“Unfortunately on this occasion, you were unsuccessful…” The one phrase we’ve all heard at some point during our working life and the one we dread the most. If you’ve been to an interview and thought it went well, it’s natural to feel disappointed if you don’t get the job. You’re left to wonder what other candidates had that you didn’t. Especially if you’ve done everything to the letter during your job hunt – a stand out CV, concise cover letter and engaging LinkedIn profile. So what went wrong? Here are five reasons why you might not have landed the job and what you can do to improve your chances next time.
Director of First Impressions
It takes just 7 seconds for someone to form an impression of you and first impressions count. You might be focused on impressing the people conducting your interview, but don’t forget everyone else you come into contact with on the day of your interview. From the receptionist who greets you, to employees coming and going about the office. It goes without saying that you should be polite and friendly to everyone. All of them are going to be forming an opinion of you, so if you are unapproachable, nervous or anything less than cordial, this will be fed back to the hiring managers.
It’s not what you say it’s what you do…
Heard of the so-called 7% rule? That’s the one that suggests only 7% of our communication is actual words spoken – the rest is down to tone of voice and body language. How you present yourself is one of the biggest ways an employer can differentiate between you and other candidates. Think about how you are holding yourself during interviews. Is your body language open and engaging or do you sit slouched in your chair with your arms crossed? You might be able to get away with 5 minutes of nervousness, but no eye contact, constant fidgeting or looking distracted throughout will give a really bad impression of your capability to the potential employer.
It’s often easy to forget about the small details, especially if you’re feeling nervous or under pressure. Give yourself a couple of minutes before you go in to collect yourself. If all else fails, simply act like you’re feeling confident!
Being overly confident
Whilst recruiters need to feel sure that you will perform well in the role, on the other side of the fence, being too confident is a massive no-no. Take care not to act like you are too good for the role, wouldn’t find it challenging or are more focused on how quickly you would be promoted, rather than learning about what you would be doing day to day. Employers like to see that you are in it for the long haul, so very often a candidate with the right enthusiasm and approach can take the edge over someone more qualified, but who has the wrong attitude.
Other examples of bad behaviour include not dressing appropriately, using slang or sloppy language, bringing in food or drinks or not turning your phone off. In summary, don’t be rude or casual, because there is a fine line between being confident and just plain arrogant.
Criticising your colleagues and employer
This is one of the biggest unwritten rules when it comes to interview techniques, so take care that you don’t overshare when it comes to previous positions, managers or colleagues. It’s likely that everyone has some gripes when it comes to previous roles, but an interview is not the time or place to vent about this. Talking negatively about work colleagues will only make the interviewer wonder exactly what you might say about them down the line. Not to mention the fact that it makes you look like someone who likes to moan or gossip. Not a quality that employers will be looking for.
Your questions weren’t very thoughtful
“Is there anything you would like to ask?” This is probably the last question you’ll get during your interview and if you’ve properly prepared, you’ll have a few things ready. This is your last chance to show that you’re the one for the job and that you’ve thought about the direction and needs of the business. You’re interested in the specific responsibilities of the role and you have a good insight into what this means. Avoid questions that don’t really add any substance. Pay, hours, holidays and perks of the job are all topics that you should steer clear of until you know the employer is really considering you as a contender for the role.
One of the great things about working with us here at RE Resource Group, is that we will coach you through your application and interview. We ensure that we obtain feedback at the end – regardless of the outcome – to help you to understand how you really performed, what went well and how you could be better in the future. Contact us now to speak to a consultant and find out how we can help you land your dream job.