6 reasons employers won’t tell you why they didn’t hire you

If you’re like many job seekers, you wonder why employers aren’t more forthcoming with feedback when they don’t hire you. Why are rejection letters so vague, and why are so many requests for feedback met with platitudes like “your qualifications were impressive, but we identified other applicants who were a better fit”?

While some hiring managers will occasionally help candidates out by giving them feedback about where their candidacy could have been stronger, the majority of employers don’t provide any kind of feedback to the candidates they reject. Many employers even have policies prohibiting giving feedback.

Here are the six most common reasons why.

1. They don’t have time. Hiring managers are busy, and they’re not job coaches. Providing thoughtful feedback takes time, and it’s not what they were hired to do. Some will give advice anyway – but it’s a favor when they do it, not an obligation.

2. Too many candidates will argue or debate if they get feedback. Ask any hiring manager who has taken the time to give a candidate feedback, and you’ll hear stories of defensive and even angry reactions. Since providing feedback is a favor, many interviewers conclude that they’d just rather not deal with this.

3. Their lawyers won’t let them. Many interviewers are under orders from company lawyers not to get into the reasons for job rejections, in case a candidate doesn’t like the explanation and decides the “real” reason must be discriminatory. Plus, if they tell you they’re looking for more experience in X, but they ultimately hire someone without that experience (because she comes highly recommended by a trusted client, or because she just blew them away in the interview, or any of the many reasons that could happen), you might feel deceived. They don’t want to deal with that.

4. The answer has nothing to do with you. It’s often about another candidate – the person who got the job simply dazzled everyone in her interview, or had amazing experience with widget making, which wasn’t mentioned in the job description but happens to be an area the company is expanding into next year. Or they just liked her better. These are very common reasons for hiring decisions, but they don’t make for helpful feedback to you.

5. They’re not comfortable sharing awkward or personal criticisms with you. For instance: You chronically interrupt, you seemed vaguely angry, you looked unkempt, you seemed high maintenance, you didn’t seem smart enough, or you creeped out the receptionist. These aren’t uncommon reasons for rejecting someone, but most employers aren’t going to have these awkward conversations with people who aren’t working for them.

6. They did tell you the reason, and you don’t believe it. Much of the time, it’s really true that you were impressive but someone else was simply the better fit. There’s not always a reason beyond that.

I originally published this at U.S. News & World Report.

{ 69 comments… read them below }

  1. ChristineH*

    #2 – *sigh* it’s those few who ruin it for those of us who genuinely welcome the feedback.

    #3 – Ditto, especially with people arming themselves with anti-discrimination laws. Oh sure, I’m sure there are times when there is a legitimate case of discrimination, but I’d say those are pretty rare. I’ll admit that I sometimes think I’ve been discriminated against over the years in my job search because of my disability, but I have zero proof, so there’s no point in making noise for the sake of it. Even if I did have proof, it’s not worth the hassle.

  2. Josh S*

    After being rejected / declined-to-advance-in-the-process yesterday, I got a “The company didn’t think you were the right fit for their fast-paced environment” reason.

    Based on our conversations, I’m pretty certain that was code for “We don’t think you’d be satisfied working our standard of 60+ hour weeks,” which is accurate. But I kind of wish they’d have just come out and said it.

    (On the plus side, the recruiter I used for the job did say that I was one of the best candidates she’s put forward to the company, that they are being extremely picky, that there was nothing I did that screwed it up, and that the people I interviewed with were generally impressed with my experience.)

    Oh well, onward with the job hunt!

    1. Anonymous recruiter*

      Re: Josh. Uhm, they did just come out and say it.

      They don’t think you’ll be a fit for their fast paced (60 hour work week) environment. And you agree. I’m not sure why you feel like they weren’t being honest.

      1. A Bug!*

        It’s like… when you get broken up with and you want to know why, and the other person tells you why, but that reason isn’t good enough or not in the format you wanted to hear it or you’re sure there’s more to it than that, it can’t just be as simple as “I don’t want to date you anymore”, and you just want closure, damn it, is that too much to ask for? It’s Just Like Dating!

