7 reasons why you didn’t get the position

The job application process isn’t fun for anyone – especially the rejection part. Even highly experienced and qualified professionals have trouble understanding why they were overlooked. What did I do wrong? Why didn’t they want me? Before you spiral into uncertainty, here are a few reasons why you didn’t get the job.

1. You were under-qualified

Look closely at the job description and at your resume. Be honest with yourself about your professional experience and the demands of the job. If your resume looks a little light, it’s probable that they liked you but simply had to hire someone who had more experience.


2. You were overqualified

There is such a thing as being too qualified for a job. Even though having lots of experience is great, sometimes employers will turn down candidates who seem overly qualified. If you and the manager have comparable experience, you might be a threat to them.  Sometimes the company simply cannot offer a salary commensurate with experience. Maybe they simply didn’t think you would stick around at the company very long because of your experience level.


reasons why you didn't get the job


3. Lots of great candidates applied

Sometimes the job application process is a numbers game, and therefore one of the biggest reasons why you didn’t get the job. If 100 people applied for the job, you’re less likely to get it than the job where 20 people applied. It’s going to be even more competitive if all the candidates were highly qualified. The tougher the competition, the easier your resume will be overlooked.


4. You didn’t click with the manager

For whatever reason, you didn’t mesh with the manager during the interview. Perhaps your communication styles seemed different. Maybe they had some hesitations about how you would fit into the office culture. If they didn’t think you would fit in well with the office, perhaps it’s a good thing you didn’t get hired.


5. They chose an internal candidate or someone the manager already knew

Hiring the right people is essential for a company to be successful. Interviews and resumes don’t tell the whole story about an employee.  That’s why internal recommendations and hires carry a lot of weight. A manager may opt for a candidate they know and trust with less experience to avoid the risk of hiring an outsider.


reasons why you didn't get the job


6. The company went in a different direction

As an outsider of the company, when applying for a job you can never be sure what’s going on internally. Sometimes organizations go through restructuring during a hiring process, which puts the available job in flux. A company may decide they actually don’t want to hire for the position anymore. Other times they’re looking for a different skill set because the role is changing. Sometimes one of the reasons why you didn’t get the job is beyond your control.


7. You blew the interview

Unfortunately, there are a lot of instances where you can fail in an interview process. Showing up late, dressing unprofessionally, fumbling your words, or simply not seeming interested in the job can all lead to not getting hired. Practice makes perfect when it comes to interviewing. If you suspect you blew your last interview, make sure to prepare well in advance before the next opportunity comes along.


Now that you understand 7 potential reasons why you didn’t get the job, learn more about how to boost your resume with an international internship. 

Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/10/28/the-real-reason-you-didnt-get-that-job/#5b0b9756b755, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2017/07/07/3-reasons-you-didnt-get-the-job-but-were-oh-so-close/#2636605d3f1a, https://biginterview.com/blog/2016/04/job-interview-feedback.html



1. based on Scrabble – Now Hiring, by Amtec Staffing, CC-by-SA 2.0

2. based on Ready, by mr.stokey, CC-by-2.0

3. based on shake hands, by jmettraux, CC-by-2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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