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Getting interviews but no job offers? 7 reasons why it happens

Here are seven reasons why you're getting interviews but no job offers.

Getting interviews but no job offers? 7 reasons why it happens

Most job seekers know the frustration of getting a second interview only to be "pipped at the post" by another candidate. Sometimes the other applicant will have more relevant experience than you, but if you find that you're frequently missing out - or rarely get past the first interview stage - there could be something you're doing wrong.

Here are seven reasons why you're getting interviews but no job offers.

1. You didn't prepare well enough

Sam Waterfall, founder of Obvious Candidateand author of HIRED! The Essential Guide to Interview Success, recommends a minimum of six hours preparation time for any interview.

'Candidates who put in preparation effort are not only better at answering questions, they also experience a noticeable confidence boost which shines through in their performance.'

Make sure you research the role and organisation thoroughly. Often, the thing that gives one candidate an edge over another is an air of confidence or professionalism. Knowing about the challenges facing the industry (and what the firm's competitors are up to) could be the thing that sets you apart.

2. You didn't get off to a good start

First impressions count, especially when it comes to interviews. While you're waiting for the interviewer to arrive, don't make the mistake of rehearsing answers in your head as you risk appearing tense and distracted on first meeting.

'What you say and how you come across in the first two minutes has a powerful effect on decision makers. Pay attention to your posture (stand up straight, don't fold your arms over your body), smile and make eye contact. You should look and sound the part from the start,' says John Lees, author of a wide range of career books including How to Get a Job You Love.

Sam agrees that body language and image are a huge factor when it comes to judging a candidate. 'Employers are prevented by law from judging on age, gender, race, disability, etc., but they will be quick to judge you on your standards of dress and personal grooming.

'Over-dressing is better than underdoing it. The old adage of dressing for the job above yours still makes sense, even in today's more casual work environment.'

3. You waffled on too much

Many candidates over-supply information when nervous.

'Talking too much not only bores the listener but numbs their attention. Also, you may not leave enough time for the interviewer to cover all their key areas,' warns John.

Sam agrees. 'Instead of giving a direct answer which makes the life of the interviewer easy, people often lose track and ramble off topic. They incorrectly assume that more is better.'

Sam's advice is to answer questions directly and observe the "two-minute rule". 'Never talk for longer than two minutes without pausing, asking a question back, or giving the interviewer a chance to speak.'

Having said that, beware of under supplying information. 'Don't keep your best evidence a secret. If it's a competency-based interview you need to ensure your answer covers all parts of the question,' says John.


4. You didn't convey enough enthusiasm

Many interviewers complain that candidates don't show enough enthusiasm for the role.

'You have to show you really want this job, not just any job, and give clear reasons why,' says John.

Again, your body language could be letting you down. Sam explains: 'An interview is a chance to perform. No one is suggesting you convert your answers into a West End musical, but gesturing when making important points and varying the tone and inflection of your voice will help to convey passion. Lean forward slightly in your seat and be a more animated version of your everyday self. Every response should showcase your ability and enthusiasm.'

John agrees, adding: 'Every interview is an audition. Employers will try to visualise putting you in front of team members or customers - and if they just can't imagine you doing well, things won't go much further.'

5. You failed to deal with CV problems

Interviewers are trained to look for weaknesses in your CV. If you don't reassure and convince them during the interview, your application won't go any further.

'Think about any information in your CV that may worry the interviewer before you arrive. Gaps, inconsistencies, lack of relevant information – prepare strong matching statements for each,' says John. 'If there is a big concern, e.g. the lack of critical experience, don't hope that questions won't come up. Tackle it directly.'

6. Your closing impression was weak

You don't have to work in sales to know the importance of "closing the deal."

'What you say at the end of the interview is remembered in greater detail than earlier discussion,' says John. 'Prepare some positive final questions and be ready to add key information (presuming it hasn't been covered off earlier) if you know it matches the employer's requirements. Always end on a strong, positive note.'

7. Your face didn't fit

An interviewer wants to know three things, according to Sam. 'That you can you do the job (you have the right skills, qualifications and experience); you will do the job (you have the right motivation); and that you will fit in (they see you as a part of the team and culture).

John agrees that personality fit is essential. 'Getting past the first stage of an interview is usually about showing you have the right skill set. Getting past a second interview is usually about whether you will fit into the existing team and not tread on too many toes.'

If you're falling at the second interview, ask yourself whether you're coming across as a team player. Employers value confidence and capability but will think twice before hiring someone arrogant or dominating – no matter how impressive their skills or experience.