Sad woman in a home office

7 reasons you didn't get the job (that have nothing to do with you)

Written by Melissa Allen
Posted on May 2, 2014

Many of us have been in this situation: you spend hours preparing for a job interview, go in and wow them. You leave confident that you’ve nailed it and the position is yours. Then, you get the call! Only, it’s to tell you that while you were a great candidate, they are choosing not to move forward with your application. Or even worse, you don’t hear back from them at all. Despite doing everything right, you didn’t get the job. Sometimes, even if you think that you’re the perfect fit for the role, it just doesn’t happen, and then we tend to blame ourselves, or the organization.

The truth is, there’s a very good chance that you were the best person for the job, and the reason you didn’t get it actually has nothing to do with you. Here are seven potential reasons that you didn’t get the job (that have absolutely nothing to do with you).

1. They already have someone else in mind.

But due to their internal policies they have no choice but to open the position to everyone else first and hold a certain amount of interviews. It’s sneaky and not very nice but it happens.

2. There was a corporate restructuring.

And now someone else has what would have been your responsibilities, or the position was eliminated altogether.

3. There actually is no role available for you.

Sometimes companies, a manager, or HR rep will bring you in for a discussion because you have potential, and while there might not be a position for you now, there could be one in the future.

4. They lost their budget.

There is usually a pre-determined headcount budget that a company or division receives each year or quarter. This budget, like all others, must sometimes adapt to new or unforeseen circumstances.

5. The manager who wanted to hire you is no longer with the company.

The person you clicked with during the interview process, or who was your champion, may have left the company and the new person has a completely different idea of who should fill the role.

6. They’re talent-hoarding.

In the case of unscrupulous recruiters, sometimes there never was a job – they’re just trying to build up their ‘candidate farm’ to potentially profit from placing.

7. You were bad-mouthed.

The employer spoke to someone they know socially from a place you used to work (not your boss or actual reference) who speaks ill of working with you. The anecdotal red flag overrides your actual glowing references.

Pick yourself up and continue on with your job search, confident in what you have to offer – the right job for you is out there, waiting to be found.