Getting a job interview today for a job you really want and qualify for deserves a high five. Face it, it’s hard to get a company to give you feedback on your application let alone schedule an interview. So when you do finally get the interview many of you are still not crossing the finish line; especially for the jobs you feel they wrote the job description with you in mind.
So why didn’t you get the job after a great interview? Hopefully the company will tell you the real reason but most of the time they will just tell you they gave the job to someone else who was also qualified for the position (helps protect them against discrimination lawsuits).
No matter what the employer tells you, it may not be the real truth anyway. If that is the case, how will you ever know? Here are three reasons that might have played a role in why you got turned down for the job. More importantly, these may be the warning signs that happened during the interview that meant you were not going to get hired.
1. YOU DIDN’T KNOW HOW YOUR VALUE DIRECTLY AFFECTS THEIR BOTTOM LINE.
You talked a lot during the interview but didn’t communicate and showcase your skills and how they would benefit and produce profits for this employer. In other words, you demonstrated value at your last company. The person who got the job was able to showcase how they would use their past experience and create value for the new employer. To do this, you really have to research the company, their clients, products, revenue and employees to get a great snap shot of how this company determines success. Understand the job responsibilities of the job you are interviewing for and talk to them like you have had the job for years. To pull this off, you need to do your homework so you can use examples directly relevant to the position.
2. YOU FORGOT OR DIDN’T WANT TO ASK QUESTIONS.
Asking the interviewer great questions (not questions like, “What is a typical day like?”) you can really get information you need to make a decision should you get an offer. If you ask great questions, this will show your true interest in the position. Remember, the interviewer also has a livelihood that is paid for by the work they do at the company you are interviewing with. They had the same questions when they interviewed there as well. Some of my favorite questions to ask are:
- Can you tell me what you would be considered as an “outstanding performance” in the first four to six months?
- What are some of the biggest challenges in this position over the last four years? (If you experienced any of these challenges at previous jobs, let them know!)
- What were the top three major strengths of the last person in this job that made them successful? (My favorite question. Do not ask what the weaknesses or what happened to the last person in this job! If it didn’t go well for the last person, the interviewer will tell you and get them talking!)
3. YOU LACKED ENTHUSIASM AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNCIATION.
If you want the job you are interviewing for, you have to let them know it from the time you walk into the interview. Non-verbal starts from the time you walk in the door and should be natural. Good handshake, posture, eye contact and smile. This is stuff everyone tells you and I can tell you it is true. So many of you knock yourself out of the interview because you’re too formal, ridged and tense. Let it go and have fun. You have to keep your enthusiasm alive for the entire interview.
Think about it. Every time I interview anyone, I pray that they are the “right fit” for the job (technically) but even a better fit for our company culture. The secret is understanding they need to fill the job and want you to come alive in the interview. This is achieved by enthusiasm.
BONUS REASON YOU DIDN’T GET THE JOB: You didn’t follow up after the interview via email or letter (or both) letting them know you want the job! (I can’t believe this happens all the time!)