Sometimes, even if you have the right experience and qualifications for a job, you still might not get offers despite landing the interview. Matching the job requirements can take you far, but they aren’t the only aspect of landing the job.
Assuming you’ve made appropriate changes to your resume, application materials, and social media profiles, it might be your interpersonal and interviewing skills preventing you from getting the offer. Do some self-scouting and consider if these reasons apply to you.
Your interview skills need work
Your resume gives employers a taste of what you’ve done and what you can do, but it’s up to you to reinforce that during your interview. You can have all of the qualifications in the world but won’t get the job if you aren’t persuasive. And don’t forget that your personality is just as important as your skills. Hiring managers are looking for good team fits that they’d enjoy working with.
We’ve previously covered some ways to stand out during your interview, but don’t skim on the basics, either! Keyede Erinfolami reminds us to practice active listening, intentional body language, storytelling, small talk, and researching the company beforehand. The more preparation you do, the more confident and interested you’ll appear.
Not every job you apply for will be your dream job. You’ll occasionally need to accept a job to build the skills to advance your career or to simply pay the bills, and the job market isn’t kind. But even if you really need the job, you don’t want to appear desperate. Just like in dating, desperation is a major turn-off for hiring managers.
“If you make it seem like hiring you is a big favor, the interviewer is likely to pass over you for someone who frames it as something that would benefit them and the company.” -Sara McCord
You might really need the job or you’re thrilled about the company, but try to downplay it a bit. Zippia’s Maddie Lloyd suggests talking about what you like about the company and including the ways you think you can help them. Your job during the interview is to show that you can provide value to the organization rather than just being a fan.
You don’t seem passionate
While it’s good to not appear desperate, don’t go so far in the other direction that you appear disinterested in the role. Looking detached won’t impress anyone, and the manager will look for someone that does appear interested.
“Employers can sense if excitement for a position isn’t quite there. Skills can be taught, but employers desire to see passion and enthusiasm when considering applicants.” –Indeed
Small things like showing up late, not making eye contact, and giving quick answers to questions may make you seem disinterested even if you are.
Ashley Stahl says to avoid getting to that point by finding things to be excited about when you’re researching the company. See if their mission statement meshes with your goals, find a project you’d be interested in, and come up with some enthusiastic questions. This will help pump you up for the interview as well as provide excellent talking points.
Unfortunately, even if you abide by the aforementioned tenets, you still might get passed over. You may feel okay about your interview and think your skills might make up for any interview gaps, but the truth is that if a hiring manager finds you to be boring, you likely won’t get the job.
The modern job search involves a ton of candidates, and if you aren’t standing out, you may be forgotten. The Muse’s Jeremy Schifeling says the ideal candidate is someone capable of doing the job and being someone people want to be around—“warm and competent.”
Try practicing your conversational skills with a friend and make an attempt to be genuine. If you can find a way to connect with the interviewer in an earnest way, you’ll stand out in their memory. Little connections can go a long way.
The skills to thrive in an interview aren’t necessarily the ones you need to do your dream job well, but you need to master these soft skills to get that job! Consider how you approach your interviews, take additional steps to practice, and adopt the right attitude and you’ll find better offers coming your way.