#1 Reason You Get Interviews But Not Offers


Why is it that sometimes the candidates who are clearly more qualified and have more relevant experience often get interviews, but not jobs? Or, what goes wrong when you make it to the top two and then lose the offer to the other candidate? It’s within this place that we often hear candidates talking about age, race, gender, or any other type of discrimination.

Related: Top 5 Proactive Job Interview Strategies

As much as we all like to spend most of our energy concentrating on how we will prove we have the most relevant work experience and qualifications, it’s a rare day when hiring managers will choose one candidate over another simply based upon one candidate being more qualified to do the job than the other. In fact, less qualified candidates often get the job offer, leaving the more qualified ones feeling relatively perplexed and distressed.

I am not going to say that no discrimination takes place because it does – as illegal as it is. But that’s not what is going on in most of these cases.

To explain this more clearly, please follow along with this scenario.

Let’s say you are married and are planning a trip of a lifetime – just you and your spouse. If there is a place in the world you really want to go but you fear you may never get the chance, that’s exactly where you are going. You plan the trip a year in advance and you are staying there for three weeks. Imagine yourself talking about this trip with your friends and family.

As you share the details, picture the excitement that you will have in the tone of your voice (or that will pour out in exclamation marks as you write) and the passion that would exude out of every energy channel in your body. You likely end these conversations with, “I can’t wait!!!”

Now imagine that three months before you leave on your trip, your spouse tells you that he or she wants to separate. This is very unexpected and devastating. However, you realize there is a chance you two could work it out, so you aren’t canceling the trip – yet. Although if you can’t work things out, the trip is off.

You decide that outside of 2-3 very close friends, you are going to keep this under your hat and not talk about any of it. You want to work on things and don’t need the world to know.

In the upcoming days and weeks, many people are asking you about your trip. Of course, you doubt it is still on, but you aren’t saying anything so you just play along in hopes that everything works out.

Just last week, you were talking about and saying things like, “Oh yeah! And we are staying three nights in this awesome hotel then going here and staying at this cool place, then we are going to be here where there is a pool off our balcony! I can’t wait!”

What does it sound like now?

Probably something like “Ahh… yea… it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s coming up soon… really looking forward to it…”

Even though you didn’t tell that person that you may not even be going, he or she may now become suspicious that something is up just based on you expressing yourself with much less emotion.

#1 Reason You Get Interviews But Not Offers

And that should help you understand why a person who may be less qualified than you gets a job you don’t get. It’s all in the presentation. Oftentimes, you say all the right things but if your presentation is flat, it will fall on its face. If you don’t really want the job or you aren’t excited about it, it shows even if you say, “I want to work here more than any other company.”

Can The Hiring Managers ‘Feel’ Your Words?

Enthusiasm, presence, and passion – these qualities excite hiring mangers and they will always tip the scale in someone else’s favor if you don’t show up with them in your interview. When you are expressing  those qualities, people can’t help but love you and be engrossed in everything you say.

Most people know these qualities are important and say they have them, but if you don’t really feel excited and are putting on a show, it won’t come off as authentic – especially when compared to someone else who authentically does have them.

This is especially important to remember when you consider that many hiring managers conduct back to back (or close together) interviews. I cannot express in words how often candidates get tossed out of the candidate pool simply by deficiencies in their overall presentation that only become apparent when running multiple interviews back to back or close together.

There have been many times I have thought a candidate interviewed well and was a good fit for a job – but only up until the next interview where that candidate’s presence blew me away making the previous candidate appear flat.

The truth is, if you don’t come off with a positive attitude exuding with those three qualities, hiring managers don’t even tend to think you have a neutral attitude. They tend to err on the side of caution and assume you might actually have a negative and bad attitude. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude. Hiring managers will almost always say they would rather train hard skills than try to train an attitude.

People can feel other people’s true passion and excitement and you simply can’t compare to someone who walks in with a ton of passion and excitement if you do not – even if you have more skills and qualifications than that person has.

Be conscious of how you think as you prepare for your job interview (and make sure you really do want to work for the company!) Before your interview, take about 10 minutes to sit quietly and don’t think at all with your head about what you will say or not say.

To help chase your thoughts away, take six slow deep breaths and only concentrate on your breath going in and out. Then, imagine yourself working at this company and experiencing all the good things you think you will experience there. Let yourself truly feel the excitement you would have if you got the job. Visualize it, feel it, and get immersed in it.

