life, I’m actually interviewing candidates, and it really is eye opening.

    A few things to add:

    An lunch with people who are at your level is still an interview and requires your best behavior.

    If asked about your career goals, pick something that this job could help you work towards. Sounds obvious, but it’s hard to get excited about hiring someone who has the right skills but clearly wants the job just for the paycheck, not because they have any real interest in it.

    (Oh, and Ronnie, I do believe I owe you an email– and an article. Working on it! :) )

  3. Thanks Terry B! Appreciate your suggestion about using these as a quick pre-interview checklist.

    Hey TEB! Great to hear from you. And thanks for adding good interview tips from your own experience. Big smile on my face thinking of you in the interviewer seat now. Yes…we need to catch up. Looking forward to that article. Ahem. ;-)

    Ronnie Ann

  4. Redheadlass says:

    very good tips, very simple but so little people think of that. Though sometimes they have made up their mind allready. I am jobless and have had my fair few of job interviews. This one time they said immediatly that they wanted to hire another and that they thought I was not social and fit for the job. I had hardly introduced myself! Sorry but then I was like whatever. still, if the interview is done the way you would do it then anyone can have a fair shot. Also it helps when you can put volunteerwork on your resume, that proves that you are willing to work and do something for your community without gain for yourself

  5. Hi Redheadlass!

    Nice to see you here. Great tip about adding volunteer experiences to your resume. It not only shows there is more to you as a person, but sometimes you can show how you used your talents to their best, such as leading a small project or creating a new improved way of doing things for them.

    You’re also right about some interviewers making up their mind from the moment they see you. Hope it makes you feel a little better to know I once went on an interview, and from the moment the guy saw me, I could tell I was not what he had been expecting. And although I usually interview really well, this interview was horrible!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wish you the best of luck getting a job that’s right for you!

    Ronnie Ann

  6. i question the true nature of man? why are the poor left behind? why are the rich only getting richer? whatever happen to the human heart? humanity will succeed or fail as one species.

  7. Although sometimes it may be hiding, I believe the human heart is indeed alive and well in all of us. Perhaps it’s in our power to create the change around us – and let it ripple out. ;-)

    Peace out and in, truth!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  8. Suzanne says:

    Additional comment:
    It is also important HOW you answer a question. If you use the word “like” every other word, I (as the interviewer) would think you do not know proper english and would speak this way to customers.

  9. So true Suzanne. Thanks!! Sometimes helps for people to listen to themselves in mock practice interviews. They might get a real surprise!

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  10. I’m qualified but I didn’t get the job. I was too nervous. It was my first job interview. Although I know I answered the question very well.

  11. I had an interview last week and the moment I met the hiring manager I knew I wouldn’t get the job. She was extremely cold and didn’t have things together. The interview lasted 2 hours (yes, I toward the place and presented my plan). I think I was overly friendly because of her attitude toward me. This is only the second time in my work history that I felt uncomfortable. On the way out of the office she boosted that she had hired everyone there as she rushed me out the door. I knew I wouldn’t be hired. Oh well, I believe if its meant to be, its meant for me! I likely wouldn’t have been happy there.

  12. Hi Leebee!

    I’m the queen of typos, so no problem there.

    Funny thing about interviewers…even if you think you can read them, sometimes things turn out different than you assume. No one speaks to a person for that long unless there is indeed interest. Actually sounds like you handled it well. My personal rule? Do your best; assume nothing; be ready to say yes if you get offered the job and want it. ;-)

    Good luck! Hope you are pleasantly surprised. Please let us know what happens.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  13. Why don’t interviewers have any guts to tell you you don’t have the job? So you call and follow up. They say “oh I have more interviews” or “I’ll let you know by Wednesday” or something, yet they never call you. Well good thing I didn’t get the job. Why would I want to work for a rude person like yourself?

  14. By reading this, I can see many people go through the same I do. I’ve had probably had 40+ interviews and no job offers. I work in the technical creative field. The interviewing ethics have change so much since this economic “armageddon”.
    I am really shy, but I think that I aced some of the interviews and still I have been lied to (when I called to follow up they told me that they didn’t hire anyone, and I am still being considered a candidate, but the next day I saw the same ad for the same position I applied for re posted and got an email that they already hired someone!!) Why is this happening? Or others had me do a project and promised employment if they like it… but I not only never got it, but they took it and used it. I am curious how do you deal with “employers” like this?

  15. Hi Jenna and Eve!

    Sigh. I really don’t know how to answer your questions or explain the rudeness. It’s not right. I 100% agree.

    I wrote this a while back, but it still applies today:

    A Plea for Mercy to Human Resource Professionals (and Anyone Else Interviewing People for Jobs)

    As for how to deal with those employers…you can’t control what you can’t control. So all we can ever do is focus on finding the good ones (they ARE out there…really) and let the rest attract folks that feel comfortable being treated that way.

    I’ve run into lots of jerks. But you only need ONE job. Good luck finding the right one for you.

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  16. Sue is tired and sick of superfisial things says:

    what the heck did all that have to do with the freakin job?!!!

  17. Hi Sue!

    Job interviews are about trying to determine if you not only have the skills but would be someone they want to work with. The tips I give help present you in a way that shows your strengths and also helps them see the real person. And attitude is a big part of that.

    But of course, these articles only try to help. If they don’t speak to you, definitely look for ones that do. No article can fit all people. As I said, I just try to help based on having successfully interviewed (a ton) and also helped hire a lot of people. ;-)

    Good luck whatever approach you choose to use!

  18. Heather says:

    I have been to many interviews and it seems the only thing that interviewers are interested in is personality, as opposed to whether or not I have the skills and abilities to perform the job. I am so tired of being judged on such a personal level; it seems a bit discriminatory. Because I am not pretty, perky, and extroverted that somehow means that I am not worthy of hiring? Just because I am quiet does not mean that I am incompetent…if anything it should be a good sign (in a work environment I am not going to waste everyone’s time gossiping about pointless nonsense on television the night before).

    While in an interview how do I get an interviewer away from such questions of personality and focused on what really matters – skills, knowledge, professionalism, et cetera?

    And regarding attire, I have recently moved to CA and been to a number of interviews where the interviewer was wearing jeans. I find this to be completely disrespectful (a sign that they clearly do not value my time). However, I am wondering if I should start dressing a little less formal, maybe lose the suit jacket?

    • Heather,

      After reading about your experience, I’ve decided to share mine. I feel your pain. Like you, I live in CA, people here are very disrespectful (I’ve got similar personality-quiet, shy, hard working). I dealt with interviewers not only wearing jeans, tank top but also hair dyed purple with pierced nose etc. The other “perspective” employer threw my resume in the trash bin, it was first thing I noticed when I sat down.

      Bottom line – I think around here -there is no work, help wanted ad postings seem more like a part of their marketing to show customers, that their business prosper!

      The interviewing process has definitely changed since the pre-recession days. There is definitely age, nationality, personality, looks discrimination. It’s a personality contest and the lucky people they hire it’s for minimum wage.

