Job Offer

10 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting The Job Offer

Advertisement

Having trouble getting a job offer? Let’s begin with a few of assumptions.

Since you got the interview your cover letter and resume were obviously effective. You arrived on time, were dressed conservatively, smiled, gave a firm handshake, had the right attitude, did all the basics of Interviewing 101.

But you still did not get the offer.

Why?

1. You Didn’t Send A Thank You Letter

Did you send a thank you letter? Did you get it out immediately? Did you make necessary clarifications and mention particulars about the interview? Did you proofread it? Did you also send a hand written note?

2. You Answered Questions Negatively

How did you deal with “negative” questions? Did you end your answers on a negative or a positive?

3. You Were Negative About Former Colleagues

What did you say when you were asked about former employers or colleagues? Were you at all negative?

4. You Didn’t Do Your Research

How much research did you do on the employer? Did you only study their website? Did you Google them? Did you dig deep?

5. You Didn’t Connect With The Interviewer

How much research did you do on the interviewers? Were you able to make a personal connection with them? Did you impress them with your meeting preparation skills?

6. You Didn’t Ask Good Questions

What questions did you ask? Were they about the job? Were they about the company? Were they about the interviewers? Did they show that you had done in-depth research?

7. You Talked Too Much

Did you give direct answers to questions? Did you talk too much?

8. You Didn’t Listen

Did you listen? Did you really hear what the interviewers were saying? Did you pick up on clues?

9. You Didn’t Thank The Interviewer

Did you thank each interviewer at the start and conclusion of each meeting?

10. You Didn’t Express Interest In The Position

At the end of the interview did you express interest in the position?

If you had an interview, then you already know you met the minimum qualifications for consideration – But so did your competition. What you don’t know is how well they – your competition – prepared and how they responded to questions. Nine times out of ten, that’s where candidates fail. They do not succeed in differentiating themselves from their competition.

And THAT’S how you get a job offer!

Bruce Hurwitz

Bruce A. Hurwitz, Ph.D., president and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd., has been an executive recruiter and career counselor since 2003.

30 comments

  1. Yes, there is ageism in the work force, disguised as bias, being over qualified,etc. and yes they have already decided on the applicant before even interviewing you. I know this as the people,who were supposed to,support me, decided to go with some one younger without any qualifications what so ever. This was verified by the State in which I work as the state works only with businesses and not so with the federal government. It was representatives of the state who told me this, and it has been confirmed in every position I have worked in for years in the business sector. They are looking at younger people as people who will reflect good reflection of themselves (marketing), while older people past 35 are already considered ‘not fresh’, even though have gold standard education, work history, awards, etc. The business sector now considered people as products, with a shelf life that is increasingly decreased at their whim.

    One of huge problems is that businesses who work with DARS get huge tax benefits, without having to pay for insurance, etc., and this means part time jobs, minimum wage jobs, etc. DARS refuses to cooperate against this as it would cause them jobs, theirs. Be careful out there.

  2. I’m basically getting tired if hearing all these suggestions and NONE of them work. I go to interviews trying so hard to act confident and enthusiastic, yet I don’t want to appear to be a phony desperate loser. I just want to be myself! I’m always qualified for every job I’ve interviewed for. Unfortunately I’m a soft spoken introvert and almost 50, so I feel doomed! There is nothing worse than constant rejections when you already struggle with self esteem issues. Just because I’m quiet does not mean I can’t do a great job. I guess you have to be a cocky youngster who’s ready to kiss alot of butt to get considered for a decent job these days! I’m disgusted by the entire corporate rat race!

    • I agree. This is an article that is continuing to push an agenda that it is the employees who are not trying hard enough, when in reality it is the employers who have resorted to a least cost method of hiring practice.
      This translates to hiring the younger generation, whereby there is less salary dictates, etc. The push is for businesses to hire less qualified applicants that are younger, then get tax write offs at state or Federal expense on various programs to support them as younger people equates to more tax write offs as they are, well, younger, or more return for the investment.

