If You’re Getting Multiple Interviews But Not Getting Offers 11. You Have the Skills, But Not the Story
You have all the right skills, you’re applying for the right jobs, you’re passing the screens and early interviews—and yet, no offers. What’s going on? You might not have the right story. The “right story” is kind of a fuzzy concept, but basically, you don’t want the hiring manager to walk out of the interview thinking, “Yes, they can do the job, but why do they even want it?”
In interviews, you need to make the case for why a job makes sense as the next step in your career. Are you looking for a managerial role or are you hoping to be more in the weeds dealing with technical problems rather than people problems? In other words, how does this job fit into the story of your professional development? You can cover this straight on in your response to “Tell me about yourself” or “Why this role?” and weave it in throughout the interview.
12. You’re Coming Off a Little… Strong
It’s good to be excited about a job opportunity, but it’s another thing to come off as overly excited. The latter can sometimes (unfairly) trigger red flags for interviewers.
So do show off your interest by having a lot of knowledge about the company and sharing it. Don’t show up an hour early to the interview, wait awkwardly in the lobby, and make everyone feel bad that they’re not ready for you yet. Do write a thank you note to your interviewers and include details from the conversation. Don’t call every day to see if there is an update on the role. Do check out your interviewers on LinkedIn to prepare for the interview. Don’t friend them on Facebook or other social media. You get the idea.
13. You Don’t Stand Out Enough
You don’t want to be memorable for the wrong reasons, but you do want to be memorable. When the hiring committee meets to discuss candidates, it’s not a good sign if no one really remembers much about you.
To stand out in the right way, be ready to show that you’re passionate about something related to the job. You can also showcase an unrelated—but just kind of interesting—passion, like bread making or biking. Find things you can talk about with gusto and then do! For example, when you get a more open-ended question like, “What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of?” answer with a work-appropriate response and then briefly add in your latest sourdough triumph at the end!
14. You Were Too Negative
In general, hiring managers favor candidates who are positive and don’t always see the worst in everything—it’s human nature to not want to work with someone who’s overly negative.
So, for example, when you get to later interview rounds, you may get asked what kind of suggestions you have for the company to improve a product or make a team more efficient. In these instances, be careful how you word things. It’s easy to accidentally get a little too negative and point out all the problems you see. You want to answer the question, but also be mindful that you’re not offending anyone. Be solution-oriented instead of only focusing on the issues.
The no-negativity rule also applies to questions you may get about previous employers. No badmouthing former workplaces, managers, or colleagues. Even if their behavior was egregious, you won’t look good if you speak poorly of them.
15. You Didn’t Prep Your References
If your references are saying completely different things than what you said in the interview, that can be a huge red flag for hiring managers. To avoid having a reference accidentally contradict you, make sure you’re giving them adequate heads up that a call may be coming. Ideally, you should also let them know what role you’ve applied for and why you think you’re a good fit. Sending over your tailored resume and cover letter can be really helpful, too. In short, you want to make sure that their story and your story align.
All this being said, sometimes you really can be doing everything right in your job search and the reasons you haven’t landed a position yet are entirely outside your control. Maybe you were competing with an internal candidate the hiring manager had in mind from the get-go or maybe they just defaulted to interviewing people with more years of experience to narrow down the applicants.
Focus on the aspects of your applications that you can control and keep moving forward. Job searches take time, and it will be worth the effort once you land the right job.