        (Hopefully it’s obvious that I’m not suggesting you’re being petulant or demanding, Josh S. I think you do realize you’ve been given your answer, and were just kind of venting because you felt they weren’t being straightforward enough about it.)

        1. Josh S*

          Yeah, I’m still a bit in that “disappointed break-up” stage right now. Got that call yesterday afternoon. Best ‘fitting’ job posting I’ve seen in weeks of looking, so a bit disappointed to be passed by so ‘casually’ (from my perspective).

          My main complaint is that they never talked about “fast paced”–via the external recruiter, in the interviews, or anywhere else. Equating “Fast Paced” with “Long Hours” is just something I’ve put together as I’ve thought about it.

          See, I love fast-paced environments. Give me plenty to do and I’ll get it all done. Quickly. So the “not a good fit for the fast-paced environment” initially rang false.
          What I don’t like (with a 1 year old kid and a wifey I like to spend time with)–and what I asked for clarification on–is 60+ hour weeks.

          Maybe I shot myself in the foot with that one. Or maybe I saved myself from a work environment I’d be miserable in. Probably both. Whatever. :/

          1. fposte*

            I’m going with “both, but especially the second.” You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re considered a slacker for going home to see your kid start to walk.

            1. Josh S*

              “You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re considered a slacker for going home to see your kid start to walk.”


      2. Hari*

        Fast paced isn’t synonymous with long hours though. You can be busy wrangling clients all day but still get to clock out at 5pm.

    2. Ellie H.*

      No, I get it. Saying “The company didn’t think you were the right fit for their fast-paced environment” makes it sound like they think their job is too much for you to handle and that somebody more effective or better would be up to its pace. While in your mind, you are *up* to it, you are just over the part of your career where you would be excited enough about a job opportunity or career advancement or whatever to be willing to devote that high a percentage of your waking hours to work. One way is kind of insulting to you, the other is neutral. (Unless I’m reading this totally wrong.)

      1. Josh S*

        ^Exactly this.

        Like I commented elsewhere, I LOVE me some fast-paced, frantic work. I’m a bit like Calvin in that way: http://rcrosing.home.xs4all.nl/images/ch_lm_panic.gif

        So that’s why it took me a bit to put together that in their mind “fast paced environment” means “really long work hours all the time”. I love the first; I’m unwilling to do the second.

        1. Jamie*

          I would consider it a good thing that they were honest with you, then. If you’re unwilling to work those hours, at least they didn’t lie and pretend it was a straight 40 deal and then spring it on you afterward with the guilt and the pressure.

          We’re always talking about how fit is so important on both sides – so maybe what disappoints you is less that they rejected you and more that their culture wasn’t a good fit for you?

          1. Josh S*

            Yeah, I think so. I knew up front (from the recruiter) that there was some long hours–she said “50-60 hour weeks, on average.” I didn’t say anything in the interviews until the interviewer brought it up (Hey, I’m not entirely stupid), and asked, “I’m completely fine with doing whatever it takes to get the work done. But since you mention it, I’d like to understand the work ethic at Company. Is it a place where you work 50-60 hours consistently, does it fluctuate between 40 hours during slow times and 80 hours during ‘busy’ times, or does it simply depend on the day?”

            Her answer was something like, “All of the above. It really fluctuates and is generally long. That’s why we’re hoping to get some more people on the team–even out the workload a bit.”

            I think I killed myself by assuming that 50-60 hours was actually the norm. The way she said it made it sound like 50-60 hours was the minimum. And yeah, that’s a job I would have passed on, because it tells me that they’re either all complete workaholics with little balance to life and/or they don’t value personal time and/or they have bad management that requires a ton of scrambling work to deal with and/or they don’t have the common sense to understand that productivity declines after a point and/or they want to extract everything they can from their employees without considering the cost of having an inability to take on new projects/clients.

