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590 Not Hired

Late updated: 07/24/2016

Articles have cited the following top reasons why people do not get the jobs they sought:

  1. Did not sufficiently differentiate themselves from others.
    (Cited by 67% of consultants).
    Many applicants, only about 95% to 98% are considered to potentially be interviewed. This often drops town to 2 to 5 for interviews.  Those with added value or the full set of requirements are those who will move forward in the competition.

  2. Failed to successfully transfer past experience to the current job opportunity.
    Showing your fit for their need against your skills and experience is critical to stay in competition.
    This directly supports your accomplishment statements as you include them in your interview.

  3. Did not show enough interest and excitement.
    Be enthusiastic, show your passions but never attempt to fake it ... it's is too easy to spot.
    Candidates and employees without interest or excitement are plentiful; no more are needed.

  4. Focused too much on what they want and too little on what the interviewer is saying.
    Such questions MAY be appropriate after the Interview has completed their questions but not before.
    If you have not sold them on you by then, your questions are no longer relevant.

  5. Feeling they can "wing" the interview without preparation.
    Need one say anything more?  This is an insult to the interviewers and prevent you from being considered for future oppotunities.

  6. Not being able to personally connect with the interviewer.
    Be warm and personable with those in the meeting.  Show you are a person easy to work with.

  7. Appearing over- or under-qualified for the job.
    Your resume should be specific to the job you apply for.  If it does not it is amazing you were selected for an interview in the first place.  You must sell yourself first using your Resume.

  8. Not asking enough, or the right, questions.
    This goes to interest in the position and the company.

  9. Not researching a potential employer/interviewer.
    Showing interest and doing your homework is critical as it helps eliminate people in interviews.  Over 90% of candidates interviewed never visited the company's web page.  Getting the name of the interviewer(s) can at least allow you to check for LinkedIn Profiles and get some insight on their backgrounds and careers.

  10. Lacking humor, warmth, or personality during interviewing process.
    No one really hires a walking computer.  Employees are a part of teams thus the need for these personality factors.  You are applying to do work for them so focus on their needs, not yours.

    Walt Disney built an empire on telling stories well.  Have a few great stories you can tell about your career
    especially those what involve you "saving the day" or other accomplishment statements.  Make them feel
    important so they will hold you in fond memory.

    Always leave something, such as a Business Card with them.  Resumes are good, Business cards work.

    Always follow-up the meeting with a personalized Thank You card potentially touching on items you did
    not discuss but brings incremental value to them.  Use a laptop in your car to write the letter and avoid
    misspelled words.  Consider leaving the card with the Receptionist before you leave to insure same or
    next day delivery.  In some companies, the card may be delayed for days within the US Postal Service and
    internal mail sorting and delivery.  Quick gratification is something everyone enjoys!

    If they may be interested in additional information from you, offer to deliver it to them.  DO NOT miss
    the opportunity to be face-to-face with them again and have an extended conversation further building
    your relationship and comfort they have with you.


10 Best Traits of Outstanding Candidates

Here they are:

1. They make things happen.

Being results-driven or motivated is not enough. Achieving the expected results is what’s important. To figure this one out, ask about the biggest project the person handled and how he/she achieved the objectives.

2. They volunteer for projects over their head.

During the interview, ask about the person’s three biggest accomplishments in the recent past. Then ask why he/she was assigned the roles. Look for people who stretch themselves or are assigned to stretch jobs.

3. They get recognized for superior work.

People get awards, bonuses, promotions and formal recognition for a job well done. Raise the caution flag if you don’t find much regardless of the person’s presentation skills.

4. They find jobs through their network.

Ask the person how they found his/her last job, and the few before that. The best people are frequently sought out by their former bosses and co-workers. If so, find out why.

5. They hire great people, many through their network.

If the person’s a manager, ask the person to rank the quality of each team member and ask how each new hire was found and hired. The best managers seek out the best people and give them opportunities to become better.

6. They have an upward sloping trend of performance.

Examine the size, scope, scale and complexity of the person’s major accomplishments over the past 5 to 10 years. The best people increase their impact and influence over time. If the person has plateaued, look for high quality work and exceptional passion for what they do.

7. They know how to solve job-related problems.

Forget the brainteasers. Get into a discussion about some realistic problem the person is likely to face on the job. The best people can put some type of logical plan together to find a solution, including how they’d figure out the answer to things they don’t know.

8. They overcome obstacles rather than make excuses.

As you dig into the person’s major accomplishments, ask how he/she overcame major problems. Look for a pattern of making things happen, taking personal responsibility and consistently achieving planned results. Avoid those who make excuses.

9. They posses multi-functional team skills.

Collaborating on major projects with influential people in other functions is a core attribute of those who get promoted. To figure this dimension out, ask about the biggest and most important teams the person has been assigned to, why the assigned to the project and his or her role. Then look for how the person influenced the team results and their ability to understand the challenge from the perspective of people in other functions.

10. They can zoom.

This is a catch-all trait I invented. It’s the ability to get granular to understand a problem, the ability to zoom out to see the strategic and multi-functional consequences and then zoom in to figure out the best tactical solution. The depth and breadth of the person’s zooming ability is a great indictor of the person’s current ability and upside potential. You’ll need to conduct the full Performance-based Interview to figure out how well the person zooms.

I left out leadership from the list but I’ve discovered that if a person has most of the above attributes it’s because the person is a strong leader. Recruiters need to recognize true talent rather than just box check skills and experiences. The best people rarely have everything listed. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, this is actually what makes them the best people. And it’s why recognizing