It's Not Me, It's You. Getting the Interview but Not the Job.

The job search process is exhausting,  interviews are nerve-wracking, finding the right outfit is downright torturous, and let’s not even talk about the R word (resumé). There is so much effort in preparing to showcase yourself as the best candidate that when you are passed over for a position, it can kill your drive to continue. Yes, you may not have been chosen due to a more qualified candidate, but ultimately the hiring choice is about fit.

Do you fit what that particular employer is looking for? Not in terms of the skills that directly relate to your industry but YOU! Your attitude, your appearance, the way you talk, and how you treat others.

Here are few ways you can destroy your chances of being considered for a position.

  1. Lack of enthusiasm for the position/company
  • Research the company you are applying for to get a feel for their values and mission statement. Take a personal inventory to see if they align with what you want for yourself.
  • Study the job description! You should already know how your skills and experience will meet the needs of the company but also think about the VALUE they will contribute. By hiring you, an employer is investing in you. How will they get a return on their investment?
  1. Lack of professionalism
  • Never talk negatively about previous employers or coworkers. This will only reflect poorly on your integrity.
  • Leave the personal information out of the interview process. Which means don’t talk about your home life, including your kids.
  1. Lack of confidence
  • Speak up and speak clearly. You could have the perfect answer for an interview question and having to repeat it because it couldn’t be heard or understand would cheapen it.
  • Have a firm hand shake and maintain eye contact – not continuously of course (strive for confident, not creepy).
  1. Appearance (Most important!)
  • Your appearance can either enhance or distract from the words you are saying. Inappropriate, non-mainstream, and just down right bad will almost always serve as a distraction. So keep it simple! Make sure you are showered, tone down the cologne/perfume and make-up. Keep your interview outfit classic and have it tailored for a good fit.
  • Let’s touch on “non-mainstream”: tattoos and piercings are more common now, but in an interview environment, take them out and keep them covered!

If all else fails, develop the courage to follow up with an interviewer and ask for candid feedback on how to improve for the next interview. Getting “criticism” can be painful but knowing where the weak points are will only improve your chances of hearing, “We feel you would be a great fit for our company.”