Did you have an interview you thought went well, yet, you never received a phone call with a job offer afterwards? Here are some potential reasons why the interview you thought was exceptional, did not get you the job:

Recruitment and human resource professionals, Tim Collins and Nadia Ciani, uncover five mistakes interviewees make. Tim Collins is President of StaffLink.ca and has a history of success in preparing job seekers for interviews. Nadia Ciani is the Vice President of Human Resources at Manpower and is an experienced interviewer who has hired numerous individuals for her organization.

You are not communicating a positive attitude and teamwork capabilities

Job seekers may assume employers are searching for skills gained in school or the prior working environment, Ciani suggests that employers are really looking for the skills that are not easily taught. For instance, Ciani states that she looks for candidates who can work through difficult situations. She observes this by asking a candidate about a challenging situation and how they handled it. According to Ciani, a response, from a positive or negative stand point, can provide a lot of information about the interviewee’s attitude. Such responses can often provide deeper insight, such as, whether the candidate blames other people for difficulties. Finally, Cinani states “I’m also listening for examples of collaboration with team members… and if the use of ‘I and them’ is frequent.”

You do not know how to effectively answer interview questions and communicate accomplishments

In order to build your skills with answering interview questions Collins suggests developing sound bites. These short pre-rehearsed phrases should communicate your best accomplishments and when possible, quantify them. For example, saying you increased productivity by 10% or achieved over $1 million in sales during 2011. To develop sound bites Collins recommends to review the job requirements for the position you are applying to and develop a short pre-rehearsed phrase for each of the required skills. If the employer is asking for advance MS Excel, develop a pre-rehearsed phrase that communicates how you have used MS Excel and what you accomplished by using it.

You did not come to the interview prepared

This means doing some research about the company and preparing some questions related to the company’s internal culture. Ciani states, “When I am interviewing the candidate to see if they are a good fit, I also want the candidate to interview me to determine if they like the company and if they want to work for us.” Collins suggests, a candidate should always ask the employer two questions: 1, to describe the team that they will work with and 2, three reasons why people like to work for their organization.

You made a poor first impression

Failing to develop some rapport with the interviewer from the beginning of the interview can lead to a poor first impression. Ciani states, “small talk enables the candidate and interviewer to get to know each other, break down barriers and be more open and honest from the start of the interview. Talk about the weather, or the location of office in the city, or even how the commute was to the interview. You want to have a conversation at the beginning that’s less about the job and more about casual conversation with the interviewer.

You made a poor lasting impression

If you did not ask what the next steps in the interview process are, and when you might hear back from the employer, you did not make a strong, lasting impression. Collins suggests, the first thing a candidate should do is thank the employer for the interview, then ask the above two questions – but warns do not ask if you got the job and do not assume you have got the job, over confidence can lead to a negative perception of the candidate. Also recommended is a quick follow-up email a couple of days after the interview.

Follow these steps and you will improve your chances of having a great interview and landing a new job.

Ozzie Saunds is the founder/owner of www.ResumeToronto.ca and the InspiredMinds Group. Have a question about your resume? Email him at ozzie.saunds@resumetoronto.ca