Why You Aren’t Getting That In-Person Interview

So, you have applied for a new job, gotten the attention of the hiring manager, and made it through the first (and even second) phone interview with what you imagine are flying colors—only to then never hear from the company again.

Why you aren't getting the follow up interviewNaturally, these situations make us question ourselves. What went wrong? Did I do anything to make them lose interest? Did I completely misread the way the first round of interviews went? Or perhaps it had nothing to do with me and came down to circumstances that were totally beyond my control? Whatever the case may be, you didn’t end up getting that in-person interview and ultimately didn’t get the job. In order to prevent missing out on future opportunities, it is important to consider the reasons why you aren’t moving forward to the final stages of the interview process. 

You failed to properly prepare

Making a good first impression is essential if you want to get past the initial rounds of the interview process, and a great way to impress a potential employer is to show up prepared for the preliminary phone interview. Dialing into the first meeting without doing your homework can be detrimental to your chances of securing an in-person interview. Fumbling to craft responses to common questions, failing to ask your own questions, forgetting the hiring manager’s name—these mistakes could be prevented with the proper preparation.

When preparing for an interview you should spend time researching the company and its culture to not only make sure you’re a good fit, but also determine how to adequately convey your complimentary traits to the hiring manager. You should consider the types of questions that may be asked, and practice responding appropriately. You should also come up with some good questions of your own to demonstrate a greater interest in the position. At the end of the day, the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to progress to an in-person interview.

You failed to follow up with a thank-you note

While you might think following up with a thank-you note after an interview is just a formality that plays no real part in your chances of moving forward, research shows 68 percent of hiring managers say it does impact their decision-making process. It is also worth noting 16 percent have excluded candidates solely based on their failure to follow up with a thank-you note.

Thank-you messages help you solidify a relationship with the hiring manager and keep you at the forefront of their mind when they are selecting which candidates will move on. You should always remember to express your gratitude for their time with a carefully crafted note or email—typically within 24 hours of your meeting.

Your social media sunk you

The image you present and the way you behave on social media can greatly impact your chances for employment. Employers see their employees as representatives of the company, and if your online activity is dominated by posting pictures of drunken nights out, inappropriate videos, and/or countless controversial opinions, just know 70 percent of employers use social media to research job candidates.

To ensure you won’t set off any red flags with your online presence, you’ll want to appear as professional as possible. You can accomplish this by cleaning up any objectionable content or by simply changing your privacy settings. However, you’ll want to avoid deleting your accounts entirely as a 2018 survey reports almost half of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they cannot find online.

You were over/under-qualified

One of the most straightforward reasons you might be getting passed up in favor of another candidate is that you are either under-qualified or overqualified for the position. If you do not have the required background and necessary skills to perform the job required, employers are more likely to go with a candidate that does. Conversely, if you are overqualified for the position, employers may be hesitant to hire you based on the likelihood of you having higher salary requirements and a greater potential to get bored with the work and quit.

While the process of interviewing for a new job, combined with the uncertainty of the outcome, is often stressful, knowing some of the main reasons why you have not gotten an in-person interview in the past, and what you can do to improve your chances of getting to the final round in the future, should give you some peace of mind.

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