June 22, 2018

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Why Wasn’t I Hired?

Interviewing can be both frustrating and arduous because throughout the process, you receive little or no feedback except for the obvious: if they want you back, they contact you. If they don’t, frequently you never hear from them again. But after a first interview the reasons for not being asked back are numerous, and quite frankly, usually they’re about you: lack of experience, poor interviewing skills, inadequate preparation and research, or similar shortcomings. As a result, another candidate generates more excitement.

But sometimes you are the candidate who’s invited back for a second or even a third interview. After that, though you’ve reached the final stages of interviewing and feel sure an offer is imminent, suddenly……nothing.

Sometimes the process has stalled. Occasionally - and stupidly - a company finds the perfect person, but feels they have to interview a specific number of people first, and while they do, they’re under the impression you’re waiting happily in the background with your life and emotions on hold until they contact you again.

Other times only a letter in the mail tells you it’s done. Rarely are candidates told why they didn't get the job. Unless you get this far in the process, usually you aren’t even told that much. Was it something you did? Maybe. But maybe not!

Relax. While you’re busy wondering what went wrong or trying to convince yourself it had nothing to do with you...sometimes that’s the truth! You and that company just weren't meant to be, and nothing you might have done - or not done - would have made any difference.

Consider these factors, all of which take place without your knowing:

Interviewing is the process by which you find a company you like, and by which a company hires you because they feel you’re the best person for the job. Everything happens for a reason, and if you missed getting an offer with one company, something better may be just around the corner.

So concentrate on what you can control and forget about what you can’t. If you mope around worrying about what you did or didn't do and wonder why they didn't like you or where you messed up - your attitude will bring about another negative outcome.

Look objectively at whether or not you can pinpoint something you might have done differently, and then learn from it. Otherwise, put it behind you and move forward with a confident and positive outlook!

- Judi Perkins

Judi Perkins, the How-To Career Coach, was a recruiter for 22 years, consulting with hundreds of hiring authorities throughout the hiring process. She’s seen over 500,000 resumes, knows how hiring authorities think and how they hire. As a result she understands and teaches what other coaches don’t: why the typical strategies in finding a job so often fail, what to do instead, and why. She’s been on PBS’s Frontline, will be in the May issue of Smart Money magazine, and has been quoted frequently in numerous articles for CareerBuilder, MSN Careers, Yahoo Hot Jobs, and the New York Times, among others. She’s also been featured as an expert in numerous career books. Sign up for her free newsletter at!

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