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7 Tiny Reasons Why You Didn’t Get the Job

One of These Tiny, Totally Fixable Reasons is Why You Didn’t Get the Job

By – Caitlin Johnson

Congrats! Your resume didn’t disappear into the “black hole” and you landed a face-to-face interview. What this means is:

  1. Someone actually read your resume
  2. They thought you had enough relevant experience to call you
  3. You then passed the phone screening, saying all the right things to the hiring manager and you showed how qualified you were for this opportunity.

Go you! Now all you have to do to is close the deal in the interview(s) to follow.

Here is when even the most qualified candidates can run into trouble. Most interviewers aren’t going to take the time to give you honest feedback on why they didn’t choose you. If you’ve been getting the interviews but not getting any offers it most likely had to do with one of these reasons (that are totally fixable!!):

  1. Rude to the Receptionist

You are under a microscope the second you arrive for an interview. Your every move will be assessed so being polite and cordial to everyone in the office is always the right thing to do. After your interview, many managers ask the receptionist or administrative assistant what they thought of you.

What you can do:
Be nice to the receptionist, do more than stating you’re here for an interview, ask them about their day/week. And always maintain a professional appearance, even in the waiting area. No using your phone, slouching, or looking bored as hell.

  1. Not Following Instructions

There’s a reason the hiring manager gives you instruction before the interview. They want you to follow them!! Following the most basic instructions is your first assignment and an early indication of how you will handle job duties.

What you can do:
Yes, showing up early is great, but don’t show up 45 minutes early or any earlier than they asked. If they asked for copies of your resume, bring plenty of (high-quality) copies!!! If you can’t follow their instructions now or you’re making up excuses, why would they think you’d be able to complete your duties and follow directions at their company?

  1. An Unpolished Appearance

As shallow as it seems, your appearance does matter. When you only have 30 minutes to make an impression, little things can make a big difference. Company culture varies office-to-office, but sloppy is sloppy, no matter what you’re doing.

What you can do:
Lay off the strong perfumes, make sure your hair is neat, take the time to iron out the wrinkles, and don’t wear stained or ill-fitting clothes! Also important, the night before your interview you should take the time to organize and clean out your bag. Failing to do these simple things are strong indicators you don’t have your act together. Check out our articles for men and women to find out more about choosing an interview outfit.

  1. You Didn’t Do Your Homework

With all of the information in the world a quick search away, there is no excuse to not researching the company before the interview. It’s so important to know everything you can about the company before your interview. This knowledge, plus the added confidence you get from researching the ins and outs, will give you a massive edge over the other applicants.

What you can do:
First, head to the company website, really dig into all the content they have available. Look up the profiles of people you might be interviewing with, find a common point (members of a fraternity or sorority, both dog owners, travel junkies, etc) to make an instant, memorable connection with them. Use websites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor to find out more about what’s going on in the company. Checking out their competitors and what has been happening in the industry will give you an additional boost. You can never do too much research before an interview!

  1. You Didn’t Ask the Right Questions

Asking questions is important, it shows that you are engaged and have a genuine interest in the position. But that old cliché “there are no stupid questions” doesn’t apply here, there are definitely stupid questions you could ask in an interview.

What you can do:
Generally, having three questions ready beforehand is great, just don’t ask too many questions; your interviewers have other things they need to get to and holding them up will just make their day harder. Don’t ask questions that don’t add substance to the conversation. Don’t ask questions on topics that you could have already researched. And most importantly, wait to ask the details on benefits and vacation time until after they fall in love with you.

  1. You Were Forgettable

This reason as why you didn’t get the job is a little trickier to fix. Being qualified and well experienced to fulfill the job duties is what landed you the face-to-face interview, but being engaging and memorable lands you the job.

What you can do:
Your average interviewer will talk to a ton of candidates and making a connection (ahem, research the interviewer) or telling a great story will help you stick out in their mind.

  1. A Lacking Follow-up to the Interviewers

What you do after the interview matters. The people you are interviewing with have taken time out of their day to speak with you about what you would bring to their company, thanking them for their time is the least you can do.

What you can do:
Grab business cards from all of your interviewers so you can send individual, personalized thank you emails, or handwritten notes (mail it off the same day if you choose this method). When writing your thank you, express your interest in the position again and mention a topic that was discussed during the interview to make you a more memorable candidate.


Every interview, no matter how bad or great it goes, is a learning experience. However, no Hiring Manager is going to take the time to tell you the exact reasons you didn’t make the cut. But if you’ve been interviewing with no job offers, it’s very likely one of these tiny mistakes is to blame.

Finally, All of these tiny mistakes are fixable!! It’s well worth your time to look and analyze where you may be falling short. For future interviews, strategize how to make stronger, more memorable impressions.

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About the Author:

Sophia Tinsley is XTech Staffing’s Marketing Specialist and writes career-advice related articles and content for the website. She also manages XTech’s social media platforms.Sophia recently graduated from Texas State University where she earned her BBA with a major in Marketing. She is the crazy cat lady of the office and the embodiment of Michael Scott – she always has wacky ideas.Sophia also writes her own fashion blog and creates movie trailers as hobbies. She thinks she’s unique, but likes all things “basic” (i.e. Starbucks). And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you and Sophia with get along swimmingly.
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