    3. Aja*

      While they may not have worded it exactly correctly, they did bascially say “you’re not a fit with our culture” which is pretty specific – at minimum, you know it’s not that you didn’t have experience X or that Interviewer Y hated you, it’s that though you were a good match on skills and and experience, they didn’t think you’d fit in there. In terms of detailed feedback from an potential employer, that’s probably more detail than 98% of candidates get!

      1. Josh S*

        This is true. Thanks for the perspective. :) Helpful for a guy in the post-break-up disappointment period.

    4. EM*

      I know it hurts to get this kind of feedback, but they probably did you a favor. I work at a fast-paced company, and not everyone works out. It can be very stressful constantly having things come up on tight- or sometimes immediate- deadlines, and not everyone necessarily wants to be “go” all the time. I’m not bragging, and if asked before I would have said working in a “fast-paced” environment sounded miserable, but apparently if I’m working at a slower-paced place I’m bored and unhappy. Go figure.

      1. Josh S*

        I actually tend to be like you. I love going fast with short/immediate deadlines and deliverables. Keeps me hopping and prevents me from feeling bored with stuff.

        However, I don’t particularly like environments where things are so frantic that there’s no strategic framework for making that better, or where that requires constantly working 60+ hour weeks. And I think that’s what they were pointing to more than the pace.

        1. Anonymous*

          Yes, how *does* one translate the question, “So is this ‘fast-paced efficient and productive’ or ‘fast-paced frantic and wasteful’?” into Interviewese?

  3. Elizabeth West*

    Sometimes you know why. You can tell you blew the interview. Or, when you get in there, that the job is not what you thought, or worse, way over your head–which is annoying because they shouldn’t have called you in the first place!

    Sometimes they just don’t like you even if your credentials and your answers are perfect. You might remind them of that mean kid in junior high who pushed them down in gym and shoved their heads in the drinking fountain.

  4. some1*

    Sometimes a company/organization already has someone picked out, but for whatever reason (legal, a just-in-case our handpicked person doesn’t work out), they post a call for resumes and even conduct interviews.

  5. Chris Walker*

    Once the ‘We picked someone else’ message has been delivered, the conversation is over. There is nothing positive to be gained by the employer in restarting it. Just send you thank you note, and move on.

    I have had two clients in the past year or so who were hired after being rejected. I don’t know what happened to the person originally selected, but both are pretty convinced that they got the call when things didn’t work out because they sent a thank you in response to the rejection. The way most companies communicate with candidates these days, if you do get a personal rejection, it probably means you were one of the top candidates for the position.

    1. NewReader*

      “The way most companies communicate with candidates these days, if you do get a personal rejection, it probably means you were one of the top candidates for the position.”

      Handy tidbit of info.

  6. Yup*

    Sometime I wonder if I even want to know the real reasons for not getting an offer. Unless it’s something fixable, it might be more pleasing for my sanity to think “I guess they found their unicorn” and move on. If I’m describing my accomplishments weirdly or coming off as uninterested, then yes I’d like to know about that so I can fix it. But it’s because the hiring manager hated my voice or had low blood sugar in my interview or was forced to hire the president’s dopey relative instead, I’d almost rather be happy in my ignorance. You know?

    1. Joey*

      I’ve seen these:

      1. Not hired because he had a name similar to an ex.
      2. Not hired because she came in with way too many very expensive labels for a low paying job.
      3. Not hired because he was too good looking.
      4. Not hired because she was too good looking.
      5. Not hired because his wife was on the news in a bad way.
      6. Not hired because his name was almost identical to someone that walked off the job.
      7. Not hired because she sounded like she was a heavy smoker.

      1. Hari*

        The only one that I would justify is #7. My allergies just can’t handle certain cigarette smells. While I wouldn’t completely disqualify someone for being a heavy smoker if it came down between two equally qualified applicants I would go with the one who didn’t trigger my allergies. I feel like its a hygiene issue though, like not hiring someone who wears too much after shave/ perfume or doesn’t shower. However, I did pick up on “sounded” meaning it was probably an assumption not a confirmed fact.

