6 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get The Job

14 November 2012 at 1:46AM Leave a comment

Marc Cenedella, founder of TheLadders, has an article in BusinessInsider where he pretends to interview a manager about her reasons for NOT hiring candidates. Cenedella must get a volume of feedback from his clients, and he passes on some of the tips he’s learned. In this article, Cenedella focuses on the items that candidates can control: application, resume, and interview.

Cenedella frames his article as a discussion between a hiring manager and a reporter:

Reasons from the boss:

  1. I never saw your resume.
  2. I didn’t understand why you were applying for my job.
  3. It is not crystal clear to me as to why you want to fill the role
  4. Your resume didn’t grab me.
  5. The interview was a nice chat.
  6. You never said you wanted this job.

What “Betty Boss” says about point #2 is classic:

It’s rather easy in the internet era to hit “apply” and submit your credentials, but far too often, I have no idea why you think you’d be a good fit. If the job lists “CPA a must” and you don’t have a CPA, or the job description makes it clear that it’s a sales manager role, and you’ve only been an individual contributor, why are you wasting my time and yours?

This is the “Overly Optimistic Candidate Effect”, where hope and technology combine to miss reality.

Cenedella includes a bonus point:

  • I heard back from somebody else first.

But then we got to the part where we were interested in discussing an offer and you slowed to a snail’s pace in your responsiveness, while another candidate didn’t.

He networked his way in, had two of my colleagues call me, and followed up with a gracious, but deadly effective, thank-you note. He also returned my HR person’s calls the same day so we were able to move much more quickly with him.

I heard from you that you had a couple other interesting opportunities that you were certain were going to come through, and that’s why you slowed things down here. It’s entirely understandable.

But you have to understand that I have a business to run, and the gentleman who seemed more enthusiastic and did more legwork while you were hoping to land your dream job is the gentleman who is now employed here.

See the full article here:


Entry filed under: Interviewing, NotJobs, Resumes. Tags: , , .

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My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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