3 Reasons You May Not Have Gotten the Job

3 Reasons You May Not Have Gotten the Job

I need a job

Everyone wants feedback.  At Vivo, we will give candidates as much constructive feedback as we are given.  However, not all clients give us feedback to pass on.  So, we’ve compiled some of the more typical comments we hear for those times when the candidate swears she “aced it”. Each of the 3 are subtle – and rarely go noticed by the candidate.  Which are you guilty of?

(1) The candidate was not passionate about the industry/company. In almost every interview, the candidate is asked something about why she or he wants the position.  This seems to be the “break time” for many candidates. The filler. A chance to get a sip of water, while the interviewer queues up more interesting questions.  What the candidates seem to forget, is that companies want employees – and even consultants – who feel strongly about them, and the industry in general.  Before the interview, research the company and the industry trends and give an answer that suggests you have a vested interest in working there not just anywhere.

(2) Overrated. Literally.  If you rate yourself an “8 out of 10” in something, you’d better have written a book on it.  This is the most common trap interviewers seem to love. We recommend not using numerical ratings.

(3) Inconsistencies. Inconsistencies are more than just “he didn’t do everything he said on his resume”. That would be easy to cure.  It’s more than that – it’s answers that do not support previous statements. Example, the candidate is asked what she likes about project management, and says she “loves the fast pace”.  When the next interviewer comes in, he asks “why are you leaving XYZ company?” and she answers, “the pace is frenetic and I’m burning out.”  When the two interviewers talk later, they disqualify the candidate for “inconsistencies”.

Now, you’ll note that this candidate had a very good explanation.  By “frenetic” she meant disorganized – fast, but with no direction.  But, not noting the potential inconsistency, and happy that her interviewer had smiled and nodded at her, she let that statement stand alone.  By thinking through and even practicing answers to common questions (What do you enjoy about this kind of work? Why are you leaving your present position? Etc.), she may have heard the potential inconsistency.  Simply answering “after a year there, I realize that they are not likely to put any meaningful structure in place for their project management approach, and I’m watching everyone around me burn out as a result” would have negated the “inconsistent” label.

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