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Oct. 04, 2016

Why You Didn’t Get the Job (Even Though You’re Qualified)

Looking for a job can often seem like a game of chance—even if you go into an interview with a polished resume and great qualifications, it doesn’t mean you’ll walk away with a new position. The reality is that there are a number of behind-the-scenes factors that come into play when making a hiring decision, and sometimes you and a position just aren’t meant to be. Take a look below at three common reasons why you may receive a rejection letter (or never hear back from a company at all), even though you’re well qualified for a role.

  1. You’re not a good fit with company culture – It’s possible that your personality or work style wouldn’t have been a good fit with the company’s culture. Try not to take this personally. Every company has a unique set of values that help guide business decisions and if they felt you wouldn’t have meshed well with the work environment and team, they’re probably correct. Finding a good fit is important for both parties, so take some time to think about what type of workplace you need and what values you can’t compromise. The next time you sit down for an interview, keep these values in mind and you’ll be able to get a good feel for whether or not you and the company are a good match.
  2. The company goes with a referral – A company may choose to hire a familiar face over someone new—even if that means getting someone who is less skilled or experienced. This especially holds true here in Hawaii where candidates are often found by promoting from within or asking employees, friends, and even family for referrals. In a state that values relationships as an important part of doing business, don’t be surprised if you’re passed up for a position because the hiring manager’s best friend’s cousin put in a good word for someone else. That’s why it’s very important to include networking and relationship-building events in your job search strategy.
  3. The needs of the company shift – Understand that the needs of a business can change dramatically within a short period of time. Last week the company was searching for a new receptionist, but after talking with the front desk team and evaluating needs and budget, the hiring manager realized what the company actually needs is a part-time personal assistant to the CEO. Yes, you may have been the ideal choice for the receptionist position, but now that the job duties have shifted, the company is looking for someone that can better fit a different role.

The reality is that you won’t get hired for every position that you apply for, even if you’re qualified. However, don’t let that discourage you from continuing to put your best foot forward—submit polished applications, prepare as best you can for every interview, be professional, and always be ready to clearly explain what you can bring to a company. In the end, this will help you find a position that’s the best possible match for both you and the company.

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