      I am one such client, older with multiple degrees, and multiple awards in a technical field. There is NO support for me what so ever, and I have spent years watching businesses choose applicants without the qualifications in most cases so they could get to the state and federally supported programs as a business and tax write off.

      This is what many people who are older are facing. I have done everything in this article and more. Quit misdirecting the cause, start looking at the hiring practices in a tea party state.

  3. If there is any one thing that keeps you from getting the job, that has nothing to do with your qualifications, experience,and health:::: I think that is considered discrimination—-period!!!

  4. To all that commented about age you can’t let that hold you back.

    We have to remember that employers are simply consumers in the labor market, and like any American consumer, they want the best product for the lowest price. If you’re getting interviews and not the job offers, you may want to reconsider your salary requirements or offer to work contract if the employer has concerns about you bolting when you have a more enticing offer present itself. Other than that, it could just be good ‘ol competition being that there are a number of really awesome people in the same shoes you’re in. It’s a definitely an employers’ market…

    • Don’t you think that “best product” in terms of employment would be someone with more experience? If someone wants to interview me, and I have 15 years of experience in the field, don’t you think that they would understand that I’d expect salary commensurate with my experience?
      I’m only applying to jobs where they want someone with 5+ years experience.
      What I’m trying to say, is that, in this case, it seems that the expectations are unrealistic. Or maybe not… it is an employers/ market. Contract position wouldn’t work here in NC as all jobs are at will anyway.

  5. Thank you for an interesting article. I do agree with some of the content and assumptions; e.g. You must have aced the resume, as well as the phone screens because you were invited into meet and speak personally with those with whom you were be working.

    You still may have done everything else absolutely correct; firm handshake, shined your shoes, brushed your teeth and even showered. You may have been positive, done your homework and even had great questions and promptly sent thank yous and everything else absolutely perfectly.

    So what happened?????? You didn’t get the job. Why?

    Maybe it was that they were looking to hire in their own image? You have a great personality but it wasn’t a match with the hiring team.

    By the way – I do believe that age plays a significant role.

    Could your EQi been different?

    I believe there are many reasons why one does not get the job……..I do like the discussion.

  6. Although I replied to the most recent comment, I should have read all them before adding…..I too feel that age has a lot to do with my inability to get a job. I seem to come so close, I have been one of 2 candidates a number of times, but never get the job. I do all the right things, when asked for feedback I am told I did everything well and there is nothing I could change! That leads me to believe that it is something that I can not change, such as age. (I will be 50 in 17 days). It is very frustrating to put in the time and effort (the last position I applied for I had 3 interviews), and then not get the job.

    • Like you, Karen, I have won the “consolation prize” on a few interviews. Of course the employer CAN”T admit that age is the reason they chose another candidate, because age discrimination is against the law. So their reason becomes you are “over qualified,” or a “better qualified” candidate was selected.

  7. Thank, Bruce, great article. I think age does play a role…I have a friend and she is an older lady and until this day 3 years now and she has not found a job, is she qualified for the position she is applying for?.. you bet, and nothing until this day. (its a rude reality)

    • I completely agree with Patty! I have been the number 2 candidate too many times! When I ask for feedback I am told that I did everything well and there was nothing I could change….therefore it has to be something I can not change!! Age?

      • Karen, 50 is just a number, they are holding the 50 and over hostage, The friend I spoke about 3 years ago she was 61, she gave up trying. Yes I get turn down for Job too because of my age but I won’t stop, I refuse to have a mental handcuff on myself.
        Its tiresome to get turn down all the time but the coach is not an option, at least not in my book.
        Hang in there…

  8. I have done everything right, including sending a thank you letter, but I still have not received a job offer. I have over 700 applications out, have had a few interviews, but I keep getting told they selected a stronger candidate. Funny, the jobs I have interviewed for were at banks and I have 17 years banking experience and a MBA in business management. I know I am being turned down because of my age (I am 51) or because I am over-qualified (their words) but I do not thing that should be held against me. I went back to school for me and I am starting my life over after a major life change and I just need a job.