Now that you have done this, when you go to your interview and are waiting to be taken in, take some deep breaths and mentally put yourself back in those thoughts and in that place. Focus on staying there and when you get in your interview just start speaking from your heart. There is no excitement, enthusiasm, nor passion that can come out of your head – it all comes from your heart. If hiring managers can feel that energy coming from you (not just hear words) it will give you a huge edge in winning the job offer.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

Why Your Experience And Education Won’t Get You Hired
5 Attitudes To Get You Ahead In The Workplace
10 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting The Job Offer

Jessica Simko | Professional Career Coach and Consultant

About the author

Jessica Simko is a personal/career branding strategist, job search expert, and senior level human resources professional with over 15 years of experience in recruiting, hiring, staffing, and career management. Please feel free to download her FREE report on “The Job Interview Game.”


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jessica Simko

Jessica Simko is a senior-level HR Consultant and job search/career strategist. Please feel free to download her FREE report on "The Job Interview Game."


  1. IMO, interviews are anything but predictable. You could have the most glowing personality and solid credentials, and depending where you are in the process, you may or may not get the job. With so many candidates out there, employers seem to be holding out for that “perfect candidate” a lot longer. I’ve also been on interviews where the interviewee is scoping potential talent rather than filling a real position. Tough situation for the long term unemployed or older workers…

  2. These days it seems you are required to be put on a show. There are so many applicants competing that employers are now wanting to be entertained. I guess those of us who are enthusiastic but don’t have pizzazz will not be hired. As far as discrimination on the basis of weight goes, it certainly does exist. This is especially true for women. Unfortunately, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against overweight people.It has become so normal to do this that countless articles on job hunting tell applicants to lose weight. When I was on Welfare, overweight recipients were told to lose weight because we had to do everything we could to become employable or we could lose our benefits.

  3. Fair points. It’s true that every company has a “culture” and it’s all about how you would fit into “it”. Example: You might be brilliant, but if you’re a stuffy banker personality interviewing at a really laid back company you probably won’t get the job even if you’re the smartest man/woman in the room…

    • Anon (worked at Boeing)

      Have to agree with you on this one. I saw it over and over again while working right next door to HR. It’s all about personal interests and which candidate fits best with a person or group’s belief system/values. People don’t understand this, and it certainly will NEVER be told to them because it would be totally discriminatory. Read between the lines.

      • Anon (different anon)

        If it’s about belief system/values, then could it be argued that it’s about the company’s religion? Seems like a discrimination lawsuit. It probably doesn’t work that way, though. “Oh, sorry, you weren’t experienced enough in our company’s religion. So, we chose you over another candidate who shares our belief system/values.”

        • Anon:
          Not so much religion as culture. Every company has one and it’s all about how you would fit into their culture. Example: You might be brilliant, but if you’re a stuffy banker personality interviewing at a really laid back company you probably won’t get the job even if you’re the smartest man/woman in the room…

  4. Most people I talk to agrees that it’s difficult to find a job in your 50s and yet I’m getting feedback from some people who are telling me it’s MY fault or I must be doing something wrong.

    I recently went for an interview for an Entry Level position as a permanent floater where I would be sorting & delivering mail to 3 floors, replacing printer cartridges, fixing photocopiers & printer jams, data entry, reception relief and cleaning up after boardroom luncheons. Each job could be one day or a few weeks.

    When I inquired about salary, she told me the salary for a recent college graduate. If I had a kid, he/she would be a recent college graduate!

    My skills & experience are well above this type of work and I don’t have the physical abilities to do a job that is for someone less than half my age.

  5. I disagree with the statement that discrimination is not going on in most cases. It goes on in almost every case – from the time I walk in the door and they realize that I am black when they thought I was white or when they see I am 50 when they were expecting someone 20 years younger.

    • My mom (whos black) Interviewed at the Adams Mark Hotel in St. Louis in 1986 & they told her “they have hired enough of her kind”. Now tell me that’s NOT racism, gender discrimination, etc. Pretty much ALL of that hotels guests were white. Finally the building itself outlived its useful lifespan & Adams Mark folded up into history!

