Job Hunting Tips

Why Didn’t I Get the Job?

Posted by Sally
min read
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Searching for a job is one of the greatest tests of one’s resilience. Getting rejection calls, emails, or hearing nothing at all happens to everyone, and for some of us, its months before we land the right job.

Not getting feedback is frustrating because you don’t know what went wrong, and how you can improve your chances. Below are some potential reasons you didn’t get the job at different stages during the application process.

Reasons You Did Not Get Selected for an Interview:

  • Were you qualified for the job? Generally in job ads there will be a few key criteria that are nonnegotiable. Previous experience in a similar role, industry exposure and relevant systems are often required. Businesses might not always have the capacity to invest large amounts of time into training, so read the ad properly and apply only to those that suit your skillset – saves you time too!

  • Was your application accurate and complete? The amount of time we receive incomplete or incorrect resumes is laughable. My colleague Colleen even wrote a blog about all the documents that were submitted instead of resumes! You’ve got a short window to impress, so make sure your experience is displayed clearly and in a comprehensible manner.

  • Did you demonstrate your skills clearly during the phone screen? If you’ve gotten a phone call, it means we like what we see. Ensure you are available to talk, and if you can’t call back later.  Be prepared to give us more details about the work you have done and speak clearly and confidently.

Reasons You Did Not Get Selected After an Interview:

  • Were you prepared for the interview? One of the benefits of going through a recruiter is the help we can provide in prepping you for an interview. We coordinate and conduct hundreds of interviews each year, and we will have insight into what the organisation is specifically looking for – so when we want to help prepare you, take notes! Being late, or too early, not dressing to impress, and failing to do your research on the company will all put you at a disadvantage. First impressions mean a lot!

  • Did you demonstrate your experience properly? Prepare for the interview by identifying specific examples that demonstrate your skills so that if someone asks you ‘Tell me about a time where you..’ you can provide a well thought out, detailed example for them. Ensure you have questions to ask the interviewer as well. It’s these simple things that can make a candidate standout.

  • Did you build a positive rapport with the interviewer(s)? Nerves, tiredness, and interview fatigue can all impact how you build rapport with someone. It is often subconscious, but your perceived ‘cultural fit’ with the interviewer and the business is the main reason one candidate is picked over another.


Rejection happens, you can put your best foot forward and still get beaten by someone else. But rejection is often good, because if the company didn’t think you were the best candidate, then it may not have been the best fit for you in the long run. Just ensure that you try your best in each interview and demonstrate what a fantastic asset you are – you will find your dream job eventually!