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5 Reasons You Didn't Get the Job

Category: Applying For Jobs


With the unemployment rate still very high in the Nigeria, you may find
yourself in the position of applying, interviewing, and still remaining
jobless. You may have thought it was a sure thing; you may have left the office
laughing and joking with the interviewer. So why was someone else hired and you
weren't? These five reasons may shed some light on the situation.

1. You're overqualified

It's not just a cliche--you really can be overqualified for a position. It's
especially true in a tight economy. A candidate that is more qualified would
require a higher salary and benefits package for a competitive offer and for
long-term retention. If someone else interviewed who fit the qualifications but
didn't overly exceed them, it might be in the company's best interest to hire
him and save the cash.

2. You don't know the right people

You may be great on paper, and you may interview really well--but if another
candidate is the employer's tennis instructor's daughter, you might be out of
luck. This isn't a reason you can't really avoid. Your best bet is to make sure
you follow up with a genuinely appreciative phone call or note. Leaving a
positive impression will keep you in that employer's mind if other
opportunities arise.

3. You hit it off, just not professionally

Having a good rapport with your interviewer is great--however, if you bonded
over your love of tequila shooters, you may have made a friend and not an
employer. In a less extreme example, you may be very easy to interview but
still not right for the position. While being friendly and personable are two
very important traits, they won't guarantee you the job.

4. You came with conditions

You may be a good fit for the job, but if you come with strings attached, you
may not get hired. If you can't see yourself sticking to the position
long-term, or if prior commitments mean you'll have to work odd hours, it could
take you out of the running. If possible, come in condition-free or at least
willing to compromise. However, if you have a restriction that is
non-negotiable, it's only fair to both of you to bring it up in the
interview--there's no sense in wasting time if the situation won't work out.

5. An unpredictable reason

Often, the reason is one you may never know. You may get an unrelated job simply
for having a shared interest with the interviewer, or perhaps because you have
a skill the employer hopes to learn from you. It may be as simple as two or
more candidates being equally qualified, and you lost the coin toss.

It may also be a simple reason like an off-the-cuff comment
you probably shouldn't have made, or a more blatant reason like answering your
cell phone during an interview (never a good move, no matter how friendly you
are with the interviewer!). Be honest with yourself about the interview
process--if you can think of a slip up, learn from your mistake and keep it in
mind for your next interview.

The bottom line:

Whatever the reason, do your best to learn from it and apply it to your next
interview. Don't be afraid to politely follow up and inquire about why you
weren't right for the position--just make sure you don't come off as sulking.
Be professional, and thank them for helping you to understand what you did
wrong, or where you can improve. After all, if you made it to the interview stage
once, you're likely to do it again.