      Hiring mgrs. will sometimes say derogatory things if they absolutely feel u don’t know any better or cant afford a lawsuit,

  6. I’ve interviewed for several agency posted positions but have not gotten the job. Why? I believe it’s because the recruiters are young women 25-30 who seem frightened by my age (50+) and experience (25 yrs.) and have literally RUN from the room after the interview. When I ask a question as they are running, the poor girls look like a deer caught in a headlight.

  7. I went back to school for accounting. I am currently 34. I’ve been interviewing like mad but can’t receive an offer. I get in the door because the accountants like me, but the HR people are vetting me. I sometimes get the feeling that the HR people have some sort of power complex. It’s like they don’t want to give me a shot because accounting was not my first choice 15 years ago. Maybe from an HR perspective it is better to hire people that will quit. This keeps long term employment costs down, and insures they have a job. I went back to school and will be graduating with a Masters degree and I will not be able to find work. Basically, its all a scam. You get jobs based on who you know and timing. Everything else is a smokescreen.

    • HR people don’t really know how to hire if they are separated from the people who you will actually work with, and if HR people do not let the department you will be working in actually look at the resumes or let those people look at the resumes. So HR people are just paper shufflers if that happens and are so disconnected from the real world if this happens to be the case.

  8. Well it is unfortunate, but it is very true. Remember when a high school diploma was enough? Now even a degree isn’t, nor are your qualifications anymore. Just think, if there are several qualified people, how should the hiring manager make his decision? We are in a different day and time. The interview process is all a game anyway. Know the rules and how to play it, and you will win some. This is common sense to me to hire someone who is genuinely enthusiastic and trainable vs. someone who thinks he knows it all but may be bored with the job.

  9. The interviewing process is a joke. A job hopper will have more experience and do better in the interview. Don’t you think there is a reason they job hop? One thing I noticed is hiring managers also tend to job hop.

  10. During my last interview, before I left I really layed it all out there. I have been looking for a job in my field for over 4 years now. I graduated from grad school in 2009. The last interview I went on was for a job I really want. Sadly I have had recent experiences where the interviewer warned me that if I was just applying for the job to get my foot in the door, that it was useless because I would never have their job. It’s been like this since I graduated but I’ve never heard it put so bluntly.

    So at the end of the last interview I had, I told them, “Before I go I really want to re-iterate and emphasize that I want this job. I am not applying here just so I can get my foot in the door. I wan this job. I can do this job.” I told them looking for work had been hard because people look at my degree and think I am going to leave in a year or two, but I don’t want that. I want a long term position. I don’t want to have to look for another job in a couple of years. They could see from my resume that most of my jobs had lasted about 2 years. I explained that none of this was by choice and (by the way I would be an internal hire), I had actually worked for their company at a job that I am completely over qualified for for almost a year and half. I saw one of my interviewers glance at my resume. I have a feeling this was a good thing to point out because the shorter the time I had spent at the company, the more likely they would have believed that I took a lesser job so I could get my foot in the door. That simply wasn’t the case at all. I applied for and took my current position because I was burnt out looking for a job in my field, I needed a job, this place was right down the street from my house, and it sounded fun. It was only after I arrived that I realized there was a potential to be something more.

    I think they understood but I know they have 4 more candidates to go through. But if it’s passion they needed to see, then I believe I brought it. I’ll let you all know if it payed off. :)

  11. I bet you these enthusiastic types are more likely to accept a smaller salary too (probably the real reason managers like them so much). How enthusiastic will they be when they learn everyone else in the office is making more than them?

  12. Corporate America and hiring managers are full of BS. What does enthusiasm, presence, and passion have to do with the job requirements? I am a professional who is very calm and relaxed and I am very well educated with an MBA, so why does a hiring manager expect me to be passionate on a job interview. I came to the interview to let tell them about myself and what I have done. So now the requirements for a job are not based on education and experience but passion and enthusiasm. Lord help us! It is a shame, no wonder I keep seeing the same ads being posted after a year or two by most companies. It is because they hired someone who was bubbly and passionate and could not do the job. I am really hoping to become President of my company one day so I dont have to work for corporate America anymore. Too much BS from hiring managers, recruiters, bosses, coworkers and senior management.

    • Let me know when you do own your own internationally known company cause i will surely come work with you. I understand and feel the same way as you.