      • Eva,

        I’m so sorry the process has been so awful. It really is a tough time for too many people. For some thoughts on the personality question, please see my response to Heather. Best of luck!

    • Hi Heather!

      You helped inspire my latest post: Why Interviewers See Attitude and Personality as Job “Skills”. Hope it offers some insight.

      As for trying to get interviewers away from the very things that they are looking for…not a good idea, although I get why you are asking the question. Your best bet is to use it to your advantage by having strong stories that show how you handle work-related situations. As for dress…it really depends on your field. Better to err on the side being well-dressed. without overdoing it. A nice jacket over tasteful professional-looking (but maybe not too fahncy) clothes allows you to remove the jacket if it feels appropriate. As for seeing THEM as disrespectful…you’re the one judging them. ;-) They want you to see the real deal. When I interviewed folks for a university, I dressed as we did normally…no disrespect was ever intended. They want to see the real you…but they also want you to see the real them.

      Best of luck!

  19. Sue who is unemployed says:

    Hmmmm…..how do you know what they want if they won’t tell you? You are not a mind reader, and unless you are and have these oh-so-wanted magic powers, then by golly what gives?!

  20. Hi Sue!

    Good question. No one knows for sure what each and every employer is looking for – not even the employer sometimes!

    All you can do is read their job description carefully, spend some time checking their website (if they have one), find people who work there if at all possible, and then do your best to show how resourceful, cooperative, pleasant, dedicated and well-matched to the job you are. I don’t know any employer who isn’t at least looking for that! ;-)

    Use stories from your past employment/accomplishments to make your case. And use the clues above and from other articles to help. I know it can be really frustrating at times, but your job is out there.

    Good luck!

  21. Hi again,

    I still struggle to find work and I have just returned from one of the most bizarre interview, I’ve ever had. I just don’t know what to think. When I got to the place, the perspective coworker didn’t even let me sit down and wanted to see my portfolio without even talking first, that made me very anxious, (I have been looking for more then 3 years now and I get to this stage pretty quick, I don’t have much self esteem and confidence left after hundreds of turn downs) I was very shaky I knew it was not a good start, but this was the better part actually.

    Then I met the CEO and he started telling me very personal stories about his divorce and just being bitter about his past in general, then I mentioned a competitor and he said that he worked for them, and expressed that the president of the company is a f…. Philipino prick. He was using the f and s words a lot :-) Do these people think I am a joke and disrespect me? I am very confused. This was probably the worse experience yet to date, should I even bother sending a thank you note?
    I feel like crying right now…

    P.S.
    Oh btw it’s a $10.00 per hour job doing very advanced computer stuff.

  22. I’m so sorry, Eva. That must have been awfully unsettling!

    Whether you send the note is of course up to you. You’ve been out of work a long time and I certainly wouldn’t dream of suggesting the right move. But at least you have been shown what the place and people are like. If they do get back to you, you can decide then if you want to give it a try.

    On a personal note…I’ve worked for a couple of folks who were on the surface bizarre, and one turned out to be great and the other really awful. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a crap shoot. But if someone is all about anger and blames everyone else for his misery, that’s a pretty good clue as to how he treats employees.

    Meanwhile, I want you to please sit down and remind yourself of every strength and talent you have. Truly wonderful people are having trouble finding jobs now. Don’t start to doubt yourself and all you have to offer!

    Here’s something I hope will help a little:

    When you can’t find a job…do you forget how good you are?

    I wish you the best of luck finding a good job, Eva!

    • Thank you so much Ronnie Ann!

      I know times are very difficult for many people. There are always some opportunities….and still I get those “lucky” calls for interviews once in a while :-)

      Eva

  23. Blue fairy says:

    Hi Ronnie Ann,
    I just had an interview. The interview went well. I answered all their questions and also asked some questions in a positive, enthusiastic and constructive manner. I was told by a friend who works at the company that I have been shortlisted, but they told her that I came across as having “Low Energy” and no enthusiasm!!!Not sure what to do with this feedback. Should I be more enthusiastic and put on a “happy go lucky” persona during interviews. Guess I have one of those faces as most of my friends did tell me that I have a sad face

  24. Hi Blue fairy!

    Wow. That’s interesting feedback for sure: “I came across as having “Low Energy” and no enthusiasm!!!”

    I wouldn’t advise you to be unnatural in an interview. That can fall flat too. But maybe you could do a bunch of practice runs in front of a camera and watch yourself? Or listen to your voice on a recording device. Or simply ask a friend to help you do practice interviews, and try various ways to get your energy up.

    For some people doing jumping jacks or some kind of exercise ahead of time gets the juices flowing. For others, simply remembering to eat a good balanced meal with ample protein beforehand helps with energy.

    And maybe you could simply spend some time (now would be good) going through all the reasons you really want the job (assuming you do) and seeing good things that might come of it for you. Let yourself dream of a positive future! And also remind yourself of all the things you’ve done in the past where you made things happen you’re proud of – at work or anywhere – so you truly believe in yourself. The most natural enthusiasm is real.

    Finally, your name blue fairy makes me wonder if you are depressed a little? Normal in job search, of course. If so, maybe it would help to talk to someone about it. I’ve also been told acupuncture can possibly help with that, if that’s something you are open to.

    Hope that was ok to add. ;-)

    And, at the very least, practice smiling more. There are studies that say simply smiling more helps boost your spirits – even if at first you don’t fully feel the urge to smile. Worth a shot.

    I wish you much luck!

  25. Blue fairy says:

    Hi Ronnie Ann,

    Thanks so much for your support. My apologies for delayed response. I feel so much better now. I especially liked your advise on smiling even when you don’t feel the urge to..

    As for the name it was the first thing that struck me while writing to you in a pretty depressed state of mind :-)

    Hoping to do my best in the next interview !

  26. Every interview I go on seems to be a good interview and I meet all the requirements,I’m dressed nice with positive attitude,direct eye contact yet I’m turned down. What am I doing wrong?

  27. I’m so sorry you’re not getting any offers yet, Joe. Sometimes you do everything right and you don’t get the offer. Here’s another article that talks a little about that:

    The Single Most Important Thing in Any Job Interview

    Please also read some of the other articles on this blog and others about how to get the offer. You’ll find some here. Sometimes it’s just the right fit and takes time, but you may find one or two tips that bring it home. ;-)

    Best of luck!

  28. mulham rifai says:

    thank you for this tips im living in dubai now and since 2 years i started too find another job i have done 5 interviews and it”s failed at all i ding so many courses 2 be ready in the interview time but when i rich there i feel so confused and Scattered mentally
    so if u can help i will appreciate it from so much thax

  29. Hi mulham rifai!

    Nice to get a visitor from Dubai. There are a lot of articles on this site about how to deal with interview nerves and tips for giving a good interview. You can find some of the articles here: Career Topics

    Another key is making sure that you’re finding jobs that match your strengths. You can increase your chances by matching your resume and cover letter to each job using your real experience but making sure to word it and emphasize it so that the match is obvious – this way you are already a candidate with a better chance of fitting in.

