Jobhunting, when unsuccessful, can take a toll on your self esteem. You send in your resume, cover letter and actually get called in for an interview, which is a feat in and of itself. You are on time for the interview, you answered the interview questions without any major blunders and you feel pretty decent that you'll get a callback. For some of you, you may have even made it to the second round or final round of interviews, only to be told that they went with another candidate.
If this happens enough, you start to wonder why you're not getting the job after you've interviewed. Some blame it on outside factors, such as the economy, but the truth is someone is getting hired, it's just not you.
Here are some reasons why:
You don't really want the job
If you're going through the motions because you just need a job, your lack of enthusiasm is likely showing. Employers can tell the candidates who just want a check versus those that want to make a positive contribution to the company.
You're not selling yourself
It's your job to get the employer to see how having you will be an asset for them. Make a convincing connection between your skills and talents and the requirements of the job. Give examples of how you've been successful in similar positions. However, there is a fine line between being confident and cocky. Talk about your accomplishments with humility and give credit to those that aided in your success. You may think it takes the spotlight off of you, but it shows you are a team player who won't hog credit when the team wins.
You didn't research the company
Asking basic questions about the company that you would've known if you researched, is a red flag for an employer. Do your homework on the company and come armed with thoughtful questions and insights.
You have a sense of entitlement
This goes back to the cocky versus confident point. No one wants to work with someone who comes in with a list of demands regarding vacation, pay and benefits. There is also a time to have the salary/benefits discussion and it shouldn't be the very first question you ask. You should of course know your worth, but how you present that worth is key.
You're not likable
I hate to break it to you, but interviews are often a personality contest. You got the interview based on your resume and they feel you can do the job. Now they want to know whether they will like working with you and how well you will mesh with the company culture.
You bad mouthed previous employer
Interviewees make the mistake that if they make their previous employer sound horrible then it will help their chances. Nothing could be further from the truth. Complaining about past bosses, coworkers, companies is a sure fire way to make you look bad. It makes the employer think about what you may say about them if you were to leave. It also shows you lack tact when discussing negative situations.
You dressed inappropriately
With all of the articles and TV segments dedicated to appropriate interview attire, I'm still baffled to see so many people come into the interview dressed casually. It is an instant bad impression that's hard to overcome, especially if you don't dazzle the interviewer with your personality and competence.
Now that you know what you may have done wrong, you're in the best position to be able to fix it and put your best foot forward in your next interview.