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Didn’t get hired? These are 40 real reasons why you were not hired. It goes without saying that an interview is a win or lose situation with no prizes for coming second. So if you want a job, explore why you were not hired for the last role you were interviewed for. Then do everything you can possibly do to fully maximize your chances through thorough preparation.

Why You Were Not Hired: 40 Real Reasons

Written by Catherine Adenle

Wondering why you were not hired for a role that you are a perfect fit for? As a job seeker, preparing for an interview is the single most effective thing you can do to get hired. It enhances your likelihood of getting any job that you interview for. A good preparation will improve your ability to answer interview questions correctly, confidently and thereby allow you to make a good impression. When you make a good impression, you get hired and then make you not wonder as to why you were not hired!

However, if you’d counted down the days until you heard back from a potential employer after a job interview, only to be told that you didn’t get hired, then, you are bound to wonder why you were not hired. Frankly, any of the reasons below may be the reason why you were not hired:

  1. You scared them away because your eyeballs were much bigger than the pay they were prepared to offer you.
  2. Your CV and Cover Letter danced and sang so they both outshone your performance at the interview.
  3. You didn’t appear prepared. You were caught looking lost and couldn’t give good answers. Remember, good preparation is the key to staying in control so failure to prepare means to prepare to fail.
  4. Your mouth could not talk you out of lack of transferable skills.
  5. Your pessimistic outlook was draining; your body language and face said it all.
  6. You knew nothing about the company, their products or brand. You even asked them what they did!
  7. You bad mouthed your former managers and colleagues without flinching.
  8. You seriously undersold your skills by not aligning them with the role you applied for.
  9. You talked too much about your colleagues’ achievements and not yours – using ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ on numerous occasions during the interview.
  10. You were sweating and could not demonstrate how you utilized any of your skills in the past.
  11. You were too arrogant by asking what the potential employer can do for you.
  12. You smiled, shook your head and told them that you had no questions to ask at the interview.
  13. You looked like a slob who rolled out of bed and made no attempt to dress like a professional. Your unpolished scuffed shoe, overgrown dirty fingernails and rough shirt said it all.
  14. Your experience did not meet the specific criteria laid down for the role because you didn’t bother to read the job profile.
  15. You came across ignorant like a plank of wood.
  16. You suffered from verbal diarrhoea and were too talkative to the point of giving TMI (too much information) and implicated yourself in the process.
  17. You talked your way to being overqualified for the position.
  18. You lacked or misplaced focus.
  19. You lacked depth. On the surface, you looked like the real deal, when the surface was scratched, there was no depth.
  20. You were too nervous throughout, your hands and body shook like jelly.
  21. Your personality screamed zero fits to that of their corporate culture.
  22. You came across haughty like someone no manager can ever supervise.
  23. Your online identity is way too messy. It screams profanities and it is full of offensive ranting.
  24. Your answers showed that you are inexperienced.
  25. You have a history of job-hopping as shown on your CV and you offered no reason.
  26. You have too many unemployment gaping gaps and you couldn’t explain why.

  27. You didn’t read the job profile carefully as you couldn’t describe the role back to them as you understood it.
  28. You did not demonstrate your knowledge.
  29. Your motivation for the role wasn’t known.
  30. You tried your best but someone with more experience got the job.
  31. You were too good that you intimidated the interviewers. So, it made them feel inadequate.
  32. You were in no way prepared for the interview because you projected the feelings of ‘this is a last-minute gig for me’ with your answers.
  33. You couldn’t communicate clearly and effectively.
  34. You lacked that special x-factor and didn’t stand out from the crowd.
  35. You couldn’t explain why you wanted to work for the organization.
  36. Your references stink.
  37. You can’t walk the talk and you didn’t know enough to ask good questions.
  38. You suck at interviews generally.
  39. You sounded too desperate.
  40. You did not have the right qualification so you didn’t get hired.

See Are You a Job Seeker? 6 Tips to Getting Hired! and Know How to Answer Common Job Interview Questions

After going through all these reasons why you were not hired, what could you have done differently? It goes without saying that an interview is a win or lose situation with no prizes for coming second. So if you want a job, then do everything you can to fully maximize your chances through thorough preparation.

For further information on how to ace interviews, see the following articles:

Be a Superstar Job Seeker

Getting Feedback When You Didn’t Get the Job

21 Secrets of Getting the Job

10 Ways to Ace a Job Interview

9 Things You Wish Job Candidates Knew

5 Questions Great Job Candidates Ask

Job-hunting horrors: How to scare off prospective employers

Do you know of any other reasons why you were not offered the job? Let’s hear from you.

Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.

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