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!
- Low energy
- Vague answers
- Way too talkative or way too quiet
- Not listening well and instead answering what you feel like saying
- Not offering strong examples of things you’ve done well
- Arriving late
- Dressing inappropriately
- Acting unprofessionally and/or overly friendly
- Poor eye contact or body language (too stiff, too shlumpy)
- 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:
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?
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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, Career Nook and on Google+.