You crafted a great cover letter, made sure everything in your resume was in order, and landed an interview. Everything seemed to go smoothyl during the interview and you came out feeling confident. You may have even decided to put your job search effort on hold because you were pretty sure that you would get this job. A week later, you got an email from your prospective employer telling you that they had chosen another candidate for the position, but they would put your resume on file.
What went wrong?! Well, it could be any one of a number of reasons. Here are some of the top ones it could have been.
1) The job description changed
Sometimes, after conducting several interviews, the company may decide to revise the job description due to various reasons, including budget issues or changes within the company. As a result, they may alter the required skills for the position and in some case, may even scrap the job vacancy all together.
2) You lost to a current employee
You were competing for the position with someone who already worked there and the company ended up making an “internal hire”. This is actually fairly common. Sometimes companies allow existing employees to apply for job postings, and since these candidates are already working in the company, it is low-risk for the company to hire them.
3) You weren’t prepared for the interview
You arrived at the interview a couple minutes late, which to you was no big deal. You showed up at the interview in jeans and sneakers, because that was the only clean outfit you had. You woke up late and didn’t have time for breakfast. You grabbed a bagel and a cup of coffee on the way and ate your breakfast during the interview (after all the interviewer told you that it was going to be a casual interview). These things might seem minor to you, but they are deadly mistakes that would cost you a job.
4) The interviewer didn’t think you were interested in the job
You may think that everything went smoothly at the interview, but it is possible that the interviewer somehow felt that you were not genuinely interested in the job. This is often the result of not asking the right questions (or any question at all) during the interview or a lack of enthusiasm. To show that you are serious about that particular job it is essential that you demonstrate what you could bring to the company and how much you would appreciate the opportunity.
5) Your references weren’t prepared
Employers often ask their candidates to provide references during the hiring process. Your references, if caught unprepared, have the potential to can cost you the job opportunity. If you haven’t informed your references that you have included them and your prospective employer gets in contact, it might have catch them by surprise, which could reflect badly on you. When listing someone as a reference, be sure to let them know and refresh their memory about any achievements you would like them to mention.