So, you’ve finished the first interview and you think it went well?
However, once a few days or even weeks have passed, there’s a high probability that your feeling of optimism wasn’t mutual on this particular occasion.
The question is; why?
Here are five big reasons you might be failing to make it on an employer’s shortlist for a second interview.
You blew the chance
It’s easy to come out of an interview forgetting about all the things that went wrong and only focus on the positive.
Nonetheless, mistakes happen and it can stop you from getting invited to a second interview.
For instance, you may have called the hiring manager by the wrong name or forgot basic information about the company. Or your time management skills could have made you very late – which is a dreadful first impression.
Analyse yourself and how you conducted yourself throughout the whole recruitment process. Are there areas you’d like to improve? Were you hesitant or robotic in the way you responded to certain questions?
You forgot to say thank you
Believe it or not, a thank you note or email can go a long way in helping you cap off a first interview. In fact, in a 2017 survey from TopResume, 68% of hiring managers and recruiters said receiving one of these influenced their decision about whether to hire someone or not.
You should send a thank you note either handwritten or via email within 24 hours of your interview.
It’s a perfect way to reiterate your skills and show that you are grateful for the wonderful opportunity. Just be sure to proofread your note to make sure you haven’t made any glaringly obvious errors.
On the other side of the coin, don’t become too persistent, as it can have a negative effect. If you haven’t heard anything after sending a thank you note and email, let it go. No employer wants to work with a nag!
Pro recruiter top tipSometimes an employer or recruiter won’t remember you. That’s why, it’s important that you give them a gentle nudge, without annoying them.
To do this, you should:
– Send a thank you note
– Connect with the person on LinkedIn
– Ask them when they’re planning on making their decision
– Respond positively to bad news, like they’re prolonging the hiring process
You can read more about this in greater detail in our previous blog: ‘How to Follow Up After an Interview, Without Annoying the Recruiter’.
Your social media has raised a red flag
As we’ve covered before, failing to clean up your social media accounts can really impact your application.
The way that employers see it, is that you’re going to represent them. So, if you have loads of drunk, explicit or controversial images, videos or posts plastered on your timeline, you could give the company a bad name.
To put this into context, CareerBuilder revealed that 57% of employers have previously decided not to hire a candidate based on something they’ve found online.
If you don’t want to delete your fun pictures of you raving in Ibiza, simply change the privacy settings to ensure any peeping Toms can’t get wind of it.
On the other hand, deleting your account can be just as damaging with 47% of employers also stating in that survey that they probably wouldn’t hire a candidate if they couldn’t find them online.
Factors you can’t control
In some cases, you simply can’t control the outcome of your application. For example:
- The employer’s needs might change – whether their budgets have been cut or they have decided to change the type of professional they’re after.
- You weren’t a good cultural fit – you might be the most talented professional and the nicest person alive, but if your type of personality doesn’t fit the culture of the business, you simply won’t fit in and productivity rates will take a hit.
- The decision is already made – this is by far the harshest reason of them all. You might be absolutely ideal for the position, but sometimes a hiring manager already has an internal candidate in mind. They only advertise the role to make it look like they’re being fair.
You have a reference who isn’t on your side
Do you trust your references to paint a good image of you? First, it’s vital that you only put contacts down who really know you and the way that you work.
There’s no harm in reaching out to them to see if they’re still willing to attest to your good qualities before applying for a job.
If the company you’re applying for doesn’t give you a reason why your application hasn’t progressed to the second interview stage, ask them why in a polite fashion.
For example: “I’m always striving to improve myself. If you can, I’d love to hear any feedback you have about my application or the first interview process.”
All-in-all, you need to remember to stay positive every single time you aren’t asked to come back for a second interview.
Most of the time, it’s just a matter of asking for feedback and being aware of your previous mistakes. Or on some occasions, an employer’s circumstances change, meaning it’s out of your control.
Whatever the reason, be patient and keep going – you will land your dream job eventually.
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