After a 25 year career of job searching, I am officially able to tell you that I am no doubt an expert on not getting jobs through an interview and job offer. So I am definitely an expert at this subject!
I’ve written a bunch of articles that cover how my resume and an interview never landed me a job. I have had big and little jobs in IT and Marketing sectors, so I have worked! In fact in most of my jobs I had the highest rating, highest bonus and made some of the biggest impacts. So I am confident in my skill-set.
This article covers all the reasons why I never got the offer. At least these are the feedback and reasons I have heard over the years. And quite often these days we get no feedback what-so-ever. If you don’t get an offer and you were close to an offer, it is important to find out why you are not getting that offer!
Here are the reasons:
- You were not technical enough.
I get this. Often we apply for jobs that are not exactly a fit. I have on and off 20 years of IT, Unix, PHP, Apache, SQL and tons of experience. I also have an MBA, have worked as a Manager, Director, Product Manager, Marketing Analyst, Writer and in Biz dev. Maybe if I had left the management experience off the resume, they would have given me the offer.
- You were too technical.
I can understand it, but it really makes no sense. Yes, I have worked as a programmer at times. I have done some intense server migrations, and know the Unix command line. But once again I have an MBA and I have written books. I have managed big groups of people and have tons or online marketing experience. If I had left off the tech stuff, maybe I would have gotten an offer.
- You were too much of a startup guy.
Yes, I have startups in my gut. Can’t help it. I personally think that startup experience is perfect at some companies which need that experience. I have worked for 3 Fortune 500 companies an average of 6 years. That does not sound like I am just a startup guy.
- You were too much of a corporate guy.
Makes no sense, since I have written several books about startups. But still the small corporate or startup felt that I was pretty much a tool of the big corporation and would not fit in. Make sense a bit, but not really.
- The job moved suddenly.
I have heard this excuse several times. Could be that I am located in South Florida. The excuse was that the job was suddenly moved to a new division in a big city like New York or San Fran. I noticed that they never asked me if I was interested in that other city.
- Put off hiring that position.
They tell you that they are going to wait a few months and rethink if this is really a position they need. This is like one of those Dear John lines. I often notice that the job is still listed on their website.
- Has too much education.
This seems like a silly one. I did go and get my MBA. Millions have an MBA. But for a bunch of technical jobs, they just don’t want a person with an MBA on the team. Not sure why, but maybe it makes sense.
- Not the right education.
I did study some computer science at The University of Maryland. However, I did not finish my computer science degree. I have a political science degree. Don’t overlook the fact that I have worked with 7 computer languages, dozens of websites and technologies over the years. Still I did not get the exact degree from the exact school(s) they were searching for.
I could probably come up with a dozen other reasons why we are told we don’t get the job. But lets look at the facts. The real reasons why people don’t get job offers is much more complicated. I have been a hiring manager about 4 times in my past so I get it. The reasons why we did not offer people are the following: There was a better candidate. The candidate was not qualified. The candidate seemed to not have the right or adequate experience. The candidate seemed troubled. The candidate seemed like he would not fit in with our team. The candidate seemed nervous, anxious, on drugs, confused, angry or another expression that probably is not something we want to deal with. In other words, we sensed something not right. So, I get it all.
I am either giving off those vibes myself, or is it something else. We don’t always like to say it, but I am 50 years old. Age is a big factor. It is not stated outright and it is actually against the law to discriminate based on age. But it happens and there is nothing you can do about it, because often you don’t get the interview. They just eliminate the age issue when they see the year you graduated from college on your resume.
I am having an issue with employers and companies that I don’t really want to work for. Ever been on a job interview for job you were just not enthused with. They can tell. We can’t all interview with companies that we would love to work for. We sometimes interview at companies we don’t want to actually work for, but we go anyway. I think they can see right through you.
My father used to tell me that job interview could be determined the minute you walk in the interview and shake hands with the hiring manager. They either like you or don’t like you. If they like you, they are more likely to make an offer. We can’t all control these things.
Then there are other factors like your looks, your gender, your dress, your habit of non-stop talking (I suffer from this). Notice good looking people always get more job offers.
Not sure I am looking for a full-time offer, but it is a consideration. Do you have any other excuses or reasons why you have heard they are not hiring you?