Why didn’t you get a call back?

2 min read

You aced the interview, you had the perfect resume, but in the end, you didn’t get the job.  And chances are, you’ll never know why either…but a recent study provides some very interesting reasons why.

A recent Wall Street Journal article provides some interesting reasons why candidates never hear back from the hiring authority, but never really addresses the specific reasons they ultimately aren’t successful in the interview itself.

So I went a step further and did my own supplemental research to find out the real reasons why candidates are not hired.

First of all, it is unfortunate that than 10% of candidates ever hear feedback on why they were not selected.  Without this feedback, they are left to commit the same interviewing mistakes over and over again.  It is why part of our candidate process is to conduct a phone prep prior to the interview.  Many candidates not using a skilled recruiter walk into an interview simply not knowing how to communicate their value proposition in a coherent fashion to the hiring authority.  But I am getting ahead of myself now.  More on this below.

Standard responses provided to candidates from hiring authorities include, “just not the right fit” or “if something comes up in the future, we will let you know”.  How about this one: “we will be in touch.”

But the Real Reason?  The hiring authority and the candidate DON’T CLICK.  That’s right.  Off the record, hiring authorities admit to me that they view the first interview much in the same way they view a first date.  It’s all about making that connection.

We actually keep track of this stuff.  Based on client feedback to us, what is the most important component of “being connected” on the first interview?  Here are the stats:  1) 41% easy conversation, 2) 27% shared outlook, 3) 19% similar personal styles and habits, 4) 13% physical appearance.  Similar to dating?  You tell me.

And how much time do hiring authorities need before deciding if they are feeling the love…being “connected”? Nine percent of our hiring authorities said less than five minutes, 51% said in less than 20 minutes, and 36% said less than one hour.  So it seems you better come prepared to make some small talk!

It is why candidates should always prep with their recruiter prior to an interview, or if going it alone, read the website, research the hiring authorities, and know the outside activities the organization/hiring authorities are involved in whether it be charities, associations, community development, golf, etc.

Unfortunately, company hiring authorities are not going to be getting any more open any time soon.  Employers were put on notice in 2012 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission identified discrimination in hiring practices as one of its priorities for the next three years.  No firm wants to tango with the EEOC so feedback is now come to a screeching halt, it seems.

Best of luck out there on the dusty interviewing trail!


Wall Street Journal

By Lauren Weber,

5 June 2013

Titled, “Didn’t Get the Job? You’ll Never Know Why”

Recent Posts