Applying for a job seems like a fair process. You apply online, and if you’re a good fit for the job, the company will give you a call. You’ll go in person for an interview and show your expertise. Then, the company will carefully decide who the most qualified person is.
When you don’t land the job, despite being extremely qualified, it can leave you wondering what you’re doing wrong. “Why didn’t the company hire me? What could I have done differently?”
The issue is, not everything is really as it seems in the world of hiring. There are a number of things the recruiter won’t (and often can’t) reveal to you when you’re interviewing for a job.
1. The hiring manager has a preselected candidate. Sometimes this person is internal, and sometimes they come from the outside. It’s not uncommon for the hiring manager to have someone picked out before you get there. But, the company continues with your interview. This is often because they need to meet their internal process requirements around hiring.
2. The position has been put on hold. I have seen this more times than I care to count. A company is midway through the hiring process. They have already started interviewing candidates. Then, something happens to put the brakes on the entire thing. Perhaps, they have run out of funding, and a hiring freeze has gone into effect. Or, it’s possible that the hiring manager has moved to another department, or has left the company completely. The big boss doesn’t want to move forward until a new hiring manager is in place, so they can make the final call.
3. The company is reworking the role. If a role is new, it’s possible that after the hiring manager conducted a few interviews, they realized that their expectations were a little off. Perhaps they want to find someone with a slightly different skillset. Or, they may have realized that the talent they’ve interviewed is a bit outside of their price range. Whatever the reason, they’ve pulled the job posting down and are going through the process to come up with a new, refined role.
4. The organization moves slowly. This one is always a big surprise. Perhaps you had a great interview and were told you would hear something within a week. Then, nothing happened. You assumed the job was completely lost until a few months later, someone from the company calls for a follow up interview.
Your best chance of landing a job is to practice and prepare. But, if you don’t receive a job offer, don’t assume it is 100% your fault. The company has a number of things going on behind the scenes that will impact whether or not you’re hired. Unfortunately, they will rarely disclose these issues to you.
Rather than focusing on failures, use them as practice to prepare for the next big interview!
Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.