You feel you’re the perfect fit for the job, you made it through the phone screening, and landed an interview, but you didn’t get the job and you’re left wondering why.
When you don’t use a recruiter to help you on the job hunt, and you go at it alone, you don’t always receive feedback after your interview. This can often make it hard to understand where you went wrong, and make improvements for next time.
Whilst there can be many different reasons why, we conducted a short survey amongst our consultants, and compiled a list of the top reasons candidates get knocked out after the first round.
1 The first impression.
The first impression is everything. Eye contact is top is the list, along with a good firm handshake. Whilst in the interview, don't slouch or fold your arms, body language is also very important. Be enthusiastic (but not too much), and smile, let your personality shine through.
2 You displayed a lack of knowledge.
One of the most important things to do before an interview is prepare, gain a good understanding of the company, and what they do. Check out their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles of your interviewers, look at their company page also, it’s always good to do your research.
The first interview is an incredibly important way for an interviewer to gauge if you are really interested in working there, rather than just looking for any job. Make sure you have a good explanation as to why you are interested in the company and role.
3 You focused on what over how.
In an interview you are faced with scenario based questions, as well as technical questions, and more often than not there is never a right answer. This is a great way to deep dive into the way you think, interviewers are very keen to see a demonstration of your thought process, and how you get to an answer. What you know can be taught, but how you think is a different story!
4 You weren’t quite aligned from a Technical/Cultural perspective.
In IT, is often the case that candidates will be subject to a coding challenge as part of the interview and hiring process. So technically, you have to be spot on, and your skills must align to what’s on your resume. When it comes to a cultural fit, different companies are looking for different types of people. Make sure to do some culture research to see how your personality would fit into the picture. Or better still, use a recruiter to align your skills and personality to the right company and role for you.
5 You focused too much on team achievements rather than your own.
Try to focus more on your individual achievements, rather than what your team has achieved. Interviewers want to hear about you, what you have achieved, and what you did to get there. The interview is about you and your skills.
6 You didn’t show enough initiative.
Questions, make sure you have questions for the interviewer, prepare them prior to your interview, and even bring a notebook to jot questions down as they come up. Show you have a real interest in the company, and the role you have applied for. Visit the company's website and social media sites, and research any news articles on the company.
Have a look at the key people in the company (not just the people who you are interviewing with), and see if the specific work they are doing inspires you. Show that you have gone above and beyond to make sure this place for you, this will set you apart from the others in the running.
The interviewer wants to see a candidate who can communicate their thoughts and ideas well. Sometimes, candidates can be too eager to answer quickly, when they don’t fully understand the question. Let the interviewer finish what they’re saying before you give your answer, and make sure you don’t waffle!
So there you have it, our top reasons why candidates don’t make it past the initial interview.