    I wish you much luck!

  30. I went on this really great interview and at the end I was thanked for my time and interest and then I was told that they would be in touch with me. I have ten years of experience with this particular job and I did very well on the audition. I’m just puzzled on the part where I was told that they would get in touch with me. Can somone help me with this please?

  31. Hi muffin34!

    I’m not sure I understand your question. Telling a candidate they will get in touch with them simply mean that they will let the candidate know one way or another. It’s simply something many interviewers say, but doesn’t tell whether or not you are at the top of their list. It just means they are telling you nothing except that when they decide, they’ll let you know.

    But of course, i hope the next time you hear from them it’s good news. Best of luck!

  32. Hi,

    I had been out of work for approximately 2 years and had over 40 interviews and filled out 100’s of online applications; it was a living hell and I was thoroughly depress. Over time, I did lose self-esteem and was very discouraged and started doing poorly in interviews because I was not sure of my answers and was very nervous. Fortunately, an old employer hired be back after 10 years; I was very gracious, but only felt it was a favor. I wish someone had hired me because they wanted me for my experience, education, or saw me as being a good fit for their firm. But, it never happened. I used to interview very well when I was in my 20’s and 30’s; (in my 40’s now), but over time, I lost the ability to sell myself. I recently interviewed for an in-house position at my current job, but was not offered the position. I didn’t want to ask for feedback. However, the position reopened and the position was offered to me. I had to ask why. I was told that they really wanted me for the position the first time, but I did not interview well, therefore, they had to offer it to the person who interviewed superiorly. I felt so rejected and judged, but I understood.

    This gave me the opportunity to get detailed feedback about my interview. We talked about approximately one hour. I was told that l lacked enthusiasm and interest; I shrugged after giving a vague answer, and did not elaborate on why I wanted the position. To hear these things was harsh to the ego, but I was glad to get the feedback. This also gave me the opportunity to explain to them on what I went through for 2 years and possibly why I displayed that type of behavior during the interview. Luckily, they understood.

    Unfortunately, most people won’t get this opportunity. They even offered to do mock interviews with me and suggested I look at videos and online information to enhance my chances of being my old self again when interviewing. I am not that 20-something year old kid, who was once sharp as a whistle, but I will try my best to get my spunk back, but it’s very hard. I am still mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained. And at times, it shows, even in interviews.

    I read some your suggestions. I will try to eat healthier, and maybe exercise or move around a bit before an interview.

  33. Hi Teesoup!

    What a wonderful comment! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. I hope you will believe me when I tell you lots of talented people don’t interview well. I used to hire people, and I too gave coaching either during or after the interview. You were very lucky to get such thorough and useful feedback.

    But here’s some more…and please be prepared to be complimented: no one hires a person just out of pity. They have to be good, too. So please don’t go to that place where you think you aren’t good enough. Something about you – I even feel it in your words – is very special. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have given you the first or second position.

    Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of people who interview well and are not so good at their job. Since you have the first part, now we just need to beef up the second. There is an old joke about a person visiting New York City who asks how to get to the famous place of great music called Carnegie Hall. The response is “Practice. Practice. Practice.”

    I give you that same advice for interviews. Practice with friends, in a mirror and even on video if you can. The main thing is to just listen and be there in the moment, answering questions and showing full interest and enthusiasm. Just be yourself..even if there are a little nerves, connecting with the interviewer while being fully present and engaged is what really matters. And make sure you point out whenever possible where your skills match the new job.

    And before you do any of that, I want you to try a reframe. Go back through your life – work and otherwise – and write down everything you ever did well, every person you helped, every project you got complimented on, every problem you solved even if no one knew…and really see the glass is half full part, ok? After so much negative feedback, job seekers start to forget. This is a great way to be reminded.

    Best of luck with your career! And thank you again for sharing some important things that will help others. (Please add that to your list. ;-) )

  34. Am I too young? says:

    I thought I had this job in the bag. I had applied with this company (no job in particular, just submitted my resume) and two weeks later had a phone interview with the recruiter, and it went extremely well. A month later I get a call from the recruiter saying a job was opening up and was to be posted that day, and want to know if I was interested. We agreed it was a good position and the next day I had an initial interview with the hiring manager. That interview went well and at end of the initial interview, we scheduled another interview for the next week, a more in depth interview. Again that interview went well, and immediately moved onto the next round. The recruiter called me a couple days to schedule two more interviews with members from other department that work with the position. Those interviews again went well by the recruiters words. I sent an e-mail thanking everyone and received a prompt response from the hiring manager. A couple of days ago I get a phone call from the hiring manager saying they decided to hire another more qualified candidate. The time the job was opened to hiring was 3 weeks.

    I’m currently employed, but looking for a better, high paying postion. I’m 28, training manager and this was for an implementation consultant position. This company is larger and pay is more significant, as well as a remote position. The industry is the same, and sometimes the company I am currently employed with competes directly with the company I applied for (maybe 10-20% of the time). I’m have not signed a “non-compete” clause so I can go anywhere. In some on my answers I was rather vague as to not give away current policies and procedures from my current job or inform them of any clients. Other than my lack of experience they want (7-10) I only have 3 years in the field, and another 2 in a field complimentary the position I lack the years experience they want. I have met all the job skills, and education requirements. This is the 2nd time this has happened to me. Only thing I can think of is actual years worked, or they are actually looking for things they didn’t put on the job description. I feel I interview well, and obviously my resume is effective (I have only sent it out to 3 and got 2 interviews). I have overstated in my resume, or inflated my qualifications. I don’t know why I can’t close the deal.

    • Am I too young? says:

      A little more information. When asked why I wanted the position I replied that my desire was to work remotely and travel intensely, both of which I do not have at my current job, however other than that I enjoy my position, the company, and the industry.

  35. Hi AITY!

    Unfortunately this is a market where if they want a person with one green eye and one purple one they can probably find them. So while you may actually be giving good interviews and impressing the other companies, they may simply be finding more seasoned candidates willing to work for less-seasoned wages.

    Not to say you won’t find a new job – especially since you’ve been getting great responses – but it may take a while to hit the right combo of chemistry and fit. A good job match can take many months to find. My best advice is to keep going if that’s what you want – but maybe think ahead why you want this new job — “work remotely and travel intensely” may sound a little like someone who doesn’t want to be in the workplace and will be bored easily, especially since some consulting jobs can last years. I’ve worked with (and managed) IT implementation consultants who almost made a home at our company. :) There might be a different way to phrase your answer related to challenge and subject matter – or simply wanting to take on more responsibility. Or even better something special about the company that you found in your research or some unique thing about the new job itself that you especially connect to.

    Speaking of taking on more responsibility…just a reminder to make sure you’ve exhausted the opportunities where you are now. Always good to think about how you can make things happen for yourself where you are. Coming up with new ways to improve processes or keeping your ear to the ground (and internal networking) can sometimes tell you about opportunities that might get your juices flowing again.