    • Agree with you – 100%.
      I am sick & tired of going to interviews for the past 1 year without any luck (also have an MBA degree & 15+ years experience). Recently, I went for an interview for Product Manager & they asked me how I can improve the process & explained to them about product management. I have lot of experience in new product management …..they asked me how I can help them etc…bring in new processes etc. When I asked them why I did not land a job, they said I did not have experience in consumer research even though they never asked me about my experience —- have experience in that area also!! They never asked me about my experience in that area but decided I do not have good experience in that area!

      As you mentioned, it is about whether they like you or not! As someone else mentioned, they are looking for somebody with the right profile (unfortunately, you cannot prove anything legally)……..not right knowledge especially in marketing!!

    • It’s pretty simple actually. There are thousands of “qualified” individuals just like you. The passion, motivation, and attitude are what discriminate someone who can simply “do” the job and someone who can do the job and bring something extra to your team. A versatile, qualified, motivated and passionate individual makes your team better, stronger, faster and more effective. That’s what differentiates winning teams from ones that simply participate. I’m kind of sad that you chose the wrong career path, I’m sure you are a very good person though.

      • Excuse me? Passion is such a cliche word being tossed around for the last several years. How about intelligence, experience and great skills? Then passion comes naturally, we don’t have to “exude passion all the time because it is not normal. Skills, education and experience plus being able to do a good job, Some people have “passion” but are stupid, or even bipolar. Some people do not “look” like they have “passion” but if they can do the job well consistently they will not get burnt out like a “passionate” person.

    • You nailed it! I just went on 6 interviews for a position, made it to the final two and then lost out on the opportunity even though I had the experience with corporate clients and a wide range of knowledge in the products (which I know the other candidate did not because I know them personally). The feedback I received from the hiring manager was that I wasn’t as conversational and didn’t appear as confident as the other candidate. Why on earth aren’t they looking at what matters?! I have an excellent reputation with clients and an in-depth knowledge of the products- I just don’t understand why the decision would be based on basically being an extravert…Different types of people can excel in one position.

  13. I understand where the author is going with this article. You have to be “humble” and non-assuming, then you get the job without boastful and arrogant about your work history or qualities. However you don’t know always know what the politicial situation is in an office when they are hiring to fill a position. It could be a pot hole where they’re just collecting qualified outside candidates to internally promote a person who has been working there for years and they just need to collecting names to go through the hiring process rigamaroll and make you feel wanted. You’re screwed before you even enter the door in these cases. More importantly you need to be luck and in the right place at the right time, know the right people who will actively seek you out and want you. In other words, job chooses you, you don’t get to chose the job. Its always luck the wins out before being qualified or over qualified or whatever b.s. excuse the hiring manager wants to feed you about not getting the job.

  14. I just want to add….that in the interviews I am energetic and always excitied about the position..I love this field…but I’m thinking of changing careers all together, however I feel stuck because I already have 2 Master degrees (MA & MSW)

    And I always tone down my New York “ness” as I was told ppl in TX don’t care for NY

    Oh well…over educated & unemployed

    Take Care Everyone

  15. I just want to say…I have the education 2 Masters degrees and the experience (almost 10yrs) in my field in various positions within the field….and I’m not what you would consider “old” 30yrs. I’ve applied to every job possible in a medium-small town in Texas (I’m from NYC). My husband is in the military and stationed in TX. Only got 2 interviews from the same company (2 different positions) both that I was Very Very qualified for only to be turned down. I truly believe I am experiencing discrimination, I’ve received numerous offers in NYC, but don’t want to leave my husband. This country has not evolved like we “say” it has in the matters of race and discrimination….fyi I’m in the social work/ social services field…..and even within this field of “helping others” utilizes bias practices.

    • I am in my late 40s looking for any position in marketing … is much tougher!! At least, you are in your 30s ….you have better chance! Most of the so called brand managers do nothing but palm of everything to the market research companies!! Some of the interviewers are threatened by someone who have done it in other companies!

  16. Isn’t it interesting how my “factual” comments about what goes on behind the scenes in regards to hiring, isn’t posted. This site needs to adhere to unbiased journalism. If job-seekers are made aware of the facts. they may have a better chance at obtaining employment. I will no longer be visiting this site, which obviously isn’t interested in truth and facts.

