Monday, February 24, 2014

Why not me?

Why weren’t you selected for the Job you interviewed for?  As a Recruiter you start to hear some common threads across different candidates and employers.  Here is a list of the most common reasons we hear for candidates not advancing in the interview process and the behaviors or situations that caused those perceptions.  I hope sharing the knowledge of these common threads will help you prepare for your interviews and come out the top candidate for the role.

1)      Was not perceived as a strong enough leader. 

Associated behaviors described:  Soft spoken, no point of view, soft handshake, awkward pauses, visible nervousness, giggling, no specific examples of leadership, not a confident professional presence.

2)      Not qualified.

Associated behaviors:  Unable to convince interviewers that your abilities and experience meet the requirements and expectations of the current opening.

3)      Not a culture fit.

Associated behaviors/situation:  This varies based on the employer and ranges from the way the candidate dresses, the brands they find aspirational, and their communication/leadership style not being a fit.

4)      Not prepared.

Associated behaviors:  Arriving late, not understanding some basics about the brand and the business of the potential employer, not having thoughtful questions prepared, the inability to answer the majority of the interview questions with confidence, short on resumes, an incomplete portfolio.

5)      Negativity.

Associated behaviors:  Speaking negatively about current/former employers, bosses or colleagues.

6)      Too much job movement.

Associated behaviors:  If there are more than a few short term job changes that are not explained during the interview with confidence employers tend to hesitate on the hire.

7)      Didn’t see growth potential for future leadership roles.

Associated behaviors:  Not able to convince the interviewers of your ability/desire to progress in responsibility level in your career.  Most employers are thinking of a candidate’s potential beyond the initial role they are interviewing for.

8)      A poor network reference.

Associated behaviors:  Someone you have worked with in the past gives less than positive feedback to a decision maker at the potential employer.

9)      Tough competition.

Associated situation:  There are candidates in the process that are more qualified for the role than you are.

Have you ever interviewed and been passed over without explanation?  Do you think it could have been due to any of the common reasons we hear above.   How can you avoid the above perceptions of you as a candidate in your next interview? 

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