It’s not them-It’s you

We have all been on an interview and not gotten the job.  You may have decided it wasn’t the right fit and passed on the opportunity or there may have been other candidates that they decided to move forward with.  Especially when there are multiple people with similar backgrounds the little things in an interview can make a big difference.  Here are some of the top reasons candidates don’t make the cut

Poor attitude. 

Interviews are one of the only times we get to brag about ourselves but don’t go overboard. Practice answering questions that highlight your achievements while still being humble.


I can’t tell you how many times someone didn’t get the job because they were underdressed or they didn’t shave. Many candidates do not consider their appearance as much as they should. Don’t be that person. If you’re asking yourself if you might look unprofessional or not put together, review the appearance checklist.

Lack of research.

It’s obvious when you haven’t researched the job, company or industry prior to the interview. At the very least, do a Google search and check out the company’s website. Then talk with friends, peers and other professionals about the opportunity before each meeting. Asking good questions during an interview show that you are genuinely interested and did your homework.

Not having questions to ask. 

Asking questions shows your interest in the company and the position. Asking great questions differentiates you from the other people they are interviewing. As you prepare for your interview, write out a list of questions that you have for the interviewer.  This way you won’t forget any of those important questions you have.

Not readily knowing the answers to interviewers’ questions. 

Anticipate and rehearse answers to tough questions about your background, such as recent job changes or employment gaps. Practicing with someone else before the interview will help you get confidence answering difficult questions. If you are working with a recruiter, they are a great resource for going over some of the tougher questions you might run in to.

Too much humility. 

Being conditioned not to brag, people are sometimes reluctant to describe their accomplishments in detail. Explaining how you reach difficult or impressive goals helps portray you as a committed, responsive team player.  If you have a hard time referring to your accomplishments, ask a friend or peer to help you make a list of your relevant achievements.  This is one of the only times it is socially acceptable to brag. Take advantage of it.

Not relating skills to employers’ needs. 

A list of sterling accomplishments means little if you can’t relate them to how they benefit the company you are interviewing with. Reiterate your skills and convince the employer that you can “do the same for them”. Show them the value you bring to the role.

Handling salary issues ineptly. 

Don’t ask about salary and benefit packages too early. It’s best to stay away from money in the first interview. Learn more about the money question here.

Lack of career direction. 

Job hunters who aren’t clear about their career goals often can’t spot or commit to appropriate opportunities. Not knowing what you want wastes everybody’s time.  Do you have a 5 year career plan?  What do you need in your next position to help you accomplish that plan? You don’t want to appear to be adrift with no plan either.

Job shopping. 

Some people, particularly those in certain high-tech, sales and marketing fields, will admit they’re just “shopping” for opportunities and have little intention of changing jobs. This wastes time and leaves a bad impression with managers they may need to contact in the future. You don’t want to appear desperate, but convey your interest in the role.

Preparation is key to success while interviewing.  Take the time to prepare on the front end to increase your chances of moving forward in the process.