    • I retract my above comment. I see my comments have (finally) been posted. To every job-seeker 40 and over, don’t give up. Keep faith that one will come along eventually. That one that is interested in your experience, qualifications and personal attributes. That one who won’t discount you due to age or too much experience. That one who will choose you, even if they don’t get a tax-credit for hiring you. Hang onto your passion . . . let it triumph!
      Good Luck

      • Has anyone else experienced possible weight or size discrimination along with age discrimination? I am a 59 year old female who, ahem, lets just say is not a size 2, but not obese either. I am in a field where appearance matters and I always try to look my best at interviews, but Adele isn’t able to morph into someone with Jessica Alba’s body. Nor should she because she is not a model or actress, she’s a singer. But my point is we know that stuff is not legal but it still happens.

        • I’m 54, 5 feet, and an average size but I think the combination of my size and age are what are holding me back. Employers want to hire women who are under 35, 5′ 7″, thin and fashionable. In other words, they only want ONE type of person and you and I don’t fit into that picture.

    • Unimaginable: I hope you got a position. I read all of your comments and am wondering…..I am in the same boat as you, but will not give up…I feel I am coming very close, and fine tuning my interview skills. All of you comments helped me to feel I am not the only one out there that is experiencing what you are experiencing. So do tell did you get one of the positions you interviewed for. I certainly hope so and am wishing you the best!

  17. A good employer will look beyond their ‘emotional’ instincts and hire somone who deserves it. It shows a lack of true empathy and understanding from the hirer for the other person when they hire people this way.. That person may be ‘up’ and bubbly now but could we as far down as they are up next week. Thats why sociopaths and others can so easy move up the rungs of our society because they can so easily fool people. In my company I always look deeper.. its unfortunate its become like this nowdays.

  18. I can relate. I can get the interviews but not the job. I get nervous in the interview and it shows. I need to be more confident because all my peers can get a job except me. I have a MBA and it does not help me at all.

  19. Great article. It’s true – so much of the way has nothing to do with our expertise or what we actually say. It’s the way we come across to our audience. Decker Communications teaches you how to win in this – or any – situation.

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  20. I’m not getting interviews for jobs that I am qualified for! I’ve applied for 19 positions since January and interviewed for only 1. The reason I didn’t get the job was because the ad didn’t include KEY details of the job; details I’m not qualified to do.

  21. If “Enthusiasm, presence, and passion” are the main factors in getting jobs, then that explains why so many American businesses are in trouble. This story gives the impression that competence and experience are no longer important to businesses. If you hire based on “passion,” then you won’t get someone who is best at reasoning, but maybe companies are more interested in cheerleaders than effective employees.

    • I didn’t get that at all from this article. What I got was all things being just about equal, who is a hiring manager going to go with if it’s down to two candidates. If that’s the case then all other qualifications have already been vetted.

    • Companies don’t want experience. They want youth. I know this from personal experience.

      What they fail to realize is that the 20-somethings they hire will only hang around for 18 months to 2 years before they become bored and will probably come in on Mondays hungover.

      The recuriters then have to run the same cycle over and over again.

      If they hired someone with a few years under their belt and experience they will have someone who is serious about their job and able to help the company improve its business.