    Please be patient. And remember an interview is always about them…and about how you are perfect for them. Best of luck!

    • Am I too young? says:

      Update.

      So I finally found a new job and have been there two months now. Almost same position as I applied for responsiblity wise though different title.

      I applied for this job a couple of weeks after I commented on this blog. I approached the interview exactly the same way I approached the other position, but they were so impressed they flew me in for an interview and after I got the job paid for my relocation. (this isn’t a work from home).

      Guess they were looking for hazel eyes at this job :-)

      • chandlee says:

        James,

        Congratulations on the job and please direct job seekers who may need Work Coach Cafe to the site.

        It is funny how the same approach can have dramatically different results, isn’t it?

        Good luck to you.

        Chandlee

  36. HI, I have been on 10 interviews and have not landed a single job. I have managed to make all the interviewees have a bit of a laugh and there seemed to be real chemistry between us and have been ablt to answer all the questions happily. I was told by the recent interviewee that I seem to be a very “bubbly person” and “exactly what they like personality wise” but yet still zilch! Am I taking my approach too casually towards an interview? or Just not cutting it?

    • Hi Krys,

      I’m sorry to hear things aren’t going better for you, but having 10 interviews is excellent! Many people are still waiting for their first interview opportunity.

      So your approach, your network, and/or your resume are getting you interviews. Perhaps there is something wrong with your interviewing methods? Without observing you “in action” I can’t tell, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to be well-prepared for these interviews and NOT treat them casually at all!

      Focus on giving solid answers to their questios, not on making them laugh.

      In addition to the articles about Job Interviewing here on WorkCoachCafe, here are some other articles that might help you:

      * Lots of interviews but no offers? – by Harry Urschel
      * Preparing for interview success – also by Harry Urschel
      * Job Interviewing – a whole series of articles by Laura DeCarlo
      * Free eBook – Successful Job Interviewing – by recruiter Jeff Lipschultz

      Good luck with that next interview!
      Susan

  37. filmgenius says:

    I have been on a few job interviews and have had some wild experiences. Sometimes I feel like it is the person doing the interview that is the problem. I went on one interview and before I could sit down, the recruiter told me that they usually only hire people with legal experience. I was there for an in house position and she wanted to interview me because she liked my resume. Then she proceeded to ask me how old I was. When I told her I was 31 she was like, “WOW! OH MY GOD! Not that there is anything wrong with that.” She was maybe 25-years-old. I knew right away that she was not going to hire me. Right after the interview, she got in the elevator with me and brought along a new hire. They were on their way to find lemonade. How sweet! When I suggested Starbucks, the new hire says, “Oh, I wish i worked for Starbucks.” Really? Really? As far as the legal experience goes, I mentioned to her that I was planning on pursuing a paralegal degree and would be able to catch on to the legal jargon. The job I was there for was emailing and calling employers to see if they had any job openings. Gee, how hard is that? I believe that sometimes the people who conduct interviews and find themselves sitting across from an experienced person, they get intimidated and feel that you might be better at your job than they are. If you come across as really wanting the job, this puts the hiring manager into God complex mode. They are now in charge over whether or not you get your dream job. I feel like employers do not think about the person who is reading resumes and conducting interviews. I think that not all places have hiring managers or HR departments and they just tap the one that has the time to find employees. In between trips to the bathroom and lemonade runs, this person may open a few resumes and make phone calls. Don’t feel bad about yourself if you don’t find a job. You are a valuable person whose life has meaning and nobody can take that away from you. If all else fails, do the extreme and stand outside with your resume on a sign and see who hires you. That is my next step.

    • chandlee says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences and observations with us. You bring up some interesting points, though I don’t agree that “if you come across as really wanting the job, this puts the hiring manager in “God complex mode.” I think — instead — it shows the employer you’d be interested in accepting the job if offered.

      It’s easy to get disillusioned in the hiring process, but I think there are also a lot of people who do pay attention in the hiring process — from reading resumes and asking interview questions to also questioning, “are we hiring people for this position for the right reason?” The challenge is that — all too frequently — job seekers and employers come to the interviewing process from a different place. Employers look at candidates from the standpoint of how does this person’s skills and experience fit this job. And Candidates all too often look at the job and say “I really want this job” — even if it doesn’t actually align with their interests or skills. It’s like watching the Bachelor — ever wonder why so many engagements don’t work out? It’s because there’s only one person that gives the roses — you’re supposed to like the person who is on the show if you want a ring — even if they aren’t the right person for you.

      Sounds like you’ve met some people you would never want to work for. Pay attention to that.

      Best,
      Chandlee

      P.S. It’s illegal for employers to ask on a job interview, “How old are you?” Next time you are asked, evade the question and gently share the issue with the company later if you feel it’s important to do that.

  38. filmgenius says:

    I also want to point out how many job ads I see that are so ridiculous and have typos and misspellings. If employers expect people to have good reading and writing skills paired with excellent grammar, then their ad should be as well. I see so many posts with generic job descriptions and typos. One job post I saw wanted someone with goo grammmer. No joke! Don’t even go there and chalk a mistake up to, they were in a rush! If we are judged by our mistakes, then employers should be as well. Another ad I saw was for an office assistant at a production company. This person had to be on call 24/7 and must be okay with preparing lunch for their busy staff of award winning documentary filmmakers(they don’t tell you which documentary.) This person also had to be okay with feeding people their lunches if they were too busy. I’m not kidding about this ad. Oh and the best part was, in bold letters on the bottom, UN-PAID POSITION!!!!! And what is up with job ads requesting recent photos? If that doesn’t scream out, “We will only hire you if you are super good looking!” Then I don’t know. People are judged by the way they look. Trust me, if you have solid experience and everything goes well in the interview but a barbie or ken doll comes walking in after you, you will not get the job. People are really just that shallow. I walked into a talent agency and looked around at all the super models sitting behind desks ordering shoes and updating their facebook profiles instead of doing their jobs and knew that I would not be hired because I don’t look like a super model. Although I am not ugly, it doesn’t matter. The young 20 something males in the office need their eye candy!

    • Frustrated Bill says:

      Do you have any advice on how to solve this problem? I have been to literally 40 or 50 interviews in the past two years. I have been looking because the place where I work is going to be sold to another company and I will be out of a job. I have very little time left. The interviewers expect perfection or someone who can BS their way to the top, I do not really know. I have seen some really stupid coworkers in my time and I know they are doing better then me because I cant get past the interviewer. Some of my problem is that I work on an off shift with off hours, so when I go on interviews it usually when I am tired because I have to get up during hours when I am usually sleeping and I know the interview can look at me and think well hes not very enthusiastic and its because I’m tired dammit. This is a big game like everything else and I would like to know the answer because I am tired of wasting time and gas going to interviewers in which I know the outcome already because there is no way i behave like do normally when I am tired.

  39. I just got turned down for a job. The interview went really really well and the head chef who interviewed me near enough gave me the job there and then but because my mother in law works in the same department the manager overwrote the head chef and said no. There must be some kind of law preventing them from doing that?

