5 Reasons Your Interview Didn’t Turn Into an Offer

Mon, Apr 30, 2012

Internship Interview

You left an interview sure you were going to receive an offer. You gave the hiring manager a firm handshake and walked out the door with the world at your disposal. You were articulate, intelligent, witty, and perfectly qualified. Or so you thought. Receiving a rejection letter or email after an interview you felt was successful downright sucks. What went wrong? Here are 5 common reasons your interview didn’t end with a job offer and some ways to avoid them in your next interview.

You Didn’t Represent the Person You Depicted in Your Cover Letter
It can be easy to talk a big game in a well-written cover letter, which you must have had to even get an interview. What’s more important is that you back your cover letter up with your personality once you get to the interview. Don’t freak yourself out beforehand thinking about how you don’t qualify for the position and take the time to focus on how you do qualify and the assets you could bring to the company. In an interview, the less nervous you are, the more easily your personality can come through and the more likely it is that the hiring manager will be able to see those assets.

You Didn’t Ask Any Questions
Do your homework before an interview and research the company. You’ll want to go into your interview with at least general knowledge of the business as a whole and with some research you should be able to develop a long list of thoughtful questions that pertain to the company. The interviewer will appreciate your preparedness and that you’re taking an active interest in the position. Even if your interviewer answers all the questions you prepared, you can think up new ones during the interview. Be sure to write your questions down so you don’t forget them all when it comes time for questions.

You Didn’t Think Before You Speaking
Don’t fear the silence after the hiring manager asks a question. Take a few moments to consider the entire question before answering, no matter how awkward you think it feels. Chances are the manager doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all but rather, respects that you’re thinking about your answer before blurting out the first thing you think of. Taking a few moments will help you collect your thoughts, keep your train of thought and fully answer the questions.

The Company Hired from Within
It’s very common for companies to hire an employee already working for the company. That person comes with experience and requires a lot less training. You just can’t beat them and unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about this situation. Instead, focus your energy on nailing your next interview and staying positive. A way to avoid losing to a current employee is networking with other people who work for the company. Talk up someone in human resources, a receptionist, or anyone who can give you some insider information about the job and other jobs available.

You Didn’t Express Interest in the Specific Job
If the hiring manager gets the feeling that you want any job instead of the specific job you’re interviewing for, he or she is a lot less likely to hire you. You can show that you’re interested in the actual position by preparing your list of intelligent questions and answering the questions with thoughtful and articulate responses. Find ways you can sneak in any research you did on the company to further show that you care about that job, not just any job.

No interview is a waste as each one gives you valuable practice and practice makes perfect, right? Learn how to improve from your previous interviews. And, don’t get discouraged there is a job out there waiting for you; you just have to get the interview!

Jamie Byers writes for Midwest HR – PEO Blog. Midwest HR offers innovative HR solutions to organizations that are focused on productivity, profitability, and growth

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