9 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

Application sent, interview complete, and now the waiting game. Frantically refreshing your inbox for what seems to be the hundredth time this week, the email has finally arrived. To your surprise, you didn’t get the job. Was it something you said?

It’s unlikely that you will ever perform perfectly in an interview. Nerves are at an all time high and no matter how many times you rehearsed your seamless responses, you’re bound to mess up or draw a blank. Don’t dwell on this. Hiring managers are certainly not expecting you to be perfect. However, there are many other reasons that could have cost you the job that can be avoided.

Bad Timing

If you showed up for your interview too early or too late, you already set yourself up for failure. The interviewer set aside time out of their busy day to meet with you and showing up before or after this scheduled time is an inconvenience for them. If you arrive earlier than 15 minutes, go for a walk or review your notes. If you’re late, acknowledge it and don’t make excuses. Apologize and work your hardest to regain their interest.


If the hiring manager asked you to bring a printed copy of your resume or a copy of your professional references, don’t show up empty handed. If you can’t follow a simple instruction now, it will lead them to believe that you won’t follow instructions on the job.

Poorly Dressed

Whether you’re interviewing for a position in a manufacturing environment or a law firm, you always need to be professionally dressed for an interview. If you showed up casual in a wrinkly shirt with your hair uncombed, the hiring manager will assume you don’t care about the position and eliminate you from consideration immediately. Review proper interview attire here.

Didn’t Research

Going into the interview without knowing what the company does or what the position entails is another way to ruin your chances of landing the job. Not only will it seem like you’re not interested in working for the organization, but you can’t demonstrate how great you are for the role if you didn’t take the time to learn anything about it. Do your homework!

Confidence Issue

If you aren’t mindful of your confidence level going into the interview, chances are you won’t get the job. Acting overconfident by not admitting to any weaknesses or past mistakes comes off as a problem. However, if you don’t show any confidence, they’ll never learn why you’re the best person for the open position. Know your worth, but don’t be arrogant. Find your balance.

No Enthusiasm

No matter how qualified you may be, the hiring manger will give the job to someone else if you don’t seem excited. Be passionate, make eye contact, ask questions, and act like you want to work for them!

Rude to Receptionist

Many companies will ask their receptionist how they were treated by the candidates in the running. If you were rude to the receptionist or came in talking on your cell phone, this will all be conveyed back to the hiring managers. Be the best version of yourself the minute you walk into the organization.


No matter how casual the interview may seem, do not get too comfortable. It’s never appropriate to use vulgar language, talk politics, or make racial remarks. It’s also inappropriate to tell sob stories of how you got fired from multiple positions or to talk poorly about former employers. Any of this will scare away the interviewer and you will no longer be considered for the opening.

Improper Follow Up

Did you follow up with the interviewer after your meeting? If you didn’t even send a simple thank you email, the hiring manager will assume that you didn’t want the job. Did you follow up with numerous unanswered phone calls and emails after the interview? Being a huge pest will take you out of the running as well.

And sometimes, you didn’t do anything wrong at all. There are many other reasons employers may have elected to move forward with another candidate that are out of your control. They may have brought you in for an interview because your resume was exactly what they were looking for, but personalities didn’t click. Or, they simply found someone who had more experience and was willing to take a lower salary.

After receiving the generic “thanks, but no thanks” rejection email without any actual feedback, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. Our advice moving forward would be to review the 9 points above to avoid making these costly mistakes in the future to ensure that “it’s not you, it’s them.” Move forward! Check out our job board to find your next exciting opportunity.