    • chandlee says:

      Hi AJay,

      Many companies have written or informal policies that prevent relatives from working in the same department or company. Sounds like you have run into this situation.

      How frustrating for you! You could always ask the head chef if there are other places he recommends you apply — as clearly he liked you.

      Good luck,
      Chandlee

  40. I have a question about the rejection letters specifically. I had a second interview recently, but didnt get the job. The rejection letter was strange in that they said they would have hired me if a second position was availabe because they felt I was a strong candidate and that I interviewed well, but they just thought that the other candidate was better. What I am wondering is, does this mean that I also presented myself in a manner they liked and that the other candidate just did it better ? Or is this just them being considerate and not wanting to hurt my feelings because I actually did do badly in the second interview ?

    While I am on this subject, is it worth the mental energy to hope they might actually call me if other positions come up ? They did say that they plan to hire again in the near future, but I am a bit skeptical anything will turn up.

    • chandlee says:

      Adam,

      Yes, if they said they would have hired you if a second position was available — take them at their word and follow up periodically. I did this, followed up twice — and was hired a year later.

      They did remember me, and they did call me. Just make sure you make it as easy for them to call you again as possible. When you follow-up, let them know what you are doing — and demonstrate how you continue to grow your skills (example “I recently completed training in _____ application” or “just finished a six month project handling _________”) and remain interested in joining your team should an additional opportunity become available.

      Good luck,
      Chandlee

      • Thanks for the reply Chandlee ! I am just curious, did they just extend you an offer or were you called in for another round of interviews ? I am somewhat less cynical after what you wrote, and the woman from HR also said they plan to hire more people over the next couple of months. So hopefully I can just get an offer there or at least another chance to interview.

        • chandlee says:

          Hi Adam,

          I was called in for another interview. This may be expect the case with you, too, if they decide to consider you for another position.

          Keep us posted.

          All the Best,
          Chandlee

  41. I just back from an interview. My interview was well over an hour and the manager even stepped out to get a hold of her boss. So overall, I think my interveiw went well. But I verbally told the hiring manager I really want to work at the company at least three times. At the third time, I almost felt pathetic. Now I feel like I’ll never get a call back because I looked too desperate. Anyone experienced similar situation?

    • chandlee says:

      Linda,

      It’s natural to reflect badly on an interview after you have one. But I’d urge you not to do that. It sounds like the interview went well — and there’s no need to beat yourself up about the job!

      In addition, try looking at the situation from another perspective — employers don’t want to interview candidates, extend a job offer, and then have it turned down later! It’s just like College Admissions – schools want the students they invite to attend, to enroll in the school!

      So saying you want to work at a company where you are interviewing is actually a good thing. That said, next time — it’s only necessary to say this once at twice. You don’t look desperate until you follow-up three times a week (a strategy which we don’t recommend.)

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

    • Hi Linda,
      This is nothing new, I’ve been in this situation many times and I can tell you, I’ve developed thick skin and don’t take the interviewer’s performance personally. In the good old days when you expressed an interest in the position you usually got it, not anymore, this is a different world and the employed people enjoy playing gods.

      Many times when I asked for the position and showed interest, I have been told “FYI we are interviewing other candidates and we will let you know our decision in a week” , so after you sent a thank you note a week goes by and no one calls.

      My last interview was a nightmare. The “boss” was 25 min late, he didn’t even shake my hand, he sat down and started yawning, that was the beginning. I explained what I did and how great and how much I would thrive in that position and how great asset I would be, than I asked questions, I got vague answers and than finally he said I will let you know my decision by the end of the week, that never happened, so I called him and he said that the company is reorganizing and decided not to hire anybody.

      Don’t feel bad or desperate, the hiring process sucks and you should stay strong and positive, what I can suggest – network as much as you can and find people in the similar profession you are and make connections and friends, make they can pulls some string ;-).

      Good Luck!

  42. Jonathan says:

    So in other words, if I go to an interview, and the interviewer tells me he will get back to me in a week, and I never hear from him again, and he continually ducks my phone calls, it either means I did something wrong, or I didn’t do something wrong. (Sarcasm) Well, now I understand everything.

    • chandlee says:

      Jonathan,

      You sound pretty frustrated. The process of applying for jobs isn’t fun — especially when feedback is not provided. And it does happen for all kind of reasons — many of which have nothing to do with applicants but rather with protocol or internal disorganization.

      Sorry we don’t have a magic bullet, but we do wish you well in your search.

      Best,
      Chandlee

  43. The interview I just had was awful. I had the last slot of the day and it seemed pretty clear they had already worked out who they wanted and i wasn’t me, as such, my presence in the room was a clear obstacle to them finishing early! The interview proceeded at the speed of a rocket and I found myself out on the street wondering what had happened. Their were 4 people in the room and the guy in charge seemed more intent on proving how clever he was than finding out anything about me. Some interviews are bad not because the person who applies is bad, but because the firm itself is crap. I didn’t get that job and to be honest, I am glad. If they treated me poorly in an interview, how would they have treated me if I had got the job!!!!

    Oh another interview I went for the guy holding the interviews was 90 minutes late for work!!! No explanation of apology was given, just show to his room and on we went!

    The market is suppressed, jobs are hard to find, some employers are taking advantage of this to behave badly.

    • chandlee says:

      Bob,

      I am sorry to hear of your experience. In the future, when given the opportunity to interview — I recommend you try not to go for the last slot of the day, especially before a holiday. If there’s an option, change the interview time and date. Statistics actually show that people are most likely to be happy with interviews that occur AFTER lunch!

      It is quite possible that others in the interview observed their colleague’s interactions with a bit of disdain. Sounds like this job is done — and that the work environment isn’t a fit for you. But if this happens to you in a future interview, recommend you send in a thank you note to the individual who arranged the interview. It’s okay to let them know it was a faster interview than you had expected, that you remain interested, and that you are available should they have further questions.

      Keep up the search. Remember: Slow and steady often wins the race — and employees who behave badly in interviews, often perform poorly in their jobs as well. If unemployed, you may also want to take a look at temporary jobs as often they give you the chance to get a foot in the door without going through an arduous interviewing process. And many employers later hire temp staff.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  44. Hello,
    just wanted to share my frustration about the very recent job interview. I answered to a job posting at a pet hospital. It said that experience wasn’t necessary and they will train the right person. Well, I KNOW I’m the right person because working as a vet assistant has always been my dream and I’m as willing to learn as it gets. So I dropped by the hospital, filled in the application stating my extensive experience in customer service along with the job history. Got a call from the manager the very next day, scheduled an interview for Monday. It went great! She seemed extremely nice, genuine and made me feel absolutely at ease. I know she liked me. My lack of experience didn’t bother her at all taking into consideration that they almost always hire people with no experience and train on the job. Then she even went beyond and got me a brief interview with the Doctor right then and there. That one went well too. I was so excited at how well it all went, I was even looking up some scrubs online imagining how I’m gonna look wearing them to work…
    Well, on Thursday, three days later and with no call from them I mustered up the courage and made the call myself. The manager who interviewed me wasn’t there, but when I started to leave her a message they stopped me and said that they are trying someone else right now and my application is gonna stay on file. My heart dropped…That means I’m out, they hired somebody else…
    I’m still thinking of mailing a thank you note via snail mail. But I know now that no matter how well the interview went and how good the chemistry was, there’s still no guarantees :(

