Every cloud… The positives you can take from unsuccessful interviews

Even the most impressive candidates won’t succeed in securing each and every role that they interview for. All of us, at some point in our lives, will have received a ‘thanks but no thanks’ email or phone call. It’s tough. No one likes the feelings associated with rejection, and being discounted for a role – especially one you may have had your heart set on – can be incredibly discouraging.

That being said, it’s only with the lessons learnt from unsuccessful interviews that we can take a refreshed approach to job hunting.
While some interviewers might be reluctant to do so, we’d recommend asking all of your interviewers for feedback as soon as possible. We understand that some of the comments might be hard to hear, however being defensive is possibly the worst way to react in this circumstance. Digest the feedback, talk about it with your recruiter, and once you’ve given the comments proper consideration, think about the ways in which you might be able to turn the negatives into positives for future interviews.


Below are some of the most common reasons we’ve heard from clients when candidates haven’t been successful:

1. “They didn’t seem to be particularly enthusiastic about the role or the business.”

This comment could be interpreted in a few ways. It could be that you haven’t completed your research and are unable to articulate the reasons why you want to work for them. It might also come down to general demeanour and body language. While we appreciate nerves also play a part, try to relax into meetings and be your friendliest self.

2. “They were late.”

While we will never advocate being late, we also understand that circumstances beyond your control can play a role in you’re not being able to be punctual all the time. It’s not so much the being late that causes problems; what matters is how you behave as a result. If a recruiter has organised the interview for you, ensure you contact the recruiter as soon as you’re aware you’re running late, so they can be in touch with the interviewer. If you’ve organised the interview directly, call the interviewer and let them know. It goes without saying that you should then be as apologetic as possible upon arrival.

3. “They didn’t have relevant experience to the job.”

This is a tricky one, because obviously the hiring manager has seen your CV, and still wants to meet you. What you’re likely to need to address in the interview then is the relevance of your previous experience to the job at hand. Before you go in to the meeting, think about each of the position description role requirements, and note down clear examples in your work experience to date that demonstrate those same skills and competencies.

4. “They just weren’t the right fit.”

Again, this is a tough one, as ‘fit’ often can’t properly be articulated or defined. What we do know though is that often, not being the right fit translates into the candidate being too nervous or not letting their personality shine through. Skills and experience are just as important as having the right attitude and getting on with your team. When interviewers meet you, they want to like you and they want to believe that you’ll enhance their business’s culture. The best way you can demonstrate this is to try and keep those nerves at bay and simply be yourself. If you’re still not the right fit, then maybe… you’re really just not the right fit.

Sometimes, it’s not meant to be. We understand that. But if you want that job, we firmly believe you can have it provided you’ve completed your research and prep. We offer some fantastic training and coaching opportunities. Get in touch to find out more.

Categories: Employers, Job Seekers, Interviews

Tags: Interviews, Job Seeker, Recruitment

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