      • I’ve made it past recruiters a few times. And I have ALWAYS, and still do, take my authentic (2nd nature) passion into every interview! And never an offer. Age (and gender) discrimination IS much more prevalent than anyone wants to acknowledge. Very prevalent. Rampant. I went to college late in life, and only have a 2 yr. degree, but almost 20 years experience in my industry, which typically requires no degree. And I certainly couldn’t have made it so many years in the industry without having a passion for it. It’s certainly not a lucrative field and very tough, physically. Many have always told me, “with your intelligence, you’re selling yourself short by staying in that field”. What they fail to understand is “passion”! I enjoy it. When I leave the dates on my resume, I get through the recruiters and their process and onto an interviews. That’s as far as it goes. As they are expecting someone much younger. I certainly don’t look my age (42), but certainly can’t pass for a 20 something or even early 30’s. However, I can run circles around the younger gens in my industry. And never the opportunity to prove it. How ironic, after meeting me, they always question the 2006 college completion date. When I have removed the date, not even a reply. Don’t get past the recruiters, as they “assume” you are in your late 30’s, early 40’s. What these employers don’t care to acknowledge is that their discriminatory hiring practices are going to come back and bite them in the a$$. As experience and integrity will never let a company down. . .and “that” only comes with age and responsibility. As I sit here now, losing my home and unable to care for those I’m responsible for, I can’t help but be angry. Angry because I am unfairly not given a chance . . . all because (as I’ve been told), I’m not the “best fit”. Code-speak for you’re too old. My background is in an industry that it is very easy to find out who did get the position. The opportunities I should have been offered. And guess what, of the past 5 interviews, 4 of the selected candidates are male’s, in their 20’s. Two of them, straight out of college with no work history. How ironic.
        The 5th is in an unrelated industry, which I have a wee bit of experience (more than they required)and that position went to a young female (20 yrs. my junior), who came to the interview appearing as she just rolled out of bed and (obviously) takes no pride in her appearance. And this is not my only experience with this. Warning: If you are an attractive female and you interview with a female, ugly yourself up, because another females’ insecurities will never allow her to hire one she considers more attractive than herself.
        I was raised in an era when experience, integrity, passion and commitment decide if you obtain a position or not. We no longer reside in a society where these attributes are cherished or even considered. Sad to say the least. After almost 2 years of this grueling fight, I can now only live day to day on hope. Hope that just one employer will look past me not being wet behind the ears and see the qualities I posses and values I bring. And I sure hope it happens within the next month, before I’m homeless. Never in my lifetime did I ever imagine. . .

    • Yes Kevin, cheerleaders! Young cheerleaders is what they desire. Les we not forget that Obama gives a tax-break to businesses for hiring someone over 18, but UNDER the age of 40.

      • Dear Unimaginable

        “I was raised in an era when experience, integrity, passion and commitment decide if you obtain a position or not.”
        I am 40 years old and you make it sound as if we were born in the stone ages! You’re only as old as your attitude. Make sure when you are walking into an interview, you are walking in as a blank slate. You may be giving off signals that your age and maturity should be what they base their decision on. No one wants to work with someone who thinks they know more than they do simply because they are older. Older workers can be very inflexible. They are reliable but they can drive everyone else crazy when it comes to being sticklers about little things.

        All of that said – the job market is tough. For everyone. Even people in their twenties.

      • Obama does not give tax breaks to companies for hiring people under 40. That is completely false. Age discrimination (and a few other forms of discrimination) is illegal. Otherwise, employment is at will and they don’t have to hire you for any reason — good or bad. Not everything is Obama’s fault.

        Damn. *SMH*

        So try adjusting your attitude. You sound like an old fuddy-duddy just from what you post here. If I had to guess, I would think you were in your 60’s! That could be why you aren’t getting hired.

        • Angel101 – I know your posts are about a year old now, but just wondering did you ever get the job? I bumped into this blog out of my own frustration as well. I’m in my late 40’s, looking okay, tons of experience and enthusiasm in my field as I too love it. Plenty of interviews but no job offer :/. I’ve come to find out later that the ones hired are in fact younger and less experienced that me. I’m wondering if employers are looking for someone they can mold as opposed to a self-starter and go-getter. I just don’t get it ……

  22. I thought the article was very inspiring for family members have been encouraging me to get a job in an industry which I am not passionate about but would probably make more money. Today I went on a interview with a company where the money was lower but I could feel my enthusiasm come through. I do not know what will happen moving forward but hopefully it will carry me to the next interview. I also believe working with a networking group as well as recruiters provides some interaction and interviews which many of us are very much missing.

  23. Those comments are spot on – I recently interviewed 3 people back to back for a job and
    “I ‘had’ thought a candidate interviewed well and was a good fit for a job – but only up until the next interview”

    is exactly what happened! the final applicant blew it out of the water because they were excited about the job and showed it.

    great insight – because I’ll be applying for my job in the near future.

  24. I have to agree with Nick – being passionate about the position that you are applying too. I have had several interviews in person and over the phone. I feel good about the interview; had questions to ask the interviewer, but only to be disappointed that I didn’t get the job. The job ends up being an internal hire instead external hire. Sometimes, I feel that it could be a racial or age problem. I don’t want to think in these terms; one never knows. I am a Christian, so I think along the lines that if it was meant for me to have a certain position, it would be God’s choice. God can and does change things in ones life, if they truly believe. I have seen many blessings in my life and I give ALL thanks to Almighty God. So I keep keeping on and never give-up. There is a job for me out there. Keep Hope Alive and Be Positive.