  45. I am older lady and fat, well certainly overweight. I dress very professionally and am good at my job. About 6 months ago a friend suggested I apply at the company she was working because they had an opening and it would be more money. I am anxious to get a new job because the company i am at is suffering, with layoffs etc. I felt I did well in the interview but never got a call back. My friend said a friend of another lady got the job. 3 weeks ago. I received a call back from the person I had interviewed with asking if I was still interested. I jumped at the chance and he set up interviews. I felt confident because they had called me. I took vacation days for the interviews and bought new clothes. Interveiwed with him, then interviewed with HR and then interviewed with President. the interview with President felt “wrong”. I may be imagining it but I felt he looked at me, and didn’t want me. That feeling permeated the whole interview and I’m sure I came across as nervouse. I got home and he had sent me an e-mail asking for a more detailed resume so I sent that. I am not certain if they had another candidate, but I think so. Its been 3 days and no call, nothing. I’m sad, hurt, frustrated. A lot of time, money and hope was spent on that interview process. Why did they call me and then not even let me know whats going on? I guess they just didnt’ want me?

    • Dear Tired,

      I wouldn’t rule yourself out after three days. While you experience the interview process from the perspective of a candidate, companies typically schedule more than one interview for a position — and cannot make a decision on who to hire until all of those interviews are finished. Be patient with the process.

      Take good care of yourself, and consider applying for other opportunities beyond this one as well: It sounds like you’ve got the clothes to go on more interviews, even if this one doesn’t work out. Don’t let your perceptions of the reactions of others to interview questions rattle you…You can’t control the questions others ask, but you can always control how you react to them.

      Good luck,
      Chandlee

  46. I had an itnerview about two weeks ago for a new graduate position with an oil and gas company. The job description was really similar to my current internship and I made subtly emphasize that I knew all the software and had pretty much been doing this job for eight months.

    There were three interviewers, two accountants and an HR lady. Both accountants seemed really impressed, and when I emailed them with additional questions, they replied quickly with detailed responses.

    The HR lady said that they would let me know about a second interview this week and I got a generic rejection email this morning, I can’t understand what went wrong, as the interviewers seemed really interested, I felt like the interview went really well and yet I didn’t get the job. Why?

    • Confused,

      There are a number of things that could have happened — including a company decision not to fill the position right now. I suggest that you reach out to the accountants, express your disappointment with not being selected for a second interview but also your willingness to be open to any feedback that they may be able to provide you with…

      Good luck and hang in there. It sounds like you have valuable skills and experience that will be valuable to an employer.

      All the Best,
      Chandlee

  47. Hi there,
    I recently was rejected for a position with a large corporation after 2 months of speaking and 8 interviews. The company flew me out twice, on both sides of the country…all the interviews went very well until the very last one. The interview was with the VP of HR, who had nothing to do with my job….I felt that the interview had NOTHING to do with my skill set, experience, or education, but more of a personal attack of my weaknesses rather than my accomplishments…the person I was to report to had been told NOT to extend an offer due to the fact that this guy just didn’t like me, no other reason…sometimes it’s not about filling the role, but a personality conflict…after I was told the news, I thought maybe it had to do with a hidden sexual preference. I am male, I would have reported to a female who reported to a female who reported to a female who reported to this corporate jerk male…it’s funny how everyone up to that point were all giving the green light, then last second corporate bully who described himself as “the dove that flies into to rain fescies on everyone and leave” had to say no…anyways that is my story and the job search continues…

    • CJ,

      Sorry to hear your story. As painful as the experience was, perhaps it would benefit to reach out get feedback from the VP of HR. State your disappointment, and ask for feedback on how you could improve your candidacy for next time.

      I once saw this work so well that the rejected candidate was reconsidered.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  48. Andrew Kelly says:

    I have been to several interviews in the past and I must say that not one company or hiring manager know what they want even if it came out and danced on their desk. I have been to many interviews in the past and was poorly mistreated. I have a mild cerebral problem which affects my vocal cords but not my abilities for the job. Many interviews the hiring manager walked out after the first few seconds of me speaking saying, “I don’t want to deal with this!!!” or as another excuse, “You don’t look like…” who am I supposed to look like George Harrison? Michael Keaton? I will give you case in point of how dumb hiring managers are. I have a Business Management Diploma along with Real Estate property management and 12 years security experience along with computer repair and electricity. I have assisted with my parents with their property management problems handling rental and condo board concerns. I applied when I lived in BC for jobs in property management. I got no response as most employers want 4-8 years experience. I finally I nailed 2 interviews out of the hundreds of resumes I sent out. At the interview I was told “I have related experience and can’t hire because of related experience.” I was shown the door. So why are employers bitching about experience and lack of in Canada when somebody comes in the door with once in a life time skills. Employers completely ignored my Business Management diploma talking to me like as if I am a two year old, and ignored my Property Management certificate from University of British Columbia, (UBC) which is a requirement to get my Real Estate License. I thought employers like to save money as I am per-trained with my related skills and education. It seems they like to complain and hire some goof and then go to the newspapers and complain about lack of skilled Canadians. Related experience is not good enough some how the hiring manager had the experience fairy hit them on the head and “poof 8 years experience.” Gee I wonder how hiring managers got hired after the fact in reality they had related skills or somebody gave them a break in their career and that is how they are interviewing me or else they would not be sitting in their chair making decisions. Employers kept telling me “You don’t have condo board experience.” Then why did I take the course and how do you think I got around condo board decisions that where illegal according to the law? Secondly, my security background in handling situations and Business Management Diploma from community college helped as well as I used that, “Related experience!!!” to make the decisions. What people are saying “You can’t use my bathroom because you don’t have direct experience you have related experience using your bathroom.” Somebody trained these people, instead of making the applicant go through hoops and hurdles to get hired give them a break like somebody did to you because no experience was never thrown in your face when you got hired or how else are you interviewing me, you had related experience. Because of this charade of stupidly and mistreatment of applicants they are forced to take a lower pay job or go on welfare because employers play these mind games

  49. Just wanted to give some encouragement to anyone who feels their interview went poorly or who didn’t get the job. Four years ago, I went through a dreadfully long interview process for a job I really wanted and got the dreaded rejection letter about three days after the final interview. The whole process had taken over 2 months. As disappointed as I was, it didn’t come as a surprise because there were some aspects of the job for which I had little experience. About 2 weeks after the rejection, I got a call from the interviewer asking me if I was still interested in the position! Their “first choice” candidate had decided to accept another position in another company. Ok, my pride was a little bruised knowing the company was “settling” with me, but I quickly accepted. Withing 6 months I was promoted to another position and received another promotion at the 2 year mark. In 4 years, my salary is 50% more than my original salary. Never give up and never burn bridges. You just never know what may be going on behind the scenes. Good luck to everyone.