    • Exact same position, even the MBA. After getting laid off with 12 years HR experience, 2.5 years went by. Lots of interviews, lots of second interviews. 95% of the time I was told I was “overqualified”. I ended up having to dumb down my resume and lie about my work preferences and future goals to get a job as an executive assistant to a CEO. Am I overqualified — you bet. And bored to death too. But I needed a job to pay the bills. No one ever plans on going backwards in their career and shouldn’t have to based on their age — 49 by the way.

  9. Bruce, I have another notion for folks to consider: the practice in some quarters of “enriching the candidate pool.” Employers may pull in candidates who are very close to having what they believe they need (but who perhaps are not quite there), just to screen possibilities. And then there is the unknown: is this job really available to begin with; is there an internal candidate with whom the search committee feels more comfortable and would likely favor to begin with; is this a pro forme process? I have hired many people and have recently been interviewing. I can say that I have encountered all of the above (although I would never abide the last possibility in any search and screen process for which I had responsibility)..

    • Hi Miller02127, I had posted the comment below, but I see two other comments were posted after mine including yours. Mine says its “awaiting moderation”. Do you know what does that mean? And since you have experience hiring, what do you think about my comment?
      “This can’t be true. The first item is the “Thank you” letter? So, an unemployed person invests all it can to find a job: education, clothes, grooming, not to mention time searching for jobs, reading every possible article to get it right, customizing resume, dealing with the stress of an interview on top of all of the already mentioned. “Get it out immediately”, “make necessary clarifications and mention particulars about the interview”, says the article. Now, is it true that a hiring manager has little time on its hand to a point that a very qualified person may get its resume thrown out because of a typo? Why do they spend time reading a ‘thank you’ letter after all, when both parties spent time and strength doing their homework for the big day of an interview so it can actually go well? Wouldn’t the ‘thank you’ letter overdo it considering point #9? What if everything went well in the interview and then the “thank you” letter blows it all up because of a misunderstanding? Aren’t we all humans, and sometimes we get misinterpreted? How about if someone gets hired because there was a nice energy flowing back and forth (yeah, I’ve read about it, and it is a possibility) but it turns out to be a mistake? The other person could have gotten it all right on every other aspect, but because of a ‘thank you’ letter it got discarded? I mean, thank you for all the 9 points, I do praise them, but read once again line #3 on this note…yeah, time is key. And if one wants to get a job one needs to be prepared. It’s not all about the company, you know? Would it be possible to abolish the ‘thank you’ letter once for all? The unemployed crowd would thanks you.”

  10. This can’t be true. The first item is the “Thank you” letter? So, an unemployed person invests all it can to find a job: education, clothes, grooming, not to mention time searching for jobs, reading every possible article to get it right, customizing resume, dealing with the stress of an interview on top of all of the already mentioned. “Get it out immediately”, “make necessary clarifications and mention particulars about the interview”, says the article. Now, is it true that a hiring manager has little time on its hand to a point that a very qualified person may get its resume thrown out because of a typo? Why do they spend time reading a ‘thank you’ letter after all, when both parties spent time and strength doing their homework for the big day of an interview so it can actually go well? Wouldn’t the ‘thank you’ letter overdo it considering point #9? What if everything went well in the interview and then the “thank you” letter blows it all up because of a misunderstanding? Aren’t we all humans, and sometimes we get misinterpreted? How about if someone gets hired because there was a nice energy flowing back and forth (yeah, I’ve read about it, and it is a possibility) but it turns out to be a mistake? The other person could have gotten it all right on every other aspect, but because of a ‘thank you’ letter it got discarded? I mean, thank you for all the 9 points, I do praise them, but read once again line #3 on this note…yeah, time is key. And if one wants to get a job one needs to be prepared. It’s not all about the company, you know? Would it be possible to abolish the ‘thank you’ letter once for all? The unemployed crowd would thank you.

    • Archie, Based on your posting, I’m going to guess that your mother never made you write thank you notes for birthday presents you received.

      Sending a thank you letter is common courtesy, no matter the situation. The interviewer didn’t have to invite you to interview for the position. Nor did they have to take time from their busy schedule to meet with you. That should be reason enough to send your interviewer a thank you letter.