    Best Wishes

    Melinda G

  25. This happens so often – a candidate leaves and the interviewer says “he’s really qualified, but he didn’t really seem to want the job that much” – interviewers would much rather take someone who demonstrates they really wants the job even if they aren’t as qualified! Much easier to train someone who is excited and wants to be there.

    To those of you who have had difficulty, please don’t take your past disappointments into the next interview. Look at this as a new opportunity and show your excitement and passion. If you go in already prepared for the rejection, it shows. I know it is difficult, but it really will make a difference.

    Karen Girard, CCDP, CEIP, CPRW, CCC

  26. I think the main thing is to learn all you can about your trade and how to present yourself in the best possible light at interviews. Simply take each interview as it comes and be sure to give it your best shot as a self-confident person, and then at least, you are in a position to expect the best, but plan for the worst and prepare to be surprised. Read my first comment on how I got my 1st professional job – of course it was a pleasant surprise especially considering that I was relatively less qualified ( as later revealed to me by the hiring manager!) Ultimately, it’s not by power lest any man should boast, LOL. It’s all about preparation and cultivating a balanced perception. Remain optimistic.

  27. I am in the over 50 range and have head many interviews. These have included second and third interviews. I agree that part of the problem may not be showing enthusiasm. This could be because I am generally a calm professional person or because I am anticipating the next failure. However, I clearly need to become more demonstrative during the process and try to express what I feel on the inside.

  28. So..what if you are THAT up-beat, bubbly enthusiastic person, but not in an intimidating or weird way… and you still don’t get the job…

    what then ..

    • That depends. Are you ‘trying’ to be bubbly and enthusiastic or are you REALLY bubbly and enthusiastic? Authenticity makes all the difference. Many people try to present themselves that way but it doesn’t compare to the real thing.

  29. I’m not even getting interviews and I think it’s because I’m 50+ with 20+ years of experinece. Everyone wants 20-30 year olds with 3-5 years of experiece that they can pay half what I’m worth.

    • Tami, I really understand your situation and empathize. I’m a mom who took 6 years off to have my babies and raise them till they were ready for school…and guess what, being 30+ with 7 yrs experience and skills still doesnt cut it. It’s who you know, not what you know. I hope you keep networking and get a break soon.

      • Thanks Amina, but my resume showing 25 years’ experience at one company isn’t getting me passed the recruiters. I didn’t include my previous employment (6.5 years) because it would have shown me being steadily employed full-time for 30+ years and that would scare any recruiter away! Many companies want people under 30 with only high school or they want a Masters or PhD or 2-4 year diploma to work for their company. I might not have a diploma but I have experience and clearly education takes precidence over experinece …

        • Actually I have a Master’s degree and not much work experience (I went right to grad after undergrad). I am having a difficult time finding a job because recruiters find me overqualified based on my degree. My resume won’t even get past them. In my case, education does not take precedence over experience. I do agree that hiring managers want employees that are straight out of high school. They can pay them less. It’s insulting!

        • Tami, absolutely! It’s all about the age. And I wonder just how much of it has to do with the Obama tax-break given to businesses for hiring applicants over 18, but under 40. That alone is age discrimination! It is a fact that persons over 40 have an excruciatingly more difficult time obtaining employment, despite experience and qualifications. I was raised in an era when experience, integrity, passion and commitment decide if you obtain a position or not. We no longer reside in a society where these attributes are cherished or even considered. it’s all about age!

        • I have the other problem! I had 5 years each in two companies when I was in commercialization, project management & technical leadership. But once I moved to new product marketing, had 3 jobs in 5 years…in two, I got laid off & one job I changed because I was doing Powerpoint presentations for sales (around 50-60% of time) with a title of Marketing Director! Some people reject me outright because of frequent job changes while others call me for an interview & they did not hire me because of job changes!

          I tell them the truth why I changed the jobs…from two different job interviews, I was told that the reason was not convincing? Can anybody help? First marketing job…400 people were let go (R&D, marketing) & company was now sold , second marketing job is the powerpoint job & last marketing job, the company was losing tons of money due to Chinese competition, they let few of us go! Any ideas? Sometimes, people do not like the truth…..what should I do?