        Also #2 this is why I make sure my expensive clothing is unlabeled. I think labeled clothing in general is tacky. I wouldn’t hold it against someone for wearing something subtly branded (ex. polo shirt, tory burch flats, small metal brand logo on suitcase or bag). However its the flashy dressed people with a head to toe logo smorgasbord that would concern me. Not due to jealousy or thinking that they would leave the job soon, but often someone who would feel the need to show off that much would prove a problem when it came to internal relations (or just be someone obnoxious in general).

        1. Joey*

          Whats interesting is too good looking has been code for:
          1. I’m scared all of the guys will hit on her. Or;
          2. People (including my spouse) will think I hired beauty over brains.; or
          3. I’m scared he’ll actually date clients and eventually ruin business (this was a females concern).

          And the heavy smoker had more to do with her voice being distracting/unpleasant.

          1. AG*

            I’ve also seen “too good looking” mean, “we can’t afford any more sexual harassment lawsuits when the male owners of the company hit on you”. Yeesh.

            Side note: has anyone else read Daniel Hammermesh’s book “Beauty Pays”?

          2. Joey*

            This one didn’t end up being a rejection but a minority manager involved in the hiring process avoided recommending a candidate of the same race because she was worried about the perception even though she clearly though he was the best qualified.

          1. Hari*

            Was this meant for me? I thought it would be standard not to want smelly (as in strong odors of any nature) or obnoxious individuals in the work place, if anything it be doing the whole office a favor.

        2. Jen M.*

          #2-When I have them, I get mine second hand. I’m sorry if some people are turned off (the person who rejected that person) by someone who likes “brands,” but the fact of the matter is that a lot of those items are very well made and will last for decades, if not years.

          For a while, I had several pair of Ferragamos (LOVE those shoes! Can’t afford them!) They were hand-me-downs and lasted me years.

          …But yeah. I get your point. I also try to keep it simple when interviewing.

      2. Another Jamie*

        It’d be interesting to have a thread where those of you who have been involved in hiring decisions can anonymously list the real reason their company didn’t hire a specific candidate.

        1. fposte*

          At least in my experience, it’s often not interesting at all, because there are often no reasons not to hire candidate A–it’s just that candidate Z was better. It’s a lot less common for me to have an interviewee with an identifiable deficit or weakness in its own right, not just by comparison with my eventual choice.

          1. Jamie*

            This. In the last 6 years or so I’ve got one “can you believe why we didn’t hire that guy” story – just one and even he wouldn’t have been hired even if he hadn’t totally insulted the female owner of my company by telling her he didn’t have time for her little questions because he was waiting to speak with someone important. (He thought she was the receptionist. Guess what, you don’t get hired by talking to receptionists like that either.)

            As an aside he also called me “chickie” and said if I was lucky I would soon get to “take care of him.” I assume he meant as an IT, but since he winked and did that weird little gun cock with the clicky mouth noises as he said it I’m not entirely sure his intent was merely technical.

            Other than that one lone story for those who make it to the interview stage it just comes down to who is good and who is a little bit better.

              1. Jamie*

                Fortunately people like that are really rare – which is why they make such an impression when you meet them.

                But yes, it made me wonder in which century he was raised and how he thawed himself from whatever ice floe he was frozen in to come in for an interview.

        2. PuppyKat*

          You know, even if only ten people submitted one story each, I think it would make for a very interesting post.

        3. Can't Say*

          Real Reasons:

          1. In the second round of interviews, the leading candidate (who was currently working) was asked when she could start. She replied that she could start immediately. This lack of respect for her employer ended her candidacy. Always behave in a professional manner.

          2. In the first round of interviews, the three primary responsibilities of the position were discussed with each candidate. In the second round each was asked to talk about their approach to the three primary responsibilities. The cockiest of the candidates struggled to come up with even two. It’s generally a good idea to pay attention in interviews.

    2. fposte*

      Yes, I think that people tend to think of the feedback they didn’t get as some key information, and I suspect that most of the time, especially after an interview, it’s not. It’s either the hugely subjective stuff or the stuff you couldn’t change at the time anyway, like another candidate’s coming in with a few years’ more experience. And here’s the dating simile again–you don’t really want to know what the person your partner is dumping you for has that you don’t have.

  7. Sharon*

    And sometimes, even though you nailed the interview and had a brilliant resume with glowing references, three other candidates did too… so the hiring manager may have basically had to choose by going eeny meeny miny moe.

  8. AG*

    I don’t give feedback via email for all these reasons. But if someone was a good candidate, rejected, and asks for feedback, I will offer to meet them for a half hour for coffee. I find people get less angry and defensive in a face-to-face dialogue. No one’s taken me up on it yet though.

  9. Anonymous*

    From my experience, nine out of ten times that I give someone honest feedback they get defensive and argue. A couple have said that the reason(s) were “just stupid”. I have even had two who not only argued, but continued to apply over and over for the same position, and even called and showed up every day until we threatened to call the police. The last two are very rare, thank goodness.

    1. Hari*

      I have never asked for feedback for a job I was declined from mostly because its been fairly easy for me to guess why (someone else had more experience, not that great a fit culture/personality wise, or it wasn’t me but there were a ton of good candidates) or I have been told. However if I did ask I would accept whatever answer I received. I wouldn’t try to argue why, even if I thought the person was completely off-base in their assessment. I don’t see how these candidates figure they have the right to argue someone else’s perception of them. They have two options: 1. Accept the person’s opinion, try to internalize the advice to do better next time and move. 2. Accept the person’s opinion as their preference, realize it wasn’t a good fit for them and move on.
      There is not a third option to be rude and argumentative.

  10. Blue Dog*

    Right now, the market is so competitive that we can place an advertisement and receive 100 resumes from people who are over-qualified in every sense of the word. We can narrow it to the best 10 and decide to bring in 5 for an interview. After the interviews, we might that 4 of the 5 would be fantastic. (Of course, why wouldn’t they be when we had already narrowed them down to the top 5% of the resumes that came in?) Any one of the four would be terrific in a normal market, but someone has to receive the offer and, ultimately, edges the other three out, often based on perceptionis about intangible benefits: a better work ethic, hungrier, more enthusiastic, better contacts, a better culutural fit, etc. However, the tie breaker usually comes down to who seems to have the greatest potential to have a long term prognosis for success at the company.

    So, truly, it usually isn’t about the person who wasn’t hired (who really was great — probably the second or third best out of 100 resumes) but usually is more about the person who was hired (that was just a little bit better).

  11. Sandrine*

    (might get long, sorry)

    Pfft. Makes me think of the current round of interviews I went through.

    The process started on September 3rd. I got through three rounds of interviews (actually, technically it’s 4 but 2 were the same day) . This just for a simple sales person job, so to speak (I’m currently a customer service representative for a phone company, similar to Verizon… the new job was to do what I do except in an actual store) .

    Last interview was last week. They told me they would give me their answer this week. I ended my shift at 2:30 PM today. I know the HR lady likes to send e-mails at 6:08 PM or so, and today just for kicks I checked the emails at 6:10PM.

    BAM! Rejected.

    The kicker ? Her email says she’d provide feedback. I’m seething (due to other reasons, I read enough AAM to know I’m not entitled to a job just because I applied to it) so I’m thinking “I’ll just send a short and polite note thanking her and asking for way to improve future applications (even though I’ll be on sortof full speed job search after my planned vacation in December, I’ll be outta there ASAP) .

    Aaaaaaaaand she tells me she wants to see me in person.

    I’m thinking she might not want to tell me anything she couldn’t say in an e-mail, and I’m quite tempted to refuse discussion politely if that’s the case.

    Anyways, it made me think of this post… I’m pretty sure there’s something they’re not telling me that will prevent me from getting anywhere in the company whatsoever :( .

    1. ChristineH*

      Think positive! It could very well be similar to what “AG” above has offered to those she’s rejected for a job. I’d keep an open mind and accept her invitation.

      1. Sandrine*

        The problem is that for my company it makes no sense. They have screwed a few of us (this is the second time for me, and others have been through the same thing) and the pattern seems to be the same: if the process seems to take too long, it just means nothing will happen.

