Reasons Why You Weren’t Hired (and why they never told you)

Reasons Why You Weren’t Hired (and why they never told you)

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It’s not uncommon to see job seekers complaining that they never heard back from an employer after their job interview. And even though some of them do get the polite rejection call or email, they are never told the real reason why they weren’t selected.

It’s either you were not the strongest among all the candidates, or you did something that turned off the employer, an example is being late for your scheduled interview, which is an automatic red flag for a hiring manager.

More often than that, there are other reasons why candidates don’t get hired, employers will either give you the silent treatment or politely tell you something else. We’ve listed down some of the possible reasons why you were not hired and what they did not tell you.


You made a bad first-impression

Regardless if you arrived early for your scheduled interview, sharply dressed, prepared all your documents and patiently waited for your turn to be interviewed, all the while being friendly with the other candidates in the waiting area. You may have given the hiring manager a bad first-impression when you first met them, even before you started the interview. How? You may remind the employer of someone whom they’d had a negative experience with in the past, reasons that are completely beyond your control.

An employer may unconsciously deny your application just because you talk or sound like a previous employee whom they had issues with before, or you bear a passing resemblance with an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.


Either you’re too attractive or not that attractive

Regardless of how qualified or even over qualified you are, there are employers who have a hiring bias against a candidate’s physical attributes, or even jobs that require a particular “face value”. This is far too common in jobs that would require you to interact face to face with your customers or clients, like Sales Associates in a department store or Receptionist for a high-end restaurant.

There are also those hiring managers who are reluctant to hire candidates who are much attractive than themselves. You may make them feel insecure about their own appearance which could also be a factor for the decision not to hire you. Of course, no employer will ever tell a candidate that they are too hot or that they don’t look good enough to get the job.


You’re too intelligent

In theory, employers want to hire sharp-witted employees. But unfortunately, there can be insecure recruiters who’d rather hire someone to do the job as they are told over someone who can do more than what is asked of them.

These people are usually so insecure and lack self-confidence that they automatically fail applicants who can quickly outshine everyone. They fear a candidate who can potentially steal their job in the near future if they hire them.

The vacancy was cancelled

You are the top choice to get hired for a job position but then the company cancels the job opening and put you on a waiting list.

This kind of scenario usually happens with companies who hire a lot of employees at once, like BPO’s. Hiring managers give the go signal to invite you for contract signing then suddenly word comes down from their head office to put a freeze on hiring, either they have hired enough employees or they want to save budget and hire internally instead. Either or, these are instances that are beyond the hiring managers control and completely unrelated to your competency.


You weren’t job fit

Employers evaluate more than your credentials on your resume. Sometimes they look for a candidate who is job fit. Job fit is a concept on how well an employee is suited for a job position, and there are endless factors that can influence this. Sometimes, hiring managers want a candidate who will become a part of their team’s daily routines, so you can also get assessed based on your personality and how fit you are with their culture.

Unfortunately, there are those who take it too far, by looking for someone just like them – same cultural references, attitude, fashion sense, etc. So, if you don’t fit the image the hiring manager had in mind, you could be chosen over a candidate who’s fits all their criteria even though you can outperform this person.


You are you

You have your own individual personality, and you have your own uniqueness. You may even have an impressive credential and interesting career path with the skills that will get you there, but unfortunately you weren’t the one they were looking for.

Same with being job fit, sometimes your personal brand does not fit what the employer had in mind for the job role. Sometimes, hiring managers would have a vision of what the person should be like for a specific job title even before meeting anyone. So, it’s not that you were not qualified, your personality is not just the right person they had in mind.

The hiring manager already had a specific person in mind that they want to hire

Some would call this the “Kamag anak system”. Hiring managers already have someone in mind whom they want to hire, regardless if they are a family relative or not, but they would still interview other applicants just for the purpose of compliance. Unfortunately, the cannon-fodder candidates are not informed that they have very little to no chance at all to land the job.

There are also times that there is already a qualified candidate within the company, but the employer would still advertise the job vacancy to other candidates and interview them just to make sure that they cover all the bases to see if the internal candidate is the best choice for them or not.


Of course, we can’t blame the hiring manager, sometimes it’s just out of their hands. Best thing to do is to prepare, do your best in a job interview, be enthusiastic and professional. You probably won’t get hired for all the job interviews you attend but don’t let those setbacks take you down. There will always be those who doesn’t hire you because of their own insecurities which has nothing to do with your abilities. And they will never tell you what’s going on behind the scenes.


Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

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