      Besides common courtesy, sending a thank you letter gives you another opportunity to (in no particular order):
      • Keep your name on the top of the interviewer’s mind.
      • Reenforce/further explain something discussed in the interview.
      • Lets the interviewer know that you are a serious candidate for the position.
      • Tell the interviewer, again, that you want the job.
      • Reenforce your personal brand.
      • Show the interviewer your professionalism.

      These are just a few reasons that came to mind. There are more, if you think about it. In short, if you are serious about the position, send a thank you letter.

      • Thank you Paul, for schooling me on the North American culture of sending out redundant, showcased desperation, “Thank you” letters. I understand the points you brought about, but again, they seem to be antagonistic. How do I possibly end up going for an interview if first, the recruiter never took the time to assess my qualities and to contact me for the interview as you said; and second, if they never took time to interview me how did the interview happened?! Was it a dream?! All these counterarguments were based on what you pointed out. In today’s world, everything is about being efficient. In fact I’ve always thought that here in NA everything is about time and money = efficiency. So, my point was, if both parties were efficient enough on doing their part, why all this excessive courtesy? Well, I verbally thanked for my birthday present (thank you), as I did all of the effort included on my first note in order to get called up to the interview, not to mention that they are intrinsically connected to your bullet points. By the way, I have read that it’s important not to show desperation in a job interview, and your 4th bullet point to me sounds just like one is doing it. Anyways, as the popular saying goes “once in Rome, do as the Romans do”, so yeah, your reasons to me now make sense since that I am inserted and allowed myself to be assimilated by the local culture, but again it does not block my intellectual capabilities. In other words, “Thank you” letters it is!

    • Archie, I am convinced that I once almost lost an opportunity because I was not sufficiently prompt with forwarding thank yous. I had taken time to write out 13 individual notes and was going to place them in the mail. It then dawned on me that this automatic culture expects immediate communication, so I had better send an email to each recipient first with the notes to follow. I am glad that I did–I got the job–but there is so much at stake, the extra effort of a thank you is a small price to pay. On the other hand, I have received many thank yous from candidates that I knew were not going to be hired, and that can be irksome on some level. I would err on the side of the pro-thank you camp, and make sure to be very grateful for the chance to meet with key players for consideration as a prospective employee. There is nothing to lose in doing so, and everything to gain.

  11. Yes, I often wonder if the problem is my age, but if they looked at my resume before they interview me, they should see I’ve been in the workforce for a long time. But I’ve also noticed that people often don’t read my resume, or just skim it, before interviewing me.

    • Julie, I did a phone interview sometime ago and the woman on the other end of the phone said i am looking for someone that has years of Experience in Customer Relation so lets see your resume here! Julie she didn’t even look at my resume and then apologizes for not looking at it before she call me, Needless to say i didn’t get the Job, she wanted me to get to her within the hour of our phone interview and i was across town at another interview.. that one wasn’t meant for me…

  12. Good article, I certainly agree with the tips. Just a question what should you do if the interviewers absolutely find that you are a perfect fit for the company but the human resources representative felt that you didn’t communicate effectively with human resources?

  13. Brian, I totally disagree. Resumes are about how you can solve that particular company’s problem. The hiring manager doesn’t care what your career objective is. He wants to know if you can get the job done. A resume should be designed to get you the interview. Then all Bruce’s excellent suggestions will make you the most eligable candidate.

  14. I think that no matter what you do, there’s still the fact that employers would rather start with younger employees. They don’t want cynicism, they don’t want experience different from/in excess of their own, and they want you to play their little game. If you don’t like games, or don’t show the requisite level of enthusiasm for theirs on cue, well…

  15. Thanks, Bruce, for this nice article. I agree RESUMES play a vital role in you getting through the initial process.

    But we are often confused by all the arguments about whether one should have an objective statement or a summary on our resume? Don’t be confused.

    An objective is always better–if you do it right, it helps you get the interview. Summaries ought to be included in every list of resume mistakes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *