Perfect Fit for a Position, Aced an Interview, but Didn’t Get the Job?

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Sometimes when you feel like you are a perfect fit for a position and you aced an interview, you still don’t get the job. It can be frustrating and definitely leave you wondering why. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • You didn’t do your research.
    Before any interview, whether it be in person or on the phone, you need to look up the company’s website and make sure that you know what they do and who their clients/partners are. It would be wise to go one step further and Google the company to see if you can find any recent articles or news about them. Another smart move is to look up the person that you will be interviewing with on LinkedIn. Check to see if you share any connections, which could help you get in your foot in the door. Being unprepared sends the wrong message to the person you are interviewing with. Always go in with as much ammunition in your back pocket as possible to convey to the potential employer that you are interested, organized, and on top of your game.
  • Your resume wasn’t up to par.
    When you are applying for a job make sure your resume reflects the position you are applying for. You should ensure that the details on your resume meet the qualifications of the position. A few key things to remember are to make sure the contact information is correct, to run spell and grammar check, and to make sure the dates are correct and displayed from newest to oldest. List all the details of your skillset with the most relevant details listed first, and make certain that your resume is written clearly and concisely. If you are going to use acronyms, make sure that they are correct. Don’t copy and paste information without verifying accuracy. Be consistent in formatting; make sure the font is the same, the bullet points match up, and the margins are even. The flow of the resume is important; a resume that has a nice flow and is formatted nicely is easier to read for a hiring manager. Following these guidelines ensures that your resume looks strong, it’s clear, and it is easier to understand what your professional experience is and why you are qualified for the position applying for.
  • Your online presence may be inappropriate.
    Perhaps you need to better manage your online profile and realize that potential employers are likely to check you out online. Google yourself and find out what comes up. If you have made comments that you wish you didn’t, go back and edit or delete if possible. Perhaps there are pictures out there that you may want to delete as well. Also, avoid posting inappropriate content in the first place. Every social media site has privacy settings, and using those settings to organize your friends and professional contacts on separate lists may be a good idea. Try to limit what the general public can gain access to online. Make sure the professional profile you have on LinkedIn truly reflects what your resume says. If you have your own website, make sure the content is such that you wouldn’t mind showing a potential employer. Managing your online profile and reputation is critical for job seekers. While it is impossible to control all content, make sure you are giving the best online impression possible.
  • You didn’t answer the interview questions appropriately.
    Maybe you didn’t interview as well as you thought. While giving tons of detail may seem like a good idea, it is important to remember your audience. Giving a very technical answer to a non-technical person can be confusing to them. On the other hand, giving a short answer to an interviewer who is trying to ascertain your technical experience makes you seem as though you don’t know very much or you may come across as a poor communicator. Sometimes, you may not know the interviewer’s background and how technical they are – so how can you be sure to give an appropriate answer? If the question is “How many years of experience do you have in .NET development?” an appropriate answer for either a technical or non-technical audience would be “I have been developing in .NET for 5 years. I perform front-end development using ASP.NET and I have mostly worked with SQL Server as the back-end, though I have also worked with Oracle. Would you like me to go into more detail about the technologies that I have used?”. This way, non-technical interviewers can be satisfied that you have answered the question without confusing them and technical interviewers can ask for more detail. An appropriate answer in general, is to explain how many years of experience you have with the technology as a whole, note which of the prominent related technologies you have used, and then ask if the interviewer would like more detail.
  • You have unreasonable expectations.
    Maybe you want a 40% increase in salary. Maybe you are missing some of the key things on their list of requirements for the position, but you still expect to be paid at the very top of the salary range for the position. Maybe you have 5 weeks of vacation at your current company after being there for 15 years and you expect that to be matched immediately, when that is typically something that is earned with time. Although it is understandable that taking a new position needs to be beneficial for you, keep in mind that the employer wants to attract the right person for the job as well and they typically want to avoid attracting someone based on a significant salary increase alone. If you are asking for a substantial salary increase, be sure to provide relevant documentation that supports your cause. Technical tests, performance reviews, and actual examples of your work are all good ideas. Also, remember to have confidence in yourself as an employee. More often than not, once you get the job and show your employer how valuable you are, salary increases and bonuses are likely to follow. A huge increase in salary won’t necessarily come on day one, but that doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there.

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