[01.14.13]
7 great comments!

5 Reasons Why You Won’t Get A Job Offer

job offer, jobs, reasons, employer, offers, frustration, process, intervew, recruiter, hiring managerA few weeks ago I wrote a post about when companies decide you’re not the one to hire. This post was about what to do next and how to react to the disappointment.

Today’s post is about why you won’t get the offer. And it’s a big frustrating question, isn’t it? After all the work you put in to the process, why not you?

So here are 5 reasons (in the language of a hiring manager) why not along with some thoughts on how to avoid this happening again:

1. Not ready, not right

As a job seeker, you always want to believe that you are ready for the next job. That you can adapt and adjust to whatever the world throws at you. And your confidence is a good thing. But sometimes you simply are blind to the basic gap between what ideal looks like and what you look like. Depending on the market, you might find employers taking a risk in the “best athlete”. But more often, they’ll make the offer to the candidate with the best experience and skill fit for the job. So I’m not saying “never stretch”. But do recognize that those out there with the best fit while get a strong look (and most often an offer) from employers.

2. Not strong enough

So this is about confidence and strength. If leading a team and setting a vision for a team is on the job’s to do list, you need to interview with strength. The company will want to see you in action before they decide to hire you. Knowing the job you are interviewing for, knowing the company’s position and competition and knowing how to highlight your value will make a big difference. This also comes into play when a company or recruiter is well aware of the hiring manager’s personality or work-style. Are you strong enough to do the job and work for the boss?

3. Looking for any job

Employers can tell when your head’s not in it. They can tell when the job is an OK match for you but not a great match. While some can fake their way through the interview process by making the job sound like a perfect fit, it all changes around the offer. For example, he opportunity to move from New York City to a smaller mid-western town will either be of interest or it won’t be. While it’s OK to interview to get experience and to learn about companies, the solution here is to not go for that final interview if you know for sure you won’t take the job.

4. Not enough energy

I once did a survey among hiring managers about what matters during the interview process. What are they looking for? The answer in my survey was “energy”. Not so much physical energy. It wasn’t about a lot of over the top hand gestures. It was about the candidate having a natural energy toward the job. A job they really wanted. So some of you are low energy interviewers. Either due to nerves, personality, desperation or some other reason. Low energy in the interview says even lower energy (and productivity) on the job. You simply have to come in with energy next time.

5. Not a team player

Some jobs require a great deal of cross-functional team work. There will be little room for the lone ranger. For the guy or gal who’s used to doing it all alone, you need to be able to talk about your interest, experiences and successes working with others. So many people write great accomplishment statements that have them in the lead role. Even for prior jobs where the accomplishment was really not theirs alone. They just borrowed it. And then the stories are forced to include you in the lead role. And the company is looking for something different. So make sure that you have some accomplishments that don’t feature you as the lead all the time.

What have you heard as feedback from recruiters or HR folks? And how did you adjust for the next interview?

Thanks martinak15 for the photo via Flickr

Tim Tyrell-Smith is the creator of Tim’s Strategy. As a blogger, Tim has been a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report, interviewed twice on NPR and is the author of two career books (“30 Ideas” and “HeadStrong”). Become a fan at http://facebook.com/TimsStrategy and follow on Twitter (@TimsStrategy). He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Tim's Strategy®.



Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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  • http://opportunitiesproject.com Tracy Brisson

    Great advice! I also think its important for jobseekers to be highly self-aware and not beat themselves up if they believe they did a great job and sensed they were liked but don’t get the job. Hiring is extremely contextual and most of the process is out of the jobseeker’s control. You may be a fantastic candidate, but there was a strong reason to pick an internal candidate. A recruiter may think you are perfect at your skillset and have a great attitude, but know you would be extremely unhappy with the specific hiring manager for the opening. Above all, resilience and grit will get you everywhere.

    • http://timsstrategy.com/ TimsStrategy

      Well said Tracy. Agree re: resilience and grit. Will also add staying positive through it all. :-)

  • http://www.ericpbutts.com/ EB

    In the past, I’ve found number 4 (energy) to be the trickiest as a naturally “laid back” person. What I’ve found helps is using stronger words to demonstrate the interest in the position and letting people know that one of my strengths is not getting frazzled easily. As you said, you can communicate desire without jumping up and down on the desk. It took me a while to come to that conclusion but I have a much better feel for it today.

    • http://timsstrategy.com/ TimsStrategy

      Yes, if you’ve always been laid back, it’s hard to see your low energy as a bad thing. In fact, it has helped you in the past. When everyone is freaking out during a stressful situation, you are the calm and rational one. But during interviews, you sometimes need to be just a bit more “turned on”. Thanks EB.

  • Praveen Soni

    nice explained. and agree with all your points Tim Tyrell-Smith

    • http://timsstrategy.com/ TimsStrategy

      Thanks Praveen.

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