Recruiters Reveal: Close Competition Isn't The Reason You Failed That Interview

We've all had one. The automated rejection email. Blaming a high number of applicants and close competition for your rejection. (Or even worse, and increasingly common, no email at all.)

But the illusion of a better qualified candidate who only just beat you to it isn't fair.

In our experience the competition is rarely close. Winning candidates stand out miles ahead of the competition. And it's not for their qualifications either. You both had to meet the same qualification criteria to gain an interview in the first place.

So why do some people ace interviews while others get left so far behind?


1. Bad manners

It's so silly. But candidates are rejected for lacking simple manners every day.

  • Chewing gum
  • Lateness
  • Sloppy dress sense


2. no research

Why should they employ you if you couldn't be bothered to do your homework? 

At the very least you need to know what the role entails and how your skills will apply.


3. not wanting the job

If you don't really want the job, the interviewers will pick up on it immediately.

If you're choosing to apply for a lesser job to get your foot in the door, be warned. It's a slow progression. And it's easy to grow angry and bitter while you're waiting for the promotion. If you're going for this route you need to be prepared to love the job you're actually applying for!


4. negativity

If the interviewer chooses to employ you they are also choosing to spend a large portion of their day with you. Don't give them a poor impression!

  • Speaking poorly about old employers and colleagues
  • Being unenthusiastic
  • Being rude


5. Asking the wrong questions  

Asking questions at the end of the interview is a minefield. Ask no questions and you look uninterested. Ask abut money or perks and you look interested for the wrong reasons.

To be honest, these questions aren't really about you. They're a way to judge your motivations. So don't fall into the trap.

Instead ask questions that show your keenness and understanding of the organisation and your future role.


6. lies

Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it. When you get found out you'll ruin your reputation.

Equally, interviewers are human. And job gaps don't make you impossible to hire. It's actually very impressive if you can explain it professionally and focus on the positives gained from it. 


7. Just didn’t wow them

Interviewers go though a lot of bad interviews. So we're actually pretty easy to impress.

  • Show how keen you are to join the company
  • Speak properly
  • Positive body language
  • Bring a portfolio or resume
  • Have small talk with them without being awkward or dry


So do your homework, be keen and politer. And you can be the candidate who stands out miles ahead of the competition!




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