This post is to provide suggestions of what you can do to help you understand why you didn’t get a job offer. Most of these suggestions require you to know the job requirements most important to the hiring managers and to honestly evaluate yourself against the requirements.
1) You didn’t have the preferred skills
The desired skill set is usually defined on the job description. If not, did you ask HR or your recruiter what skills and work experience was most important for someone to have for the position?
Job descriptions will list basic, or preferred requirements, many will even list optimal skills and experiences. Usually, three to five of these qualifications are the most important to the hiring manager. For example, with a job description listing a bachelor’s degree as a basic requirement and a master’s as a preferred requirement, the hiring manager will frequently lean towards someone with a master’s degree. While you may have satisfied all the other criteria for the position, the job may go to someone with a master’s degree because that is what the hiring manager wanted. Evaluate yourself against the first three to five qualifications listed to decide if you had the basic or preferred requirements, and if you had any of the optimal skills. If you had only basic or preferred requirements, the position may have gone to someone who had a better mix of preferred and optimal qualifications.
2) You didn’t demonstrate that you had the desired skills required for the job
During the interview you need to ask the hiring manager and other interviewers what they consider the most important qualifications and skills needed to be successful in the position. These are the skills and experiences you need to speak to in the interview.
As succinctly as possible talk about how you can meet those requirements. Provide examples of your work that demonstrate you can do the job.
3) Recruiting team had concerns about your qualifications
During the interview did you ask the hiring manager and other interviews if they had any concerns based on your application, resume, or stated experiences? This is a key question you should be asking in each interview so that you can close any gaps in their assessment of you and your ability to successfully do the job.
Interviewers may tell you they believe you are lacking a specific experience, or they’re concerned about your ability to communicate clearly. Knowing what they perceive to be your shortcomings opens the door for you to point out or expand on resume points they were not fully considered.
If after addressing these points you don’t get the job offer, you have some potential reasons why. You can then decide if the skills gap was real, or you need to work on how you present yourself. perceived shortcomings.
Looking through this list you can see that several of these points required you to have critically evaluated yourself against the job requirements up front; and then continue to ask questions during the interview process. You can’t effectively sell yourself without understanding the job both as it was presented in the ad, and as you learn more about it in the interview process.
4) Compare yourself to the person who accepted the job
For the next one to six months, scan the employee profiles on LinkedIn for the company. You are looking for the person with the job title of the position for which you didn’t receive an offer. Look at the person’s profile and evaluate who you compare to this individual. The gaps you see in education and experience between you and the person hired provide you with hints of why you didn’t get the job offer.
During the recruiting process, you do your best to prove that you’re a good fit for the job and the company, but you also need to accept that there are times when the decision of who received the job offer was influenced by factors you couldn’t control. For example, you were equally qualified, but you required relocation and the other person didn’t. The job went to the local, more cost effective hire. You were equally qualified, but your competitor was referred by a company employee and the internal referral receive preference.
I hope that these suggestions will not only provide some clarity on why you might not have received the job offer, but also help you better present yourself in the future.