8 Reasons They Never Called You Back for a Second Interview

You had your first interview and you left feeling confident. You believe you established a good rapport with the interviewer and you felt a connection with him by the time you left.

And then you never heard back from him.

What went wrong? Why didn’t you at least get a second interview?

Well, a lot of things may have gone wrong. Maybe you made such a great impression that you made the top five candidates list. Maybe you were number two, but number one got offered the job and accepted.

Maybe they changed their minds and promoted someone from within the company. Or maybe the position was eliminated due to budget cuts or a change in company policy.

But maybe, just maybe, you weren’t called back for a second interview because of one of the following reasons…

1) You said some negative things about your previous job or boss
You were positive and upbeat throughout most of the interview, but you couldn’t help mentioning that part of the reason you left your last job was because your boss was such a jerk. That does not go over well with hiring managers.

2) You didn’t know enough about the company to answer some pertinent questions
Yes, you looked over their website, but you didn’t take the time to really study the important details about the company. You figured that since interviewing is your strong suit, you could rely on your wits and make it up as you go along. Well, guess what? You can’t.

3) You asked questions about you, not about them
Hiring managers are searching for people who are team players and who want to focus on the company’s bottom line. Not yours. So if you asked questions like, how much vacation time do you get with the job, do you get the week off between Christmas and New Years and do they offer tuition reimbursement because you’d like to go back to school and you are hoping the company will pay for it, then you lost focus on what the interview is all about. Those questions will be answered in the benefits package if you get the job. The interview is more about how you can help them, not the other way around.

4) Bad references
You may have given perfectly good references, but if those references are halfhearted about returning phone calls, the window of opportunity might close on you. Be sure to ask your references if they mind being a reference and let them know how much you appreciate them doing so.

5) Bad reputation
If a company likes you they are probably going to do a Google search on you. Do a Google search on yourself before the interview to see what pops up. You never know what might offend a hiring manager. Something you might consider insignificant, might be a deal breaker to the hiring manager. Really look closely at what you’ve posted on social media and consider it from the point of view from someone who knows nothing about you.

6) Your contact info was lost because you failed to put it on your cover letter
Yes, you put it on your résumé, but your résumé and cover letter may be separated and the hiring manager has only your cover letter in front of him. So make sure you have your correct contact information on both the résumé AND the cover letter, so that if they are interested in you, they don’t have to search all over the office to find it. It might just be easier to eliminate you and move on to the next candidate.

7) Interviews don’t end just because you’ve walked out the building
If you’re sitting by the phone waiting for them to contact you after the first interview, you might be waiting forever. Following up is mandatory, not optional. Between two candidates who are vying for the same position, the one who follows up is seen as more enthusiastic than the one who blows off the follow up procedure.

8) You did follow up, but not with a thank you
A thank you goes a long way in just about anyone’s book. It is perfectly acceptable to email a thank you, but be sure to do it within a day or two. Like all of your other correspondence, do a spell check and write a thoughtful thank you note to each and every person you met during the interview; not just the hiring manager.

If you are guilty of any of these things, learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them the next time. You’ll be more likely to get called back for a second interview if you do.

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