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The Top Reasons Job Candidates Get Rejected

The job is perfect – you have the right background, skills and experience – and you are invited in for an interview. But the process suddenly ends and… you’re rejected. What happened that you’re out of the running? We polled several expert recruiters and asked them to share their take on why candidates get rejected. Here are 25 of the most common reasons.

1. Showing up late, or worse, showing up late without a sincere and profuse apology.

2. Inability to effectively explain your background, skills or credentials.

3. Being too casual in dress, attitude, language or demeanor.

4. Lack of general manners or business etiquette like eye contact and a firm handshake.

5. Bad mouthing former employers.

6. Not asking any questions during the interview.

7. Lacking energy and enthusiasm, or acting bored or disinterested.

8. Not able to explain the reasons for leaving your last job, or; not having a clear explanation for your career movement.

9. Flaws with personal appearance and hygiene such as messy hair, body odor, stained or wrinkled clothing.

10. Not knowing anything about the company where you are interviewing.

11. Being arrogant or coming off as too confident or a know-it-all; acting in a condescending way toward anyone during the interview process.

12. Rambling or being verbose; failing to answer questions succinctly and directly.

13. Not asking for the job or saying you want it.

14. Not selling yourself to the specific role.

15. Not specifically mentioning why this job is more appealing than others, or not being able to articulate why you want to work at the company.

16. Asking questions not related to the job like “When do people take lunch,” “Are there casual Fridays,” “How’s the food in the cafeteria;” or asking questions about hours, benefits and perks too early in the process.

17. Not silencing your phone before starting the interview (and then getting a call!).

18. Arriving without your resume.

19. Making up an answer to a question instead of being honest and saying you don’t know.

20. Expressing unrealistic salary expectations.

21. Not writing a thank you note following the interview.

22. Bringing up personal issues.

23. Acting as if the interviewer should be selling you more than you should be selling her.

24. Not having a LinkedIn profile (or having a weak one), or; not having consistency between social media platforms and your resume.

25. Being overly nervous or fidgety.

Reference this list before your next interview to ensure the hiring manager is focused on your skills, background and abilities, and not distracted by these interview-killers that could lead to you being rejected.

Photo Credit: Bernard Hermant on Unsplash