Reasons that you didn't get the job
“Is it my age?”
This is such a common misconception for older candidates. Yes, it can be frustrating and disheartening when you feel like you’ve done everything you can and you still haven’t received the good news. But we’re here to tell you that your age isn’t as much of a factor as you might think it is. Here are some other reasons why employers may be turning you down - all of which can be fixed!
You didn’t “Wow” them with your CV
Hiring managers are inundated continuously with CV's. Your first contact needs to be genuinely eye-catching to stand out from the crowd. Your most valuable selling tool is your CV. If you aren't using it as a fierce marketing tool, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Does your CV reflect your personal brand and position you as The Person for the job? Is your cover letter tailored to each company you’re submitting it to? Woo them with your rightness - don’t hold back.
You were unprepared
You need to consider more than just what you bring to the table. You need to research the other party too. It's incredibly important to learn everything you can about the company before you interview for a job. Go further than merely browsing the company website; consider what’s important to them and what they want from you. Show them that you care about their goals by aligning them with your own. How can you help them get to where they want to be? When you can tell the interviewer what the company does, who the main competitors are, and how you can bring value to what the company does, then you give yourself a tremendous edge over other applicants.
You didn’t have a great Interview
We all get jittery before job interviews and interviewers do understand this. However, certain behaviours can completely wreck an interview. Rambling, fidgeting, closed-off body language, and robotic answers are all potential culprits for you not nabbing that dream job. If this all sounds familiar, consider enrolling in interview coaching, either in person or online. And remember - every interview you go to counts as practice. So don’t feel so down and keep on interviewing!
You bad-mouthed your previous employers
Maybe the reason you left your last job is that your boss was an aggressive bully - but an interviewer doesn’t need or want to hear this. They’re only going to be hearing one side of the story and they’ve got no way of knowing whether you’re simply being truthful or if you’re a problematic employee who will give them trouble.
If you’re asked why you left your last job, and you’re reasons are negative, find a way to spin it into a positive. If you felt smothered and restricted in your last role, say something like, “I wanted to be able to develop my skills further and there was no room to do so at my previous job.” It’s a good blanket answer that won’t make you sound like a disgruntled employee.
You didn’t showcase your amazing personality
While they’re important, employers aren’t just looking for technical qualifications. They also need to see that you have the right ‘soft skills’. Soft skills are personal traits and characteristics that are often a lot harder to learn and even harder to teach than hard skills. But if you’ve got ‘em, you’ve got an edge over those who don’t. Employers generally drool over; work ethic, time management, problem-solving skills, a positive attitude, excellent communication skills, flexibility, accountability, and the ability to be a team player. Make sure you prioritise showcasing these skills just as much as your technical qualifications and hard skills.
You just weren’t the right fit
If nothing else on this list seems to resonate with you, then this is probably the reason you didn’t nab the role. The bad news is that this can be attributed to any number of things, many of which you have no control over. Maybe the interviewer just ‘clicked’ better with another candidate.
Corporate culture is a primary concern for most companies and so your ability to do a job doesn’t just come down to you and your qualifications. Hiring managers will want to be sure that any new employees are going to fit and contribute to the office environment. Sometimes, you just won’t be who they’re looking for and it just can’t be helped. If a company has a relaxed, informal culture and you’re a stickler for structure, pretending that you love Hawaiian Shirt Fridays won’t do you or the employer any good.
The good news is that when this happens, it isn’t about you. Some things just aren’t meant to be. Try not to see it as a personal rejection and more as a relief. Now you have the freedom to move on and find the one that will fit.