Won't Get Job

10 Ways To Make Sure You Won’t Get The Job


Want to make sure you won’t get the job? Of course not. You want to do everything you can to get the offer. However, some people don’t completely grasp this concept.

The following are 10 true stories. These have all happened to me or my colleagues over the years as hiring managers. I know the job search process can be hard to maneuver. Add the fact there’s a whole set of “new rules” you need to follow to get employers to even want to hire you and a job seeker can feel pretty overwhelmed.

That being said, some things are just common sense. For example, I wouldn’t suggest being any of these:

1. Underdressed

Candidate came to the interview for a professional job in a suit and dress shoes – but with no shoelaces or socks. AND THEN, proceeded to sit with his leg across his knee, tapping his foot, drawing attention to his lack of proper attire.

2. Overly Honest

When asked what the person’s greatest weakness was, she replied, “I hate getting up early and tend to be late to work a lot.”

3. Greedy

When I asked if the candidate had any questions, he said, “Ya. How long will it take until I get a raise?”

4. Not Being A Team Player

When I asked for references, the candidate said, “You can’t call anyone from my old company because I hate them all and they probably wouldn’t say nice things about me.”

5. Ignorant Of Your Professional Persona

When I called to schedule an interview, the recorded message was playing “Funky Cold Medina” and had people making noises in the background. (Do I need to explain more?)

6. Unmotivated

When I e-mailed the candidate about scheduling an interview, she e-mailed back, “Now’s not a good time for me, can I call you in two weeks?”

7. Impatient

After the interview, the candidate called and left me five voice mail messages and sent me an e-mail everyday saying he was just “checking in” to see if I’d made a decision. He did this in spite of the fact I told him, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

8. Insincere

After the interview, I contacted a person in our company who the candidate said would be a reference for her. The employee said, “I should tell you she doesn’t really want the job and is planning to quit if she gets accepted to grad school.”

9. Unprepared

When I asked the candidate what he liked studying the most as a Finance major he said, “I liked the financial stuff.”

10. Desperate

When I asked why she wanted the job, she said, “Because nobody else will hire me.”

Your Next Step

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. You must invest time in learning the right way to job search.

Check out our training videos – they’re all about executing an easier job search in this economy.

My videos are completely free and I’m confident you’re going to find them useful. The link to access the first one is below.




Photo Credit: Shutterstock

J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. While some things are common sense, sometimes it is a good idea for the candidate to research the company culture and for the company representatives to do a good job of communicating that culture (i.e. contributing to their profile on glassdoor.com or having social media resources). Some things work great for some hiring managers while others might find the same action a deal breaker.
    I have gone to many interviews and been much more professionally dressed than even the senior leadership who was interviewing me. Also, asking questions and focusing on details that pertain to the job in question would work better.
    If a company is constantly hiring and has high turnover, that might be a sign of other issues.

  2. I find myself agreeing with George. If these were the sole excuses for eliminating these candidates, I hope I have never interviewed with any of these hiring managers. It would explain why I keep seeing the same positions relisted – they can’t find any human candidate perfect enough. I think HR needs to remember the “Human” part of the equation.

  3. Ok, let me see if I’m understanding the exalted “hiring manager’s” POV.

    Your qualifications are pathetic, and therefore you’re unable to perform in the workplace because:

    1. You don’t have socks on.
    2. You’re honest.
    3. You have the nerve to ask an honest question. (maybe he’s taking care of aging parents?)
    4. You’re not a conformist.
    5. You like fun music and have the gall to give evidence of the fact that people make noise.
    6. Your schedule doesn’t line up exactly with the interviewer’s.
    7. You showed enthusiasm by “checking in”, (something recruiters are constantly encouraging).
    8. You were not willing to give up on grad school for this “amazing” opportunity.
    9. You dared to have a sense of humor.
    10. You were bold enough to say what everyone else is thinking: the job market is cruel and overcrowded.

    Yep, you hiring managers are some real geniuses.

    • George’s comment is beautiful and all too true, and I’m not even gonna try to top it. About number 7: I’ve been told by many employers “don’t call us, we’ll call you” and have never received a call back, positive or negative. If I had faith the employer would actually call me back, I might not be as “impatient.”

Leave a Reply

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