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There are lots of things we tell ourselves about the reason why we didn’t get a job. Most of these reasons we make up in our heads because most of the time, you never get the real reason from the hiring manager.

It can be super frustrating and annoying to interview for positions and get rejected…over and over again. Especially now, when every company wants you to jump through hoops during the interview process. 

Or better yet, rude hiring managers know they have the upper hand because so many people want the one job they have open.

Over time, if you let it, that rejection builds up and takes a toll on your mental health and self-worth. I recommend not letting it do that.

I tell my clients that interviewing is an emotional roller coaster.

One minute you’re super excited that you got the call to interview, and then the next minute, you’re freaking yourself out wondering if they’re going to call you with an offer

If the offer never comes, it’s easy to speculate why you didn’t get the job. But remember…

Speculation is not the truth

Not only is your guess as to why you didn’t get the job not the truth, but it’s also not a productive use of your time. 

The most productive thing you can do is ask the recruiter why you didn’t get the job. Sometimes they will let you know, and you can use that information to self-reflect and make some changes. 

If you ask and you don’t get an answer, but you really want to know why you didn’t get the job…

It’s likely one of these reasons.

Reasons why you didn’t get the job

  1. You don’t fit in with the culture.
  2. You showed up late for the interview.
  3. You didn’t show up for the interview at all (yes, this happens).
  4. You didn’t prepare for the interview.
  5. You didn’t answer the questions.
  6. You lied on your resume, and that came out in the interview.
  7. One person on the hiring committee didn’t care for you (even though everyone else did).
  8. They decided not to hire for the position.
  9. You were great, but they connected with the other candidate more.
  10. You don’t seem likable.
  11. You talked too much.
  12. You didn’t know what you were talking about.
  13. You seemed arrogant.
  14. You had low energy during the interview.
  15. You’re too specialized in your field (for a generalist position).
  16. You’re too much of a generalist in your field (for a specialist position).
  17. You seemed like you’re full of it.
  18. You didn’t know anything about the company.
  19. You didn’t ask good questions (yes, there are bad questions).
  20. You didn’t want the job.

A lot of these are harsh, but the hiring process is harsh.

Good recruiters and hiring managers can fish this stuff out of anyone during the interview process.

You may think that the interview went terrific. You’re a shoo-in for the job!

You may even think that you’ve gotten away with one of the reasons above. 

But the truth is that no one is a shoo-in, and you will not get away with anything on this list related to skirting your obligations as a job candidate (or a basic human being).

What to do if you didn’t get the job

Most of the items on this list are related to how other people are perceiving you. Whether there is truth to it or not, you’re being judged by the person interviewing you for all sorts of reasons. 

If you’re not getting any offers after interviewing, then take a critical look at your interviewing skills to see where you need to make adjustments. 

One of the best ways to understand how the interviewer perceives you is to conduct a mock interview on camera with a family member or friend. 

It’s super awkward at first, but a mock interview is the best way to figure out what you’re doing wrong so that you can fix it.

If you’d like me to mock interview you for your next position, you can sign up here.