Employers list job requirements when they advertise open positions for a reason. They have determined that those skills are necessary for that particular job. If you’re applying for a job and getting rejected time after time that means you are not qualified for the job. You may feel like you’re raising your chances of landing a position by blindly applying to everything on your radar, but you’re actually wasting valuable time and energy. Recruiters only hire the person who is the best qualified applicant for the job.
For most jobs, hiring managers have a good selection of qualified candidates and aren’t interested in those who don’t have the qualifications. Here are reasons why you could be rejected for the job right away:
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a.) Lack of work experience
Most employers require a certain amount of experience when seeking applicants. That information should be clearly listed in the posting. If you’re close you might be considered but if you fall significantly short you won’t be
b.) Short on skills
If you don’t have the skills and qualifications the employer is seeking, think twice about submitting an application. Many job postings list the skill set required for the position, and if you don’t have at least most of them you won’t be considered.
c.) Short on educational requirements
In some cases, employers list educational requirements. You’ll need to meet those requirements in order to be chosen for an interview.
d.) Short on connections
For some jobs, especially sales, you’ll be expected to have a network of contacts and clients that you can tap. Be sure that you have the client base or connections you’ll need to be success on the job.
e.) The job or company isn’t a fit
Sometimes, the job or the company simply isn’t a match for what you want for your next job. It could be that you don’t have the job requirements or that you have a different concept of work than the company does.
It’s a common question without an easy answer—and that’s why we’re so happy that we could get five opinions from five real people on the possible reasons why.
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1. Make Sure You’re Prepared
The good news is that you’re getting interviews! There are many variables as to why you’re not moving forward. Are you asking for the job? Often job seekers feel that they shouldn’t do so, but hiring managers want to feel you really want the position. Passion a key attribute they’re looking for. Let’s assume all the candidates you’re up against are qualified. How do we differentiate ourselves? One way is to demonstrate your knowledge of the company, interviewer, and their challenges. Do your homework and weave this information into your answers. Link their challenges to your experience handling similar challenges. Connect the dots for them so they can grasp how easily you could transition into the role. Companies want problem solvers and you may be one, but are you conveying this on the interview? Engage the interviewer. Like any good conversationalist, you want to have a dialogue with the interviewer. And you want to keep them listening. Use stories to make your point. People remember stories. Your goal is to be memorable. Prepare more. In conducting mock interviews, I find most job seekers didn’t do enough prep. Successful interviewing is all about the prep. Good luck.
Theresa Merrill, Career Coach
2. Seek Outside Feedback
It’s no surprise that practice makes perfect, but what’s important is how you’re practicing. In the final stages of the hiring process, there are many intangibles that come into play, from direct connections to the hiring manager to overall knowledge of the position to appearing to be the best fit for the role.
At this point I think it is essential that you seek the help of a friend, industry professional, or coach to identify and combat any weaknesses in the interview. If you go about practicing on your own, it’s possible to make the same or similar mistakes. The goal is for your next interview to be your last interview.
Ryan Kahn, Career Coach
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3. Address Any Concerns
When the interview’s over, ask the interviewer if they have any concerns after speaking with you, or any area they’re still unsure about. Mention that since you’re there, you’d like the opportunity to address anything on the spot.
That way, there are no lingering hesitations in their mind. It’s bold but it’s worked in my experience. Ask the recruiters who reject you for feedback, more often than not, they’ll provide some sort of constructive criticism that will help you improve.
Preet Mehta, Account Executive
4. Ask Your Interviewer for Feedback
Handling rejection with no clear feedback as to why you didn’t get the job is tough, but take each rejection as an opportunity to learn as best you can. Asking the recruiter and hiring manager to give you some insight into what you could improve upon either in your skills or interview style is a great way to learn.
Another effective way to gain insight is to use tools like LinkedIn to look at the profile of the person the company hires into the position. Compare their profile to yours to ensure you have comparable skills and experiences. If you do, you know you’re pursuing the right positions for your level of experience and skills.
Toni Thompson, VP of People and Talent
5. Make Sure It’s the Right Job
I feel your pain! I’ve been on dozens of interviews with no job offers and became self-employed and received no responses from the 50 cold emails I sent to potential clients for contract work. This is what I’ve learned and one (or all) of the below could apply to you as well.
1. Wrong job or field of work. Maybe you are looking in the wrong place and going after the wrong jobs. I was rejected for a lot of jobs because I kept going after what I really didn’t like and that was working in the healthcare field (I now work in the tech space).
2. I learned how to present myself in interviews and updated my resume. Your resume is getting you interviews so maybe it’s your communication or the way you interview.
3. It’s not the right time or the right company. Those jobs are probably not where you want to be. Some of the jobs I was rejected from turned out to be not-so-great companies.
4. Change your mindset. Write down what you prefer in an employer, team, and work environment and how you want to feel. Be specific. Now focus on what you have to offer and how you can help that company, team or manager.
This helped me because it gave me more confidence.
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We hope these answers give you a little more insight into the interview process and how you could improve before the next one.
Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Why do I keep getting rejected from jobs I interview for?
A. Evaluate what’s going on. It’s one thing to get rejected once or twice—maybe an internal candidate was also interviewing and the company needed to interview you for data purposes, for example. But if you’ve been on several interviews and you keep getting rejected, something is off.
Is your skill set a match? Does your education and experience add up to what’s called for in the job description? If so, since you probably succeeded past the initial phone screen, something may not be quite right about your communication skills, your executive presence, your passion and ability to convince the employer that you not only really want this job, but you’re a total asset to their organization.
How did you do in the interview itself? If you have a good rapport with the employer, you can ask for feedback. Granted, they may not give it to you because it could open a legal can of worms (they should then technically give feedback to everyone they interview to avoid discrimination). Videotape yourself during a mock interview and hire a career coach, or pursue services at your alma mater’s career center (they’re often free). In short, find out what’s going sour during the interview and then tweak as necessary.
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