Job Interview Went Well But Still Rejected? (Here’s Why)

There is no better feeling than the interview for your dream job going well – just as there is no worse feeling than being rejected for the job!

You’re not the first person to find yourself going through this rollercoaster of emotions, and you won’t be the last.

But, how is it possible that an interview can go so well yet you still don’t get the job?

There is actually a number of reasons why you may not have been selected for the role – here are 11 reasons why interviews go well but candidates are still rejected:

11 Reasons Why Your Interview Went Well but You Were Still Rejected

1. It Didn’t Go as Well as You Thought It Did

You may have left the interview feeling like it went really well, but the interviewer may not have felt the same way.

It’s important to be aware of both your verbal and non-verbal cues during an interview, as they can send different messages than what you’re intending.

For example, if you came across as arrogant or confident, the interviewer may not have been impressed.

Keep in mind that an interviewer will likely be polite and give off positive cues. It’s your job to read between the lines.

2. It Went Better for Another Candidate

If your interview went awesome but you didn’t get an offer, there is a good chance that someone else’s interview went even better.

It sucks, but it’s the truth.

If you’re vying for a popular job or a job with many qualified candidates, the interview process is going to be competitive.

Even if you did everything right and aced the interview, another candidate may have just pipped you at the finish line.

RelatedHow to respond to a job rejection email (with examples)

3. You Didn’t Follow a Specific Instruction

Interviewers love to test candidates on simple things such as following specific instructions.

It may have been obvious, or they may have tested you in a subtle way. Either way, if you didn’t ‘pass the test’ it’s going to affect your chances.

For example, if they told you to bring a portfolio and you didn’t, that’s an automatic strike against you.

Or, if they said they would be asking behavioral questions and you didn’t prepare for that, it shows that you’re not good at following instructions.

4. Your Resume Let You Down

Turning up and acing an interview in person is only part of the overall process.

Your resume is the first thing that an interviewer will see, so it needs to be just as strong as your in-person performance.

If they think there are holes in your resume or something in it that doesn’t match up with what you said in your interview, it will make the interviewer second-guess you.

5. You Didn’t Ask the Right Questions

At the end of an interview, you’re usually given the opportunity to ask questions.

This is your chance to show that you’re interested in the job and the company and that you’ve been paying attention during the interview.

If you don’t ask any questions (or worse, if you ask irrelevant questions), it makes you look like you were not listening.

This may make a bad impression at the time, or it may reflect badly when other candidates ask meaningful questions.

6. They Didn’t Think You’d Fit Within the Culture

Culture fit is becoming increasingly important to employers.

They want to know that you’re not just a good fit for the job, but also for the company culture.

If they don’t think you’d be a good cultural fit, it’s likely that you won’t get the job – even if you were the best candidate on paper.

It’s unfortunate, and there is nothing you can do about it as you’re not aware of the culture and it’s not like you’d be able to change yourself to reflect it.

RelatedHere’s what to do if you have mixed feelings about a job.

7. They Didn’t See You as A Long-Term Prospect

Employers want to know that you’re going to stick around for the long haul. After all, they’re investing a lot of time and money in you.

If they think you’re just looking for a stop-gap or a short-term gig, it’s unlikely that they’ll offer you the job.

There are a few ways that an interviewer can get this feeling from you.

For example, if you talk about wanting to move on quickly or progress within the company, or if you’re not clear about your long-term goals, or if you have a history of job-hopping.

8. Their Circumstance Changed and They Didn’t Fill the Role

This is a frustrating one as it’s completely out of your control.

The company may have been acquired, they may have had to downsize, or the budget for the role may have been cut between the time of your interview and them sending out an offer.

All of these things are beyond your control and there’s nothing you can do about them.

The best thing you can do is request feedback on your interview and hopefully, this will be explained to you if it’s the case.

9.  They Hired Someone Who Was More Qualified

This is the most common reason for not getting a job offer, and it’s also the most frustrating.

You may have aced the interview and checked all the boxes, but if there was someone else who was just that little bit more qualified on paper, they may get the job.

It doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough, it’s the weight qualifications related to a specific role hold for a lot of employers.

10. You Didn’t Leave a Strong Enough Impression

If you are being considered alongside one or more other candidates, the most memorable candidate will likely feel best suited to the interviewers.

Making sure you stand out (for all the right reasons) in an interview is always important.

Make sure you’re enthusiastic, passionate, use the interviewer’s names when you address them, and show that you really want the job.

If you don’t do these things, it’s likely that another candidate will, and they’ll get the job over you.

RelatedWhat I did when my depressed partner wanted to quit their job!

11. You Didn’t Follow Up in Time

Once you’ve had an interview, it’s important to follow up with a thank you note or email.

This is your chance to reiterate your interest in the job and thank the interviewer for their time.

However, if you don’t do this in a timely manner (ideally within 24 hours) and someone else does, it shows that you’re not as interested as they are.


Image credits – Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

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