Posted by: davidsandusky | September 10, 2008

Why You Don’t Get the Interview or Job

Ever wish you could get feedback as to why you did not get the job or even the interview?  I know you do because it comes up often.  Aside of personal brand or career strategy overhaul with some investment, the typical reasons are:

  • If you are on the market, you are less desirable.  Sorry, it is true.  Better network and ad value when you don’t need a j-o-b.  Not just because of who you know, but because when they know you, they know things happen and you can get picked up pretty quickly out there. 
  • No real accomplishments.  Before you say, yea, but I have great accomplishments!!!  Well, start tooting your horn on paper and in interviews.
  • Your Resume and interview skills resemble a job description…read the previous bullet again.
  • Too many jobs and/or gaps.  This includes promotions.  Have you ever moved up the ladder so fast you, in your own mind, get nervous about belonging?  Read last TWO points again.
  • Inconsistent.  No focused personal brand.
  • Not prepared.  You know when you have not spent time researching company, industry trends, people interviewing you – Do mock interviews with someone.  Be prepared and care.
  • No questions.  Nothing annoys me more than a candidate who does not conduct their own due diligence.  Research and ask great questions.  You can even run the interview as a candidate!!!
  • Lack confidence.  Self awareness and preparedness builds confidence – see all above.
  • Lack ambition – passion – purpose.  I can tell if you are looking for a j-o-b and I am not inspired.  Find it and go GET IT!    
  • Follow-up regardless.  If you want the opportunity, ask for it or make a proposal and stop playing games.


  1. David,
    Great points. I emphasize to customers on a daily basis the importance of a focused and well thought out marketing plan to approach the job market. I’d also add to your list: 1) Stupid Disqualifiers (such as not having accurate contact information, a bawdy phone message or ringback tones, or misspelings and typos) and 2) Not making the hiring manager’s job easier for them (such as spelling out how to match your skills/qualifications to the requirements posted in a job description, or burying pertinent information in a resume so that the hiring manager never finds it).

    I enjoy reading the blog–keep it up!

  2. Thanks for your valuable additions, Hal. Missing some of the easy stuff can be most damaging, right? It is a good idea to have others proof your resume for mistakes the author may overlook.

    Your point 2 on making hiring manager’s job easier is awesome. I am a big fan of cover letters for this reason. One size fit all templates are easily overlooked where as matching requirements with real action gets a real look.

    Thanks for stopping by and hope to hear from you again!

  3. Great post. I think you hit it right on with the number one. If you are on the market, you automatically are looked at like you must not be THAT valuable. Also, you should show confidence but do not be cocky. Some people take the show confidence advice way too far.

  4. CR: “Some people take the show confidence advice way too far”
    The key word here is ‘show’. BE confident and humble. To me a mark of great confidence is the ability to discuss mistakes and failures. Besides, the best way to ‘show’ confidence is through
    the confidence others have in you.

    What say you?

  5. I can understand why these points must be followed for a really good job but if your just going for a really simple job (like night work, cleaning etc) it should be alot easyer not like your trying to woo the boss like you would a girl on a date. My point is if you have the skills, you have solid references & you turn up for the interview then that should get you the job period, im sick of this “I want to find the right compatibility in a employee” crap.

    • Aaron – I understand your frustration. A good employer knows that all employees represent the brand and should hire, train accordingly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: