9 reasons you ain't get the job...again (and how to overcome them)
at this point in my life, it's safe to say that i am in a period of transition. with that, one of the things i'm expecting to see a shift in is my job. as many of you know from experience, jobs require interviews..interviews require preparation. within the past six months or so, i've heard a wide array of explanations as to why i didn't get a particular job. some employers claim i'm over-qualified while others may assert that i'm under-qualified..and then you have some employers who don't even bother to give you an explanation. but even though it sometimes gets discouraging, i've learned to only focus on the things i can control and not worry about the things i have no control over. with that in mind, here are some of the questions i ask myself each time i complete an interview (just as an internal checks and balances sort of thing). but, i also sometimes ask myself these questions before the interview commences to remind myself of what i need to do. now i'm not saying that if you don't do any or all of these things, then you won't get the job nor am i saying if you do all of these things, you will get the job. fact of the matter is, you don't know if the recruiter will "choose you" for the job. all you can do is focus your energy on aspects that indicate why you're worth choosing. with any luck, these questions will help some of you out.
9). did my resume adequately reflect that i was qualified for the specific position i applied?
a resume is defined as a brief account of a person's education, qualifications and previous job experience. most people say that your resume should generally be one page; i'm inclined to agree because lengthy resumes tend to be unattractive and it's less likely the recruiter will read it. you have to remember that as a recruiter, they are looking through so many applicant resumes. you want to make sure that your resume is not only creative (within reason depending on your chosen field) but that is only contains information that is relevant to the position you are applying to. if you opt into including every job you ever had on your resume, you run the risk of your relevant experience being lost in translation within all of the information depicted...which doesn't help the recruiter see how awesome you are for the job.
tip: make sure your resume is free of grammatical errors, depicts only relevant work experience and is concise as possible.
8). did i research the company i was applying to prior to the interview?
you'd be surprised at how many people actually overlook this small detail. my thing is, if you took the time to apply to the job, why wouldn't you take the time to research the company? sure, your only reason for applying might be because you need money quick, fast, and in a hurry. however, the recruiter does not want to hear that. they don't care that you applied to seventeen jobs in fifteen minutes and their application was the sixteenth one you filled out. they are looking for someone who's dependable and capable of going the extra mile in the workplace. if you can't go the extra mile in the application/interview process, why would anyone be convinced to bring you on their team?
tip: use their company website to do some level of research before the interview. you never know...they may ask you basic questions regarding their company and you don't wanna be the person trying to bs them on information they already know; it makes you look pretty bad. don't feel compelled to learn all there is to know about them, either. just learn enough to hold a conversation about why you'd like to work for them and what have they done that stuck out to you and so forth; it shows initiative and that's always a good thing.
7). did i let my character and personality shine through?
ultimately, we've all gotta remember to trust our own dopeness. contrary to popular belief, interviews aren't just about qualifications on paper. who you are is equally as important as what (or who) you know. companies aren't just hiring based off of ability these days---they are also hiring based on your ability to mesh well with the rest of their existing team. if you don't allow your character and personality to shine through during the interview, they have no real way of knowing whether or not you'll mesh well with the culture of the company. and sometimes, you may not get another opportunity to show them your true self...so take advantage of this time during the interview.
tip: allow your personality to shine through while you are being interviewed. not so much like you're talking to your best friend, but enough so that you aren't perceived as a stiff who's incapable of laughing or being yourself. you have to find a happy medium that is both appropriate, yet relatable during the interview process. nobody wants to hire a robot. really.
6). did i ask thought provoking questions?
i used to hate this part of the interview process. i felt like i could never really come up with the "perfect question." however, that all changed for me when i finally reached the realization that there is no such thing as the perfect question. in my experiences, my best questions have resulted from me taking the time to go through the website and removing the pressure to feel like i have to be the perfect candidate. make it your business to ask compelling questions about their business...it shows that you are forward thinking and that you’re an active listener, too.
tip: come up with at least one thought provoking question for the end of your interview. i personally tend to gravitate towards two questions; one is also sufficient most times, though. to make it a little easier, make your question geared toward an aspect of the company you are specifically interested in. if you don't ask a question, that could be misinterpreted as either you weren't listening, or you don’t' have much to say-- both of which aren't the greatest misconceptions to fall victim to.
