Why Applicants Do Not Get the Job

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Why Applicants Do Not Get the Job

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There are a multitude of reasons why Applicants do not get the job they interview for. In order for this process to run smoothly you need to be detail oriented, prepared, honest, professional, reasonable and prove that you have more value then your competition. Below are a few areas that you can focus on in order to succeed.


  • They do not prepare for the interview
    • They do not research the position
    • They do not research who they are interviewing with on Linked In or networking on their own to find the information
    • They do not research the company history, environment and products so that they can discuss why they want to work there or are qualified
    • They do not present a visual example of past work to current employer
    • They are not prepared to discuss why their unique skills, successes and experiences are at a higher level than other Applicants
  • Their resume is embellished
  • Dishonest about money/bonuses/supervisory experience or why they left positions
  • They get lost, do not plan directions or bring companies contact information.
  • They bring someone with them to the interview


  • They show up late; 15 minutes early is on time for an interview
  • They make a poor first impression
    • They do not dress to impress
    • Do not have a Firm handshake
    • They are not well groomed, chew gum or smell like cigarettes
    • They do not smile or give off a positive persona
  • They do not fill out the clients application completely
    • The client thinks they are sloppy, incompetent or cannot follow directions (It is acceptable to write negotiable in the money section but if asked in person be prepared to answer honestly)


  • They do not stand out from other Applicants
    • They bring no visuals representations (product pictures, procedures, programs, drawings, etc)
    • Not everyone interviewing you knows what your previous company was doing. A visual example will help build conversation and understanding
    • They show no cost savings, no commitment or any ability to bring in money or take the company to the next level
  • They do not respect their interview with Human Resources as an important element. This may actually be the most critical step. They will judge you on employment history and your ability to fit in long term.
  • They bring up or ask about money
  • Their answers are not clear and concise
    • They talk too much or do not stop talking – to help combat this say, "does that make sense"
    • They answer the questions with just a yes or no
    • They do not answer the actual questions
    • They say "it is on my resume". If you say it is on my resume it is perceived as disrespectful. You will not get the job and will most likely find yourself out the door quickly
  • They speak negatively in any way or have a negative attitude
  • They speak negatively about their former employer, co-workers or clients
  • They swear at any time. Would the owner want you to swear in front of a client?
  • They do not know what their resume states, or have over-embellishing stats on resume
  • They do not express their strengths relating to the position
  • They are not prepared to discuss three strengths
    • Why are you the best candidate for the job?
    • Give me examples of why you are the best Applicant for the job?
  • They are not prepared to discuss where they lack experience or how they would overcome this setback. Discuss weaknesses-provide solutions
  • They over embellish their background.
  • They cannot thoroughly explain "black eyes" on resume - short tenure, gaps, firings, layoffs – Yes you are judged on being laid off as well…Why were you laid off?
  • They do not talk about why the company interests them
  • They come across as passive and are not outgoing
  • They discuss personal life too much. Sports are OK but stay away from topics like divorce, politics or religion
  • Poor eye contact/non-verbal
  • They do not turn off cell phone before entering the building to interview
  • They do not have questions ready that are insightful
  • Not prepared for onsite testing-behavioral, cognitive, etc


  • They did not conclude the interview expressing interest. They leave the client wondering if they had an interest
  • They do not provide references
  • They do not provide availability for another interview
  • They do not talk about why the position is of interest to them


  • They do not send out a thank you letter
  • Too money motivated (over negotiate)
  • They want to postpone another interview or start date for a prolonged period
  • They consider a counter offer
  • Poor or vague references
  • Dishonest on psych tests or try to paint themselves better then they are. The test is designed to eliminate you from contention if you answer too good to be true
  • They do not return phone calls or are difficult or inaccessible following the interview
  • They do not take the drug test or delay in submitting paperwork


  • Any of the above
  • They have a poor work history and cannot put those concerns to rest easily
  • They do not set themselves apart from other candidates – there was nothing unique that made the potential hiring company to make an effort to offer the job
  • No examples/visual rep
  • They put the job on hold
  • They could not find the ideal candidate so they handed the responsibility to someone else

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