This Is Why You Didn't Get The Job

Illustrated by Jasmin Valcourt.
By Molly Triffin  

My sister is job hunting, and she recently had an interview that went really well. The company called her for a second round, which she also aced, so the hiring manager invited her back for one last meeting with the entire team. But, then, a couple of days later, she received a bewildering email from the firm. With no explanation, they informed her that they had hired someone else.

Another friend went through a similar scenario. She had two home-run interviews for a position in hotel management. After checking her references (glowing!), the HR manager told her they wanted to move forward with an offer and that she would hear from them the next day. When 48 hours passed without a peep, she checked in, only to be told that they were no longer in a position to extend a formal offer.

Sometimes, the reason you didn’t get a job is a no-brainer: You lacked key qualifications, you and the exec clashed, you flubbed the interview. But, it’s not always so obvious. Frequently, there are behind-the-scenes factors at play that influence a position’s status.

We convinced HR professionals to pull back the curtain and reveal seven insider explanations why top-notch candidates ultimately didn’t get the job.