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Explore the reasons why you didn’t get the job. If not, how many job interviews have you attended in the past without getting invited back? The truth is, if you’re getting rejected time after time for jobs that you are qualified for, the problem is most likely with you. Explore these 40 undisputed reasons why you didn’t get the job.

Reasons Why You Did Not Get the Job

By Catherine Adenle

Know the reasons why you didn’t get the job you interviewed or applied for? If you are reading this, you are on your way to ace your next job interview by checking the reasons why you didn’t get the job.

It is important to note that hiring managers and recruiters don’t get paid to reject qualified people. Their job is to find qualified people who will fill advertised vacancies, do the job, fit well with the organisation and add value.

If you’re not getting invited back after interviews, ask yourself the reasons why you didn’t get the job. If you find it difficult to understand the reasons why you didn’t get the job, then, be proactive about finding out. Pick up the phone and ask the hiring manager politely for feedback that will help you to ace the next interview.

See Job Interview – 7 Key Things Not to Say

There are various reasons why you didn’t get the job you wanted. Most of the time though, the problem is with the way you present yourself. That’s not surprising because, for most people, job interviews are infrequent. This is why it is important to gain feedback from interviewers if you fail to secure the position. You must critique your interviewing presentation so as to get better for the next interview on your list.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of conducting many job interviews in a managerial capacity and I have also attended a few job interviews as a candidate. As a hiring manager, with each passing year, I get better at spotting a potentially bad hire. Therefore, based on my experience and feedback both as a manager and a job applicant, these are the 40 undisputed reasons why you didn’t get the job.

Why you did not get the job

40 undisputed reasons why you didn’t get the job

1. There were far better-qualified candidates than you
2. You were forgettable, nothing was memorable about you
3. Your eyes and pockets were bigger than your skills. Your demands were unreasonable and they don’t match your interview performance
4. You oversold your skills on your CV/Résumé and you cannot showcase how you utilised any of the skills in the past
5. You lacked enthusiasm from the onset of the interview to the end. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you show some excitement over the possibility of working with your interviewer, your interviewer is likely to feel the same way about you
6. You failed to establish your worth or verbally demonstrate the value you add to any organization
7. Your online reputation is bad. That picture of you kicking it with your ‘homies’, the gang sign gesture you made and gun touting wasn’t cool. Frankly, that picture lost you a job
8. You wanted to know what’s in the job for you and not what you can bring on board
9. You were one-word-answer Alison or Andy. ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ were great answers as far as you were concerned
10. You stretched the truth just a tad in your CV/Résumé as you could not back some of your accomplishments up
11. You fancied the interviewer more than you fancied getting the job
12. You were too big for your boots as you huffed and puffed on the day
13. You were simply not as qualified as you claimed
14. You sucked big time at interview techniques
15. You thought you were the best thing since sliced bread was invented
16. You were too experienced for them and they were afraid of your knowledge and ambition
17. The interviewers sucked at picking the best candidate for their organisation or any organisation
18. They already have someone in mind before they interviewed you
19. Your CV/Résumé outshone you by miles
20. You didn’t mince your words about the outdated deco in their office or their substandard product
21. You lacked the drive to research the organization in advance and unable to answer at least one question about them
22. You appeared too desperate for the role. Offering to tattoo their logo on your chest is not the way to show enthusiasm or passion
23. You simply never stopped talking during the interview
24. You were a big fan of the words um, like, totally, yeah, nah, em and riiight.
25. You had no questions even though they asked you five times during the interview, you never seized the opportunity to ask them clever questions once
26. They thought you were ‘Sloppy Joe’ because you looked like someone who just rolled off the bed and dragged through the hedges to attend the interview
27. With your sweaty limp handshake and your slouchy shoulders, the first impression you gave was terrible
28. You wanted to know how much you will be paid before you left the interview
29. You asked for the number of sick days allowed during the interview
30. Asking if they drug tested or credit checked their employees made you lose the gig
31. Focusing more on the perks than the role wasn’t cool
32. Bad mouthing your former manager made them think you’d bad mouth them too to another employer
33. Your handshake, eye contact and general body language were nothing to write home about
34. You failed spectacularly at answering a lot of commonly asked interview questions
35. You were overly ambitious so they thought you’d leave in no time to pursue another job
36. You are a flaming job hopper, you change jobs like you change clothes
37. You lack self-confidence, you couldn’t even maintain eye contact with the interviewers
38. You are not Social Media savvy, you shared everything on Social Media. Sharing your escapades on the day you called in sick while you were at the pub made you look bad. Social Media is more media than it is social when job searching
39. Weaknesses? You scratched your head, looked up and owned up to none. No one is perfect. We all have areas we’d like to strengthen. Answering the “what are your weaknesses” question the wrong way was a risky move
40. You failed to “Tell them about yourself” when they asked you. The paper-boy job you did twenty years ago wasn’t the information they needed from you.

See 10 Things To Do When You Don’t Hear Back After A Job Interview

Although some of the reasons why you didn’t get the job as listed above are many, remember, potentially, there may be many other reasons why you didn’t get the job offer. These 40 reasons why you didn’t get the job highlighted above are among the most likely ones. Regardless of the reasons, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you avoid anything that would prevent you from moving forward in the interview process and ultimately land the job.

So what if you didn’t get the job? It’s not the end of the world!
First, chill out for a few hours, take a number of deep breaths and know that life continues. Losing out on any job may feel like they said, “No,” to you as a person. However, they simply picked another candidate that they thought was a better fit for their needs.


• To be called for the job interview in the first place, you’ve beaten hundreds of candidates if not thousands.
• Your CV or Résumé must have been a good self-advertising brochure for you as it got their attention in the first place.
• Your skills are desirable; hence you got an interview invitation.
• You had the opportunity to meet the interviewers face to face and you can use the experience to help you practice for the next interview.

Next step
You need to take the next step and know the reasons why you didn’t get the job.

Show your interest even after rejection by calling the person who interviewed you or the person who sent a message to you that you didn’t get the job. Once you get in touch, in a polite manner, express how you feel this way:

“Thank you for letting me know that you’ve now made a decision. I appreciate the time you created for me for the interview. The interview with you was very motivating and in future, I will still like to work for your company. So, I’d appreciate it if you could please advise me based on my performance on the day of the interview and what you think I could do better to ace any future interviews?”

By showing you have no hard feelings and still want to work for them even after not getting the job, you will make an amazing impression and get your much-needed feedback. In addition, they may now have you on their file as a potential candidate they could call on a moment’s notice for a new job.

Believe you can and you are half way there!

Resources to help you ace any job interview

See 50 Interview Questions and Answers: See Why They Are Asked

See Job Interview? Explore 35 Most Popular Job Interview Questions

See 12 Ways to Make a Dazzling First Impression

See 20 Compelling Job Interview Questions for Employers

11 Steps to Ace Any Job Interview

Now that you know the 40 undisputed reasons why you didn’t get the job, ensure you guide against the reasons for any potential employers not to hire you.

Catherine Adenle
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.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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