  50. I just have to get this off my chest and hopefully I can then move on. I had what I thought was a great experience interviewing for a job I really REALLY wanted. I have been underemployed for nearly 3+ years in a dying industry and after applying to jobs that were simply “jobs” that paid better but really didn’t offer much of anything else I saw this one and felt is was absolutely perfect for me. Nearly three weeks went by and I got an invite to test for basic skills required for the job. Passed. I got an email maybe a week later asking if would like to schedule a phone interview and that happened maybe 3 days later. It was great and that interviewer said that she would forward the results (and I didn’t ask what they were) to the hiring managers and they would determine if they wanted to go further. Well, I got an email maybe a full week later requesting a full on interviews: a one on one and with a group of managers. I was a wreck! I called/texted/emailed friends and family and ask them to pray on my behalf that I would have a successful experience. I was so nervous but God worked it out in my favor. I got there early and as I was sitting there four more people showed up for their interview. We all were taken to a conference room as a group initially for a introduction and overview + q&a, video and it was WONDERFUL! It eased the anxiety so much and the manager was great. After about 30 minutes four other mangers came in and for about fifteen more minutes we continued with the overview and then each manager took an applicant with them for their one on one. Well my interview was with the first one who we spent the first part and since we had that time, I was now at ease because I had a sense of him and he me. I thought it went great and it lasted longer than everyone else’s. The last part was that we each were required to write a cover letter saying why we should be hired. I struggled to say more than what I already expressed in the verbal interview and so I left it short, to the point and reiterated but in a more minimal way why I should be hired. Can’t remember verbatim but since I was the last one in the room, I took a chance and asked the monitor if she thought this was to short/long. She looked around (she wasn’t supposed to give an op) and then read it and said “it’s the best one I’ve seen.” Anyway, that was all on Feb 12th and today is March 18th. The Job was to start on March 11th. I’ve called twice and was told that I was still being considered and the time was not out of the ordinary. I was also told twice that I would receive an email if they were taking a pass. I’m in such a quandary about it all. One part of me says keep hanging on to what they’ve said was so and I will be offered the job. The other part is that I’ve been hoodwinked lol. There is really no advice anyone can give and like I said at the top, I just needed to get it out and so thanks for listening.

    • Hi MML,

      I would say that you should continue to stay in touch, no more often than once a week. And, keep looking for that next job! This may work out for you – the signs you describe certainly sound promising – but it may not.

      So, keep looking!

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

      • Thanks so much Susan for your encouragement. Interestingly enough I realized this morning that yesterday was the first time since I first since even the phone interview that I haven’t thought about any of it. I did call last Thursday (3/21) and was told I was still on the list (so to speak). I pointblank asked if I should let it go. She advised against it but could offer nothing more. I think that’s when I DID finally let it go and what I mean by that is; I hope they do call me but like you say, keep looking.

        Sincere thanks again
        MML

  51. Anthony says:

    I had a phone interview for a job on the other side of the country a few minutes ago. Phone interviews always seem like they are “easier” because you can reference to your paperwork without the interviewer knowing. Lol. In any event, they had 11 questions for me and had a 1/2 hour for the interview. Literally a 1/2 hour. I answered 9 out of the 11 questions due to the time. I then had 4 minutes to ask questions and tell them why I was an excellent candidate. I think I answered all of the questions very well. Because I didn’t “finish” the interview, am I doomed? I really want this job! Thanks for any advice!

    • Hi Anthony,

      I doubt that you are “doomed” – the fact that they didn’t get all 11 questions asked seems to indicate that you provided very interesting answers to the first 9. Hopefully, they were arranged in descending order of importance because I bet they run out of time often.

      Hope that you sent them a “thank you” for the interview. If you didn’t, send one now. Then, in a week, get back in touch to see what is going on – ask them the next steps and the timing. They will probably be too optimistic on the timing, but it’s good to know their plans.

      Keep looking!

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

  52. misschris says:

    I have no.11 plain old racism. I cannot tell u how many times I’ve gone to an interview and the hiring manager’s eyes look like they will pop out of the socket. Being very attractive and intelligent is a great recipe for a business owner perhaps not an employee. I don’t work in a field where there are a lot of minorities represented either. Add all of these things together and I am going on 7 months of being unemployed. Seems that men want a bed buddy while women dont want the competition.

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Misschris,

      No question, racism exists. So does sexism, ageism, and many other forms of discrimination – unfortunately too many to list or to count.

      Speaking as a woman over 40 (by a lot), I know from personal experience how easy it is to blame one of the “isms” for something that may have very little to do with what happened. We blame the first thing that comes to mind for us when we are rejected or ignored.

      However, the problem is that the “ism” may not be the problem in every situation. It’s a conclusion we all often quickly reach based on past experience but it is not always either accurate or smart.

      Given that you have been unemployed for 6 months, look for ways to prove you have kept up your skills. Try volunteering for a non-profit organization that is important to you, preferably doing work in your field (marketing, sales, whatever). This kind of activity shows that you are a go-getter and up-to-date. Volunteering gets you out of your home, away from your computer, and helps build your network, too – all very useful in a job search. Give it a try.

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

  53. I want to share with you my experience in job seeking field which is very bad.I have just finished univesrity (bsc computer science) and i have no previous experience.I did a website without taking money to show my skills.One year now i went to 5 interviews and the process wan’t good because after the interview the hr or company didnt even send me a rejection email and no response at all.That is very bad because they give you a hope and they take it back.I remeber the last interview , the hr gave me a test, i did it and they said me that they will respond when they have time to review it.After 3 weeks no response and i called them, they told me that they wont hire anyone for now and maybe they will open the position again in the future.(believe them or they have hired someone else?who knows?).
    Any advice is welcome.

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Mario,

      Hart to tell what happened in these instances, but it sounds fairly typical. Many employers don’t treat job seekers very well.

      Suggestion: perhaps an internship in IT and/or volunteering to provide IT support for a non-profit will give you not only more experience but also add relevant work history to your resume and expand your network.

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

  54. I recently interviewed
    First Interview:
    Guy one: “I’m really excited. I can really see you going places in this company… On and on and on (SIC)”

    Second Interview:
    Guy two: “I’m almost ready to extend you an offer. I just got back from vacation and have paperwork to catch up on, and I have a couple more interviews to do. We’ll be in touch.”

    I’m feeling really good at this point. In fact almost to the point of arrogance…

    Days turn into a week…
    I call them.
    “We decided to go with another candidate I’m sorry.”

    ARRRGH
    Why didn’t I get the job? It was such a sure thing! I have no idea how they could have been any more dazzled…

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Luke,

      Hard as it is to believe, this isn’t particularly unusual. You probably did dazzle them!

      Then, someone else was more dazzling or better connected (referred by another employee or an internal candidate looking for a promotion) or had better references or any one of a million other things.