        So it makes no sense to pull me in even for a quick meeting as for them it means that for 10-15 minutes I’m not available to answer calls.

        Now, since I’m a reasonable person and she was very polite, I see no reason to decline outright, which is why I thanked her and basically replied “see you on Friday” . I’m just worried that the meeting is only to say things she couldn’t say in writing, and if that’s the case I’ll refuse the meeting (mostly because if the can’t say it in writing, it’s either too subjective or potentially illegal) .

        As for fearing I’m unreasonable (which is why AG does not give feedback through e-mail) , well, they’ve known me for a year now, so I think they’d be able to know pretty quick if I have a temper or not :D .

        1. AG*

          My situation may be different since I usually hire from outside the company (small company). But if you think you can avoid being defensive and will find something positive from the meeting, I say go. Even if she only says whatever you expected from an email reply, the hiring manager will see that you’re someone who doesn’t takes criticism personally and has good judgment. Even if the hiring process never changes, you’ve taken the high road.

          The last time I offered the coffee meeting to a rejected candidate, the individual was trying to change career focus from a similar (but not directly translatable) field into mine. My industry is a lot smaller than it looks from the outside in my city. Not only do we tend to know each other, we all tend to know other professionals in similar (but not directly translatable) fields. Therefore, I thought I could give this candidate some contacts or guidance to make a career move that would have been a better fit. So I made the offer for coffee and never heard back.

          Point being, the hiring manager might say something you expect, might say a whole lot of nothing, or might say something out of the blue that’s really useful. If you can be positive and open, genuinely, then go. If not, you’re better off gracefully bowing out.

          1. Sandrine*

            That’s the thing. On principle, I’m just a professional and polite person at work anyway, because I think that’s the right thing to do and the right person to be.

            I may not ask, but I’ll also make sure to ask my boss for any information he might have had, and then I’ll just go into my job search head on, while lamenting the fact that they always say that they value the employees and want the best for their customers and they don’t even see that the best employees are running away like chickens with their heads cut off.

            1. NewReader*

              A couple of questions to ask yourself:

              How do you know what she will say before you go to the meeting?

              Would 15 minutes out of your day/life really be that costly?

              And the most important question:
              Do you even want to work at this company?

              1. Sandrine*

                The 15 minutes, for me, are not a problem. But we work in a call center environment, so I guess my work ethics are in motion.

                And nope, I don’t know. I just have this very weird vibe setting off alarms in my head.

                Lastly, nope, I don’t want to anymore. For more reasons than what’s stated in this post. But I’m in the kind of situation where I can’t just look for a job easily (at least right now) since I have a planned vacation in December and I’m going to a very, very important place. So, as this situation is sortof the straw that broke the camel’s back (and my own nerves, apparently… I’ll go see my doctor today and ask her for something to help out) , I have made the decision to polish my CV/resume and start a big search starting January. I don’t want to do it like I did in 2008 where I was in such a bad shape that I quit to deal with medical issues… it took me too long to find anything at all, so I have to deal with all this in a responsible manner.

                Thank you for your interest though. Those are interesting questions to ask.

                1. Anonymous*

                  I totally understand what you are going through, and I wish you all the luck in the world.

                  I’ve been trying to get out of where I am for years. It’s definitely not easy when you are a) already working full time and b) stressed to the max, because you are miserable.

                  *fingers crossed for you*

                  That said, I think going to the meeting could be very useful, so if you can swing it, doo.

  12. Aja*

    Re #3: Mysister worked at a company where the hiring managers were not allowed to take notes during an interview. The theory being that if the candidate ended up suing, the notes could become part of any legal preceeding.

    I guess this policy would assume the hiring managers are writing notes like: “Oh boy what a waste of time interviewing a woman, I would never hire a woman for this job”.

    1. class factotum*

      I got very distracted on the GMAT years ago because one of the logic questions specified as a condition that “Bob can’t work with women.”

      Instead of trying to figure out where to put Bob and meet all the other conditions, I sat there fuming, thinking, “What’s Bob’s problem anyway? Why can’t he work with women and more importantly, why should I care? Isn’t this his problem? Why do I have to accomodate him?”

