Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job That Are NOT Your Fault

Elizabeth Witbeck

You had an interview at a company, and it turns out you didn’t get the job. It is important to understand that there are many factors that go into hiring somebody. You can prepare for an interview and do your best to succeed. Still, there are a number of reasons why you might not get a job that are not your fault.

1. Internal hire

The company could have decided to go with an internal hire. Many people would rather hire somebody they already know than somebody who is a stranger. An internal hire is somebody they are familiar with, they know their work style and how they will be on the job. Internal candidates already know the company culture and organizational structure. If an internal candidate gets the job besides you, all you can do is shrug and move on.

2. The company already hired somebody

Sometimes, the company already knows who it wants to fill a certain position. Maybe it has an internal person in mind, or maybe they want to bring somebody new into the company. However, due to management rules, the company is required to have a traditional hiring process, in which they post a job and hold several interviews. This is a formality, even though they already knew from the beginning who they would hire. This type of situation happens much more often than people realize.

3. Company politics

Something that you cannot control is company politics. For example, maybe the person who got the position is the nephew of the company president. Favoritism shown to relatives happens all of the time within the career world. Or perhaps a person networked their way into the position. They may have spent the past two summers interning at the company. Studies show that most positions are filled through networking. The lesson here is to leverage your own social network in your job hunting process.

4. The job posting got cancelled

There are many reasons why the job could get cancelled. The business may have thought they had enough money for the position, but then they took a look at things and decided that they didn’t. If it is a government or university position, they may have not received the grant money to make it happen. None of this is a reflection on you.

5. Organizational restructuring

This is similar to the point above. The company may have recently gone through organizational restructuring and because of this, the position that was open no longer exists. They may have decided to merge those responsibilities into the job description of another one of their employees. They may have decided to hire an independent contractor. Many companies go through an organizational restructuring in order to cut costs. This often comes as a blessing in disguise – you don’t want to work for a company that can’t figure out their own organizational needs and what each person’s job description at the business is.

6. Bad timing

You could be a great candidate, but it might be bad timing. Perhaps your dream company is going through a tough financial period and can’t hire somebody right now, or is unable to secure grants to do research. Maybe they have a full team currently, although they are expecting people to retire in the next couple of years. Or maybe it is bad timing for you, whether you just started school, had a child, or moved somewhere far away. It is important to always stay on good terms with people you meet, because you never know when they may remember you and call you back in for an interview.

7. You don’t bond with the interviewer

During the interview, one of the things that the company wants to see is what you are like as a person. What is your personality like? Are you sane? Would you fit in with the rest of the crew? Companies have a certain culture, and interviewers want to see if you would be a good fit. Sometimes people have instant chemistry when they meet and it feels like you have known each other for ever. The job may have gone to somebody who was a better match. This is again sometimes a blessing – you may not want to work somewhere you feel uncomfortable or out of place.

8. It can be difficult to terminate people

There are certain industries, such as government agencies, schools, and universities, where it is particularly difficult to fire employees. This is because of the rules and regulations that are part of the system. Because of these policies, the hiring team wants to make sure they are 100 percent certain they hire the best candidate possible. Otherwise, it will be impossible to fire them if it does not work out. If you weren’t hired, it might be because of their uncertainty you were the best candidate on the planet, and their fear of being stuck in a situation they could not reverse.

Hopefully reading this list helps to bring some perspective on the situation. Remember to not take rejection too personally. There are things that you can control in the job hunting process, such as your resume and cover letter, and your interviewing skills.

Keep your focus on the things that you can control. There are many other jobs out there.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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