    • I get what you are saying. I am in my upper 40s and have 15+ years of work experience. I am ready to make a move into another career industry – one that really excites me, but I fear age discrimination. When you look at my years with my current company then look at when I graduated college – simple math tells you I am not fresh out of school. I actually removed the year I got my degree from my resume in hopes it will get me an interview.

  30. It’s a great article and what I’m currently experiencing. It seems to get worse every interview because on the inside I’m really less and less excited because in the back of my mind ..I’m anticipating another failure. I really need to clear my thoughts and not bring past interviews into the current interview, this helps!

  31. Nick @

    I agree with most of your comments. In my opinion, a lot of interviewee weaknesses can be glossed over by showing passion. I believe that showing you are passionate is the most important thing you can do in an interview.

  32. Thank you for this article. My career search over the past 11 months has resulted in a number of interviews and I’ve had comments such as ‘impressive resume’ and ‘very impressed’ but no job offers. In past roles I have always been viewed as remaining calm and in control even in high stress situations and I have cultivated this response. However, in a job interview, I can see this as perhaps conveying a lack of excitement or interest in the position. In future interviews I will now let some of my emotion about the company and position out, or at the very least express my desire more strongly while pointing out that it is my nature to remain calm in these situations.

  33. I’ve been searching for a new job while working full-time. Over the past three years I’ve had many interviews (maybe about 30)and I’ve come close a few times (had 2nd interviews), but wasn’t chosen. Maybe my tone/expression was the issue – maybe I came across as lackluster and less than enthused. This was very helpful. I guess I was more concerned with appearing “phony” or “over-the-top”, and so maybe I come across as too understated. Great article…thanks.

  34. I really enjoyed this article. This is what happen to me. My tone didn’t show that I was excited enough to get the job. I truly believe that your tone will make a difference.

  35. One of the keys of being successful at this, is not having to “drum up” enthusiasm. If you’re applying for positions that hit you where your passion lives, not only will this come across authentically, but no one will have to remind you to do it. It radiates automatically. I realize that we’re living in an age where sometimes, “we just need a job–any honest job–to pay the bills.” In those situations, enthusiasm, excitement, and passion may have to be . . . purposefully brought forth. However, if you’re conducting a targeted job search, one in which you’re following what you love to your ideal job, your “I can’t wait!” attitude during an interview will be hard to contain.

  36. kgomotso nebodzandala

    i think this article will be of a great use to i know the weapon of getting the job, not only to be called for an interview.tx

  37. This is exactly why I missed out on my dream opportunity three months ago. Down to the final two, the other guy had more presence and enthusiasm (I was lucky enough to get feedback from some contacts in the room). He was less-qualified in every way.

    Not knowing this at the time was very costly as this particular kind of opportunity rarely comes up, especially in my job-challenged location.

    It is a big deal and now I sit in the ranks of the long-term unemployed with little chance of finding a job in my field, period, much less being considered for a dream opportunity.

    Ignore this article at your own peril.

  38. Citing one of your paragraphs: “There have been many times I have thought a candidate interviewed well and was a good fit for a job – but only up until the next interview where the candidate’s presence blew me away making the previous candidate[s] appear flat.” This paragraph reminded of the feedback I got from a manager soon after he offered me my first professional job, in which he confessed to me that I was relatively less qualified than SEVERAL other candidates. I recall on my way out after the interview, I mentioned to the manager how much I would like to improve on my BASIC skills. He replied: You really want this job, don’t you?. Need I mention that I was 30 mins late for the interview but that fortunately did not overshadow my ‘soft skills’ which managers seem to value a lot! Your article hits the nail on the head when it says we should be speak from our heart. Many thanks!

    • Wow, your comment basically makes me lose hope. Apparently radiating enthusiasm trumps being qualified and on-time.

    • You’re frickin late for an interview? And he hired you because he felt sorry for you? Not acceptable being late for an interview, and less skills.

      Only SOME managers look at SOFT skills more than REAL job skills. This sounds like an incompetent manager, someone who hires based on personality alone will be dissapointed. It slows down production and creates problems for the company.

      I have heard some managers say in trainings that we should hire someone we want to be around, basically, someone we would want to be friends with – which is NOT a good reason to hire anyone. That happened where I work and now the person that got promoted has hired ineffective employees causing problems for our vendor relationships because those employees are incompetent and do not follow required rules and methods causing problems for customers and vendors in general.

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