Top 6 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job – A Recruiter’s Perspective

Top 6 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job – A Recruiter’s Perspective

Have you ever walked out of an interview thinking you nailed it (fist pump here), only to never get a callback? For most professionals interviewing for a new position, getting the interview is only half of the equation – getting an offer is the ultimate prize. Often, you’ll interview and never hear back; which leaves you wondering – what went wrong?

As a recruiter, we have an insider’s view. These are the top 6 reasons we hear cause you to not get a callback!

  1. Salary Mismatch

This one is big and it’s simple; You’re asking for a salary that’s not within their range.  If your asking salary is not within the target comp the company set for that specific job, you won’t get an offer.

Even if you agree to compromise for a lower salary, they still won’t make an offer because the hiring manager’s perspective is that you’re likely to keep looking elsewhere to reach the compensation you’re after.

  1. Talking Smack

Every hiring manager is likely to ask the dreaded question “what about your previous company/role did you not like?” While this is a valid question, don’t get comfortable and go off-script and speak negatively about your current or previous employers, or even co-workers!

Positively utilize this question, switching the conversation in a way that highlights how you overcame a professional challenge. Never smack talk – it never reflects well on you!

  1. No Prior Research

Do your research on the company and the role you’re interviewing for! You should also find out what you can about the people you will be meeting.  Not doing so makes you appear ill-prepared. If you can’t answer the question “what do you know about us?” then you’re saying goodbye to the opportunity.

  1. Social Media Accounts

In today’s world, social media is king. The minute an interview is lined up, it’s safe to assume that the employer is going to google you and evaluate your social media presence. If you have an unprofessional profile photo or show poor judgment with your content and comments (spewing negativity on your accounts), future employers will take note.

Your activity on social platforms is seen by future employers as a snapshot of how you will represent at work.  Make sure to only post things that don’t create a question about your fit for a professional role.

  1. Arrogance vs. Confidence

Yes, there is a difference! While an interview is the BEST place to showcase your achievements and share details about your skills and achievements, do so appropriately. Employers want confidence, but the line between confidence and arrogance can be very fine. Make sure you highlight your best qualities for the position without being overly boastful.

  1. Not Preparing Questions

In almost every interview scenario you will be asked, “what questions do you have?”

NEVER respond with “None, you answered all of my questions.”

Questions are important; this is a sign of a natural conversational transition and how you, as the interviewee, can handle that transition. It illustrates your preparation and your interest in fully understanding the role and the company.

Make sure your questions pertain to the role, the expectations and how you can contribute if hired.  This is a great time to ask for clarification or additional details from earlier parts of the meeting.  Keep it conversational, show your real interest in what you will be doing, and where you can make an immediate contribution!


An interview is a conversation with someone who may or may not offer you a job. Preparation is the key to interviewing well.  Before the meeting, review your social media, research the company, find the balance between sharing your achievements and bragging.  Most importantly go in with a genuine interest in learning about the role, the company, and the people.

Taking the 6 ideas above into account while you prepare will make it more likely that you will get the offer you want!