By: Christopher Watts, MBA
Community & Career Builder
As a Career Counselor and Mentor, I encounter a lot of job seekers who have many reasons why he/she can always get an interview but never secure the position. The reasons vary but I have found three reasons why candidates get an interview but not the position, which can be eliminated with proper planning and preparation.
Job Seekers do not get a job interviewed for because another candidate interviewed better. During an interview, a candidate must convince the hiring manager(s) that he/she would be more successful than other candidates interviewing for the position. This requires interviewing well which includes successfully answering questions, speaking clearly, providing thorough answers, demonstrating knowledge of the company and industry, and displaying good non-verbal communication (posture, facial expression). A job seeker should regularly participate in mock interviews to sharpen his/her interview skills.
Additionally, job seekers do not get a job interviewed for because there was a better candidate for the position. A better candidate is someone with stronger education, experience, and transferable competencies. The job market is very complicated and competitive. There are job seekers that, in a better market, would demand more money or a better title. This has been an employer’s market, since 2009, and job seekers who would not have considered certain positions 3 years ago are willing to accept less lucrative positions. To continually increase employability, especially if currently out of the workforce, a job seeker should volunteer and/or pursue formal education and training.
Lastly, job seekers do not get a job interviewed for because of appearance. It is imperative, regardless of the position, to have a professional appearance. A professional appearance includes clean clothes that fit, an acceptable hair style, clean and cut fingernails, and proper hygiene. It is better to over-dress than to under-dress during a job interview. Hair on your head and face should be well-kept and compliant with the company’s culture and dress code (conduct online research). Fingernails should be cut and filed so a handshake does not puncture the hiring manager’s skin. Hygiene should be pleasant and fresh, not a strong scent from excessive body fragrances that would cause allergic reactions to a hiring manager.
Proper planning and preparation will increase a job seeker’s chances of securing a job interviewed for by making the job seeker a competitive candidate. An employer looks for ways to screen a candidate out of the hiring process. It is the job seeker’s responsibility to only provide an employer with reasons to include him/her in the hiring process.