5). did i dress appropriately for the interview?
whether your interview is over the phone or in person, it's so important that you dress the part. if it's in person, it shows that you take the interview seriously and that you are committed to maintaining a high level of professionalism. however, if it's over the phone..i'd say you should still dress the part. how we dress plays into how we feel..which plays into how we speak and/or behave. it's kinda like how we feel better after we just left the barbershop (or beauty shop) ya know? the confidence is just a little higher than it is on a regular day. same sentiments here. at the same time, you want to make sure that how you are dressed is appropriate for the job you are applying to. what's acceptable in one field may be unacceptable in another; know the difference.
tip: check out the social media handles of the jobs you apply to (whenever applicable). take notice of how they are dressed as you try to get a feel for their culture. when in doubt, suit it out. it's better to be overdressed than underdressed, remember that. how you dress is especially important because your clothes speak for you before you even open your mouth. and, your clothes don't have to be designer for you to look presentable...so throw that misconception out of the window. if you've never tried thrifting...now may be a good time to do so.
4). did i send follow up correspondence after the interview was over?
sending a follow up email or letter is a nice touch at the conclusion of any interview. considering the fact that the interview process is all about standing out from the others, nice gestures such as this can be helpful to your cause. it doesn't have to be a long letter or email, either. just something nice and quick that indicates you were appreciative of their time, you look forward to hearing from them in the near future, etc.
tip: try sending correspondence of some sort within 48 hours of your interview. make sure it's grammatically correct, and is professionally written too. you'd hate to have a great interview tanked because you rushed on the correspondence you sent after the interview was over. sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies when we rush on things like that. even if i was denied the position, i'll match the correspondence that was sent to me. so, if they let me know via email, i'll respond via email thanking them for their time. sometimes, i'll even ask "what could i have done better?", or "what was the deciding factor in determining who would be hired?" it helps you to gain insight and build on their criticism.
3). did my social media platforms align with who i portrayed in the interview?
i once had a woman ask me (on a phone interview) what my instagram name was. she then said to me, "i'm trying to follow you but it says your page is private. can you accept my request?" something like this had never happened to me before, so i was floored to say the least. thankfully, there was nothing on there that was inappropriate or anything like that. but, it got me to thinking...they (recruiters) probably do things like this all the time. sure, they may not always ask you to your face what your social media handles are, but that doesn't mean they aren't looking at them, ya know?
tip: keep your social media accounts in order. regardless of if your page is private or not, these days, you never know who's going to see your page(s) because you have no way of knowing who knows who. and if you haven't already done so... try making your social media accounts have some sort of consistent tone to them. you facebook shouldn't be so different from your instagram that it doesn't appear that you are the same person, but that could just be a personal pet peeve of mine. yeah, each social media platform may be used for a different purpose, but a little consistency never hurt anyone....which brings me to something else, stop having all these different names for every account you own; that's so annoying ya'll. forreal.
2). did i speak confidently during my interview?
confidence is a major key *cues dj khaled*. in short, if you don't speak confidently to convey that you know what you are talking about, it shows to some employers that you don't believe in yourself. why would anyone want to hire someone who doesn't believe in themselves? even if you don't know the answer to something, there's a way of going about that that is both politically correct and professional. bottom line, say what you mean and mean what you say when you're being interviewed.
tip: practice having extended conversations with your family and friends if you feel so moved. avoid saying "uhh", "umm" or any variation of the two as best as you can. train yourself to actually answer the question that is being asked of you without rambling. in other words, speak with purpose.
1). did i assess why i wanted the job?
in my mind, if you can't articulate why you want the job, aside from needing the money or wanting to leave your current job, you won't really be able to "go hard" for that job because it's not necessarily about the "job" as it is about the "money" for you. the reason i made this one the last point is because the rest of the questions on this list are contingent upon your answer to this one. if you don't assess why you want the job, one may assume you also won't be able to articulate why you should get the job over someone who actually knows why they want the job and how they'd contribute to the culture of that company. if you don't know why you want the job, your attitude may reflect that; so you may not speak authoritatively, you might not go the extra mile and tweak your resume, etc. as the saying goes, if you aren't going to do it right...then don't do it at all. know why you want the job. their probably going to ask you that, anyway during the interview.