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5 Reasons You Didn't Land the Job

In this competitive job market, it is rare to land an interview for your dream position. So when you do secure that interview, it's a crucial moment! But if you don't land the job, it's important to evaluate what might have gone wrong. Sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control, but a rejection will force you to consider why you are not the ideal candidate. Here are five reasons why you didn't land the job:

Negative Talk

Employers know that if you are interviewing for a particular position that you are in-between jobs or discontent with your current employer. By bad-mouthing a boss or co-workers, you may come across as a complainer and a negative personality. A personality that doesn't fit with the company culture may cost you the job. Do not gossip about or divulge shortcomings of your current or previous employers. It is a warning sign to a prospective employer that you gravitate toward complaining and it lacks professionalism. If an interviewer asks why you want to secure another position, keep your answer brief and honest, but do not succumb to bad-mouthing. If you are a borderline candidate, you will certainly get pushed into the rejection pile based on your negative talk.

Weak References

If you secure and excel at the interview, you might want to look at your references as a potential issue that may be undermining your job efforts. Before placing a reference on your résumé, make certain that this individual will give you a favorable recommendation. When choosing various references, choose a former boss or employee that you are confident will praise your work efforts. offers tips on how to choose strong references. Let these individuals know prior to the interview process that they may be contacted by an employer regarding your work skills. Ask if they feel comfortable giving a recommendation. If they hesitate, you may want pick someone who is more enthusiastic about your work.

Failed Background Check

Some employers will run a background check on their potential candidates. If you failed the background check due to a criminal offense, it might be wise to explain why this is the case and what you've done to rectify the behavior. Poor credit can also pose negative consequences for a potential job interview. It is prudent to know what's on your credit report and why. If there are inaccuracies because of identity theft, you might consider investing in Lifelock to protect your identity.

Slovenly Appearance

The evening before the interview you decide to make it a late night and you are rushed in the morning prior to meeting with the company representatives. Your shirt is not ironed, your hair is a little messy and your eyes look tired and puffy. Employers will immediately take that as a sign that you aren't vested enough for the job to make a good first impression. Other issues like bad breath, body odor or dandruff may dissuade an interviewer from hiring you. Take an honest look at your personal hygiene and then take the steps necessary to fix such an easy issue.

Lack of Chemistry

Sometimes you might appear too eager or too underwhelming at a job interview. This metric is highly subjective and dependent on the person who interviews you and his or her perceptions about your personality. However, if you gravitate toward introversion, you may want to practice your interview skills with a friend or family member. On the flip side, if you are too loud, coach yourself on toning down your personality enough so that you come across enthusiastic about the position, but not so over the top that it becomes a distraction to the interviewer.

Sometimes securing the job interview is not enough to land you the position that you've coveted for a long time. When you land the interview, but aren't hired, you need to determine what is causing employers not to push your name into the yes pile.

Rudri Patel

Former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. Written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. Seeking grace in the ordinary.

Contact Rudri on her Twitter