      If you would really like to work there, send them another thank you. In this one, thank them for letting you know the outcome (many people never find out what happened) and for the opportunity to meet them and to learn more about the company. Tell them you were disappointed not to get this job, but to keep you in mind for the next similar opportunity. It sounds crazy, but it works frequently enough to be worth the effort if you do really want to work there.

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

      • Susan,

        Wow thanks for the fast response and sound advice!

        I had already followed it and in my heart knew it… I’m just in a rut with this being laid off thing, and my interview last Friday was responded with “overqualified”. When just a few years ago it was “lack of experience.”

        I’m getting a little discouraged and hoped you had some magic words to make it all better. :)

        A side note of advice I can offer myself to the job seeker who is currently unemployed…

        DO go do your errands cleaned up and dressed as if you’re going to an interview. Even if you’re just going to the grocery. Crazy right? I was called into that first interview short notice, “can you be here by an hour from now?”
        I’d really hate to have to say “No, I need leave the store, drive home, change clothes, and come back.”
        I was prepared with hard copies of my resume, reference contact info, wearing interview clothes, etc on short notice and they knew it, and made it a point to say they were impressed by it.
        TLDR: The majority of people aren’t expecting the unexpected. Create an easy opportunity to show you do. Although I didn’t get the job; it isn’t out of reach if their selection doesn’t work out.

  55. Hello
    I had an interview today and now looking back i feel so embarrassed……………………. I asked such pathetic questions like – will there be a pay increase lol and I like to be kept busy don’t like to work anywhere if its boring oooohhh what have I done

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Ash,

      Too bad! Possibly you can recover in your thank you by emphasizing something they liked about you.

      And, for that next interview, prepare some questions in advance. It shows that you’re interested, and it gives you more information, in case they make you an offer. This post might help – How to Ask the Right Questions.

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

  56. You are doing a great job :-)

    I had 2 interviews last month.

    At company 1: The manager said don’t join company#2 and even took me out of lunch to talk about it and asking me not to join company 2. The next day they called me back to talk to the VP (vice president of the company). The VP asked my salary and my joining date etc.

    At company 2: I had a bit of an argument with one of the interviewers because I was asking her questions regarding the problem she asked me to solve and she got frustrated. The director came after her and told me not to base my decision on the previous lady. He then took me to the senior VP and told him I brought you a candidate and you know that I don’t bring people whom I am planning to let go. The Senior VP asked me to tell why I should be picked and I spoke. He then said, he is sold. He told me “We’ll do anything to get you here, any job role you want. All that can be taken care of. Here is my business card. Call me if you need anything or before you make any decision.” He also told me don’t join company #1

    1 week later: Both companies told me they picked someone else :-)

    Yesterday I had another interview. The interview was supposed to be one hour but it went on for two hours. It was a Skype call (till 11:30pm for me. The interviewer who was the VP was from the west coast so 3 hours behind on the clock). The VP gave me a problem to solve and after solving the first one which took an hour, he asked me if I wanted to solve another one. I said sure and then I solved the second problem. He then said pretty good. After I told him the answer, he said he is keeping up pace with me and he needed to solve the problem himself to know the right answer, and our answers matched. He told me they are looking for smart people to hire because its a start up, smart people like me. He also told me that they will get back to me in the next couple of days, but they will get back for sure. He also told me that my previous skills are a good feather in the cap for me.

    I am afraid that he was telling me these things because he probably dint want me to feel bad. The first 2 rounds (a week back) were with the CEO and the CTO and they said they will immediately schedule follow up interviews. Whenever they say couple of days, thats when I feel the rope gets thinner to stand on. I am really not sure what to do to get honest answers from their end. This interview will mostly meet the same fate as the ones I had last month.

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Vik,

      They could be “stringing you on,” or they could be genuinely working through their hiring process, which usually takes time – even for a small company like a start-up.

      Many things happen behind the scenes on the employer’s side that have absolutely nothing to do with you before the job offer gets generated or, even, the next round of interviews (if any) is scheduled. And, in a start-up, multiply the things that can impact the timing of a job offer. Start-ups usually operate on very thin financial ice unless they have a lot of funding behind them, and most don’t.

      So, be patient, but do continue hunting for a job until you are holding a written job offer in your hand, one that you are willing to accept because it agrees with your understanding of the job (job title, salary and compensation, start date, location, etc.).

      As the old saying goes, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” So, don’t anticipate a rejection that might not happen.

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

      • I did get the job offer :-) I was contacted on Monday after my interviews were done on Friday. I signed the offer. I am however waiting on the visa paperwork from their end which seems to take forever. I hope they are not stringing on me at this juncture :-) thank you for all your guidance and support :-)

  57. Good afternoon,

    I literally apply for hundreds of job adverts each and every week, I live in London UK and most of the jobs are being taken over by polish immigrants, not because the English don’t want the jobs, but because it is much cheaper for companies to employ them over us. It doesn’t give me much great hope for the future here, because how am I supposed to start a family with my partner when I can’t even get past the interview stages. I have had at least 45 interviews so far this year, I even get to the 2nd interview stage. But what I have noticed here in the UK is that the people who are now doing the majority of the interviewing are below the age of 20. So at my interviews I am getting interviewed by people much younger than myself (33) and they clearly have not had the years of experience to even earn them the right to interview people or candidates, because they are looking for young people just like themselves, who can mingle and party at the weekend with them. I have tailored my interviews as perfectly as humanly possible to describe my experience to their specific job requirements, with a confident manner. But still getting nowhere. It doesn’t help that advertisements are given to internal candidates, but if that is the case then why waste genuine peoples time and fares? I have a job interview today at 2:00pm for an administration role. I will be positive, because no two interviews are exactly the same. But it just frustrates me because all I want is to get a job in order for me and my girlfriend to have a normal life ie kids, marriage etc.

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Well, I can certainly understand and sympathize with your frustration, and I know you will eventually connect with a good job. But, getting to that point is a struggle.

      Without knowing what kind of jobs your are looking for, it’s hard for me to give you specifically relevant advice. But, reading your comment, a couple of things seem to be worthy of consideration:

      • Get help with your job search

        Find a job search buddy or join a job club. They expand your network, help you learn more about what works and what doesn’t work from people who are out there trying, too.
      • Aply for fewer jobs

        Focus on the jobs you want that are good fits at employers where you would really like to work. You’ll do a better job of both applying and also preparing for the interviews. Plus, you’ll have time to follow up better, as well.
      • Network

        Spend more time networking, meeting with people who would be your peers or bosses in your target job. The human connection is the reason people hire, and bosses are always worried about making a “bad hire” (someone who doesn’t work out, meaning going through the expensive hiring process again). But, if the boss knows you or if another employee knows you, you are a less risky hire.
      • Prepare well for interviews

        Learn as much as you can about the organization and the people interviewing you. Google, Bing, and LinkedIn can be very useful for this. Then you’ll have good questions to ask, and you’ll have a good answer to the “So, what do you know about us?” interview question.

      Keep trying!

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

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