Few things are more disheartening than you doing well on a job interview only to find that you somehow still got passed over for the position.
The process of job hunting is already stressful, constantly requiring personalized time-consuming applications and multi-step vetting processes that can have you talking to tons of people before even getting a shot at the prize.
It’s even more frustrating when you get close to the gold only to have it suddenly and unexpectedly snatched away from you. Unfortunately, rejection will always be a part of the process, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t anything you can learn.
In fact, there are several reasons why you might find yourself unable to land that job, and knowing exactly why can be of tremendous help. Read on to see why the worst may have happened, while possibly learning how to avoid it happening again.
1. A Bad Online Presence
This can be a common one that’s easy to overlook. In fact, many candidates neglect to refine and polish their online presence. Even if your resume is perfectly formatted, well-structured, and in-depth, and even if your interview goes swimmingly, a bad online impression can sink the whole ship.
It’s widely known that hiring managers will often run light background checks by browsing your social media and blogs. In truth, your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts speak volumes about the type of person, and, consequently, the type of employee you may be.
Obviously, this means you need to keep embarrassing photos and posts offline. Don’t loudly brag about the crazy nights you had during your college years, and do your best not to share anything overly personal on the web where you can never take it back. However, this is pretty basic stuff that most mature professionals are probably aware of.
Another aspect that may be less obvious is how you deal with touchy subjects. Strong religious, political, or social views can easily blackball you from some of the best careers with people who happen to just disagree on those points. Everyone has their own views and it’s okay to be passionate about them; just don’t let them get in the way of finding the right job for you.
2. Changing Financial Situations
This is something that is much less in your control. Basically, it all comes down to the timing of a business. For whatever reason, a company may realize partway through the process that they don’t have the funds for the role. This could be because the company’s financial situation has worsened or the budget failed to be approved.
This can easily tie the hands of an employer, and it happens more often than you’d think. Simply put, if the cash isn’t there, they can’t take you on, so don’t obsess over what could’ve been.
3. Seeming Unnatural
It’s commonplace to practice for interviews. You want to be prepared to answer the questions they’ll throw at you; however, there is a dark side to this. You don’t want to come off as too practiced at this.
If you sound too prepared or like you rehearsed your answers, then it won’t look good. Employers want to know how you react in a crunch, and they don’t want you reading off prepared comments. In fact, they’d much rather see the genuine self that they’ll have to work in close proximity with in the months and years to come.
Don’t repeat memorized answers, and don’t seem uninvolved or like you’re going through the motions. This can kill your chances even if the interview is technically perfect.
Instead, when asked questions, pause. Use the time to think about it and reword whatever answer you may have practiced to be customized for the question. Also, remember real life examples that qualify why you’re a good fit will never go out of style.
4. Internal Candidates
Another thing that can lock you out of a job is if they decide to go with an internal candidate, which happens very often and is one of the most common reasons you might miss out on a job. Simply put, if they have an employee who is deserving of a promotion and they have the incentive of reduced training costs for them, it can just make more sense for the business to hire inside talent.
Sometimes, you just can’t compete with the pre-existing insider knowledge and established relationships, so don’t beat yourself up.
5. Arrogance and a Lack of Professionalism
These two-pronged reasons can be fatal interviewing and career mistakes. It’s natural to brag and show off a bit in the interview, but you don’t want to be too self-aggrandizing. If you’re cocky, then you’ll come off as self-centred and arrogant, or perhaps even selfish and Machiavellian, which is the last thing employers want.
Of course, this can be difficult to judge. So, to avoid coming off as a know-it-all, try to balance your answers in an 80/20 fashion. This means that four-fifths of the time you should be talking about how you want to help the company, with the remaining time spent on self-promotion. Again, use examples, and try your best to respond directly in terms of how you will benefit them, not just why you’re so great.
Tying into this can be a failure to sound professional and appropriate for the environment. Experience and skills are critical, of course, but you must have a good presentation when you’re delivering these assets. Don’t use slang, don’t mispronounce words, and don’t use poor grammar. These slip-ups can make you seem much less qualified than you actually are, thus destroying your chances.
Avoid using filler words such as “like” or “um”, and take the time to speak clearly and effectively. Use the time you have to think about your answer, so you’re not fumbling around for words or staggering through your speech.
There are many reasons you might not get the job you wanted. Sometimes, it can be completely out of your control, but other times it can be because you’ve come off in an inappropriate way, even though you think that your interview went well. Hopefully, this article has illuminated some of the common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.
For help from an accounting and finance recruitment agency in Ontario, and for more insight into how you can land that perfect accounting job, please feel free to use our amazing services at AHK Accounting Recruiters. We’ll find the perfect fit for you and can be reached at 833-399-1663 or via our online portal here.