  13. nyxalinth*

    I interviewed for a place that buys back used electronics about 5 weeks ago. They were very straight-up in the interview telling me that if I didn’t get a call for the testing phase, that they decided to go in another direction.

    I never heard anything, so I expect I wasn’t gadgety (cellphone, iPad, all that good stuff) enough to suit them, but recalling their words, they must go in a different direction at least once a week, because they’ve re-posted their ad again 4 more times. Either that, or despite the fun and social atmosphere they gave off they’re absolute hell on wheels to work for, and people quit/are fired.

  14. Jesicka309*

    I interviewed once and got feedback that I didn’t seem like a good fit for the team, as they are all quite loud and extroverted. I tend to come across as quiet in interviews, as once I get talking, I tend to run off on tangents. I’m often plagued by talking myself into a corner and family, friends, and my partner, describe me as annoying and a chatterbox. So I try to tone it down in interviews.
    The feedback let me know that my interview style needs work, as while I’m not annoying the interviewer, I come across as a mouse, something not desirable for my industry, and not my true nature. Really grateful for that feedback (though bummed I didn’t get the job)

    1. Ellie H.*

      I have a little bit of a similar issue. I’m not really extremely extroverted or chat-y, but I am pretty talkative, personable, great with customers, love interacting with people, etc. However I have a classic “slow to warm up” personality so in interviews and in the first stages of getting to know someone (i.e. the early part of the job) I seem extremely quiet, which is not at all an accurate reflection of how I am on the job. I try to compensate for this in interviews but not sure how effective I really am. I hate how men can be “a man of few words” but women are just “quiet.”

      1. Jamie*

        This describes me as well – slow to warm up is a good way to put it and it does add a layer of stress to interviews where you don’t have that warm up time before the judging starts.

      2. Laura L*

        I am absolutely like this. It’s really frustrating in job interviews, particularly because I tend to talk more quietly than normal before I’m warmed up and it comes across as not being confident.

  15. Sandrine*

    Oh, that reminds me of something now (better share something positive, I swear I’m not a grouch!) .

    Once I had an interview for a travel company to work in their sales department as an assistant. I interviewed, I think, twice with them… can’t really remember.

    Anyway, I know that in one interview, everything the interviewer said, I agreed with (seriously). Work ethics, work culture, everything she was mentioning was exactly in line with who I am and what I wanted at the time.

    I didn’t get the job because apparently (that’s from the recruiter who sent me there) I was too enthusiastic and agreeing too much was bad.

    o_O … worst thing is, it was all genuine, it hasn’t happened often, but this was the kind of match made in heaven (on paper) sort of, so of course I wasn’t going to counter what the person was saying. Oh well, bullet dodged I supposed then.

  16. Megan*

    Hi, I am a reader of your site and couldn’t find the answer I was looking for. I recently went to two interviews with a small company that advertised their hiring on craigslist. They were very enthusiastic about hiring me, the job is low paying ($8 an hour) and told me they would definitely call me that same afternoon. The following morning the manager called me and explained he would like permission to keep my information on file, but that they decided they are ‘no longer hiring at this time’. He told me they genuinely liked me and really appreciated me being genuinely interested in their business and willing to work whatever hours they need. Quite obviously they are hiring, so what I’m irked about is the lack of honesty with the ‘let down’. They told me they had two other interviews that day, and being honest about not choosing me should be a simple conversation. I guess I am just curious if that is normal practice? Maybe these guys just don’t understand how to tell someone no?

  17. Megan*

    Hmm.. Perhaps? I would imagine spending two weeks reviewing a few hundred applications and doing interviews to narrow it down to three prospects (as they said) would be a lot of work to just decide to up and not hire any of them. They are expanding their store, apparently, and stated that was the reason they were hiring. I suppose I feel a bit mislead and wouldn’t have wasted any time applying for the job had they not actually been hiring.

    Thank you for your feed back though, I love your site and read threads on here often! Keep up the good work! =)

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