Sad woman in a home office

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

Melissa Allen|

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.

Category: Job Search Strategies, Latest News & Advice
  • Bern Doyle

    I was once denied a job because i had intimidated one of the managers that i .interviewed with.

    • Canadianraptor

      Yup, threatening to break the person’s legs if you don’t get the job is a big turn off!

  • smscamp

    1. They have to meet Affirmative Action quotas, but just in case they can not find a remotely qualified, D – qualified person politically correct stereotyped as “marginalized” and “disadvantaged”, they have to take in members of “Advantaged”, “Privileged” racial and gender stereotyped groups

    2. You are too old or young – nothing politically incorrect with such age related stereotypes.

    3. You do are not of the hiring person(s) education, as many of such university educated HRs think only want to hire their own university educated kind, so even if the degree type stinks in communication, people and other skills required for the job, compared to non-university educated applicants, they will hire their own educated kind

    4. In most of Canada’s, public service, you do not speak French/bilingua, which many of the HR/Managers are Francophones/bilinguals and, sadly, many only want to hire their own linguistic kind, and not it is becoming more apparent, there is a growing number who only want to hire their own French speaking Francophone kind

    5. Looks, sorry folks, but it may be better to spend your money on boob jobs/six pack abs or liposuction, instead up getting more education

  • hjb

    Why invite for interview if they already have someone in mind?

    • m6tlogistics

      if they are a public service ( gov’t) company, one that bids for gov’t contracts or a unionized one-it is almost always in their hiring pre-requisites…

  • Canadianraptor

    A few years back I unfortunately became involved with #7. It was not bad-mouthing although it was, I guess, a “variation on a theme”! In our reception area, I met someone from a previous company who was in for an interview with my company for a Senior Director of Materials Management position. I had always kept in tough with my old boss and he informed me that the individual had been fired for a significant theft of company inventory, although he was not arrested (company’s choice)!. Afterwards, I discovered from talking to or HR Manager that this individual was in the top 3 candidates after the initial interview and was a slight favourite. I told him to do an urgent reference check with my other company’s HR Manager, who I knew very well, and who I had already talked to. I did not explain the exact reason why as I did not want to prejudice the discussion. Afterwards our HR manager thanked me for advising him to do the reference check first and told me we would just send him a “thank you” letter but that obviously they could not hire a thief. Did I feel bad, not a bit the guy was a thief!

  • John

    I would imagine that one would find it extremely difficult to cope with the Canadian mentality of political correctness and conservatism. Nobody seems to want to stand up and be counted or to make a decision.