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13 Reasons Why You’re Not Hearing Back From A Job Interview

You’ve been on several job interviews that you thought went well, but then you hear nada, crickets, zilch. If this sounds familiar to you, the good news is a couple of interviews means that your experience and skills most likely match the requirements of the position and at the very least you qualify for a phone screening or in-person interview.

It also means that your resume is doing its job. You look decent on paper and the hiring manager wants to bring you in to learn more about you and see whether they would want to work with you. The bad news is you’re still unemployed. No contact leaves you wondering what went wrong.

Why aren’t you getting a callback? Here are 13 reasons why you’re not hearing back from a job interview.

1. You didn’t shine

Just because you think you had a great interview, the hiring manager may not see it that way. It’s possible that your answers were not in line with what the person was looking for.

You didn’t make your “story” shine as a candidate. A job interview is a sales pitch. Closing the sale depends on how you sell yourself and on genuinely offering the solution the employer needs.

Ask yourself: did the employer walk away convinced that you are the answer to their problems?

2. You lacked chemistry with the team or hiring manager

Yes, you did have a genuine great interview and the hiring manager liked you. But guess what? Another candidate also had a great interview and for whatever reason, they just clicked a little better than they did with you.

So although you did great and they really did like you, they’re going to go with the other candidate. Next time, try to find common ground (i.e. hobbies, alma mater, sports team, pets, your passions in life, etc.) between you and the interviewer.

3. Your professional background is shady

You have a skeleton or two in your career closet and you weren’t transparent with the hiring manager. Maybe you’ve had five positions in the last three years.

Maybe you dove into a long explanation as to why you’ve made so many moves. Maybe you’re unemployed and your termination was due to negative action on your part.

Whatever it was—you weren’t honest about it and didn’t make the potential employer see past the situation.

RESUME RED FLAG: You have several short-term jobs recently and you didn’t list the specific month you were working with an employer and indicated only the year.

For example, in “Job Title, 2017-2018” The hiring manager won’t know if you were there for two months (Job Title, November 2017 – January 2018) or fifteen months (Job Title, May 2017 – August 2018).

You thought it would make it seem less obvious that you were only on the job for less than a year but hiring managers will know, and they’re not going to be happy that you tried to conceal that. If you stayed at the job for a longer time (say, three years or more), it doesn’t matter if you leave out the month.

4. You bad mouthed past employers

You didn’t keep it positive, and the impression of you wasn’t positive. Speaking badly of a former employer says so much about your character and illustrates how you handle yourself in difficult situations.

Nobody likes to work with a complainer. If during the interview, your rage burned with the heat of a thousand white-hot suns, you showed yourself as unprofessional, not being able to resolve problems through negotiation and basic diplomacy.

You may have very valid reasons, but the interview is not the place to vent.

5. You took over the interview

It is common for a job seeker to ramble a bit when nervous during a job interview. Your role as a candidate is to fully explain why you are the best fit for the job.

But in your attempt to “shine,” you took over the interview. Hiring managers often perceive applicants as too pushy when they talk nonstop and don’t keep their responses brief and concise, which ultimately hurts your chances of getting hired.

Knowing when to tone it down can be key in job search success. You have to do what it takes, of course—but do it the right way, and you’ll get much better results.

6. You were too aggressive

You were absolutely convinced that you were the perfect fit for the job—and you wanted the company to know that, too. Nothing wrong with confidence. But you showed an overabundance of confidence in an aggressive manner during the job interview.

You didn’t take a subtle approach when detailing your accomplishments to impress the interviewer. Next time find a balance between selling your skills confidently and showing a modest nature.

7. You were extremely relaxed

While you don’t want to appear nervous during a job interview, you don’t want to be so relaxed that you slump back in your chair, slouch, and start calling the interviewer by a nickname.

You were too comfortable and let your guard down. You can’t let your guard down. The interviewer is not your buddy.

8. You didn’t ask questions

After an interview, you may have already learned everything about the job and company, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have questions for the interviewer.

An interviewer would feel a lack of interest if you don’t prepare questions. Next time, do research on the company. No interviewer is going to be impressed by a candidate who only asks about pay, benefits, and holiday allowance.

Ask questions that convey your intelligence and that you gather important information before making decisions.

For example, you can ask: “What are the leaders of the company recognized for?” “What external factors influence the growth of the company?” “What would you change about the company if you could?”

9. You weren’t prepared

It is a general rule to do research on the company that is interviewing you. If you know nothing about the company, you’re showing your prospective employers that you didn’t care enough about the opportunity to put in a little time and effort to learn more about them.

You’re trying to become part of the team, and by not doing some simple research you’re already showing you’re not a team player and you are not prepared.

10. Your appearance wasn’t right

If you showed up wearing heavy makeup, a short skirt, and heels to a manufacturing interview, the hiring manager probably wasn’t impressed, as fashion and flashiness aren’t required for a manufacturing environment.

Conversely, for a finance job, you need a look that says you are successful, you can handle money, and be dependable. Always dress for the job and industry in which you’re interviewing. No exceptions.

11. Your answers were too vague or general

When answering interview questions, you didn’t provide specific examples of situations you have encountered on the job to illustrate the skills and experience the employer is looking for in a new employee. “I’m a people person” or “I’m a team player”.

These are vague answers and they don’t allow you to stand out from the competition. Instead say, “I’m a team player. Let me give you an example of that. When I was at XYZ company, I was asked to…”

12. You didn’t establish eye contact

Looking down at your shoes or focusing on the table are actions that can convey a lack of confidence and nervousness.

Making eye contact, on the other hand, sends the message that you are prepared to answer questions regarding your skills, previous employment, and experiences.

Make sure eye contact remains consistent throughout the interview without turning into an awkward stare.

13. You weren’t referred

Maybe you did everything right and the interviewer liked you, but another candidate who was referred by a trusted colleague also did great. Referrals go a long way (yes, it’s who you know sometimes) and it could be the reason you weren’t hired.

Rejection is one of the more common conundrums of job hunting. You feel lousy after every interview. We understand this is frustrating.

Sometimes each hour feels like a day, especially when you have no control over the other party. Don’t give up. It is cut-throat and competitive out there.

Keep your chin up and keep applying. Continue practicing and honing your interviewing skills and you will land that job.

Most hiring managers interview a lot of people. So many that they generally have to go back to their notes to remember candidates – the exception being candidates with a strong hook. Sometimes these hooks are how people dress or their personality, but the best hook is a strong story that’s work-related.


By Barbachano Staff

If you are currently searching for a new executive position that would be a better fit, be sure to visit our job portal.

About Barbachano International

Barbachano International (BIP) is the premier executive search and leadership advisory firm in the Americas (USA, Mexico, Latin America, & Canada) with a focus on diversity and multicultural target markets.  Outplacement and Executive Coaching services are provided by our sister allied company Challenger Gray & Christmas. Since 1992, BIP and its affiliates have impacted the profitability of over 50% of Fortune 500 Companies.  BIP has been recognized by Forbes as Americas’ Best Executive Search Firms and currently ranks #27 and #3 on the West Coast.  Headquartered in San Diego, California with satellite offices in Florida and Mexico.  As member-owners of NPAworldwide Recruitment Network, we are supported by partner offices in over 50 countries.


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