is “I get every job I interview for” really a bragging point?

A reader writes:

I keep hearing over and over from people offering job search advice that they “have gotten every job they’ve ever interviewed for.”

Is that really something worth bragging about? Does it change by industry/skills needed for the job?

For context, a lot of people I’ve heard this from are either entry-level/early career, more administrative function, and once an HR rep.

I work in a niche engineering field and have had several interviews where the job wasn’t a good fit, I wasn’t exactly what they were looking for, or whatever else led to not getting the job despite getting positive feedback. My dad is a lawyer and he told me to expect 10 interviews to get one job offer when I was searching for my first job.

So, can I continue to roll my eyes and ignore my friends that claim they are great at job searching because they’ve gotten every job they’ve interviewed for?

Getting every job you’ve ever interviewed for can mean all kinds of things:

* you’re really good at interviewing (which does not necessarily mean you’re really good at your actual work, although it can)
* you’ve interviewed with people who aren’t terribly discerning
* you haven’t applied for many jobs
* you’re in a field that’s easily impressed by Quality X, which you have
* you are lying or selectively remembering
* you are in fact amazing

And if you’re hearing this from people who are entry-level/early career, we’re talking about a group that hasn’t had that many interviews, so they’re not really working from a statistically significant sample size. (They’re not really equipped to offer job search advice at that stage either.)

In general, assuming that it’ll take ~10 interviews to get one job offer is a pretty good expectation. In any given situation it might take less or it might take more, but it would be silly to go into a job search expecting that it’ll only take an interview or two.

{ 176 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Sara M

    I get most jobs I interview for. This is because of two things. 1) I’m selective in my applications. 2) I’m stellar at interviewing. So good. …and when I was young I accidentally fooled them into hiring me for something I was completely not qualified for. I was too inexperienced to realize I should refuse that job (didn’t know interviewing was a two way street.)

    So I agree, it can mean many things. It’s nice because I can go into interviews with confidence, but I have to be careful how I use this skill.

    (There are plenty of things I am bad at too, I promise.)

    Reply
    1. Marty

      Same here. Selective applications are a key factor for me.

      I teach interview skills to immigrants now (as an instructor in a employment-related program). I can’t emphasize enough how much interviews are a learned skill. The hardest thing to teach is that interviews are about fitting the puzzle piece between applicant and company, not begging for a job.

      I work with so many well-qualified, intelligent professionals who bomb interviews. It’s frustrating for them because although they’re probably qualified for the job, they can’t convey this to their interviewer.

      That’s why I love this website so much and recommend it to all my students.

      Reply
      1. Willis

        Yeah, I think how selective you are in applying and how closely the jobs you’re applying for match your work history makes a huge difference. When I spent a couple years looking only at jobs that really interested me and were strong fits, I had successful interviews. But if I was laid off and had to find a job ASAP, I’d probably be casting a wider net and getting more nos.

        Also, I interviewed for and got a few of jobs in high school and college but wouldn’t even count those, since they were usually for restaurants or stores that probably weren’t being particularly selective in the hiring anyway.

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        1. Shad

          Yup.
          I definitely wouldn’t count my retail jobs towards my interview success rate! A lot of those seem to be not much more than a check that you have a rough idea how English sentences work, can show up on time, and can pass a drug screen with implied notice.
          And I certainly wouldn’t expect my early career experience (2/3 success out of internships/job openings found through school, with the fail apparently based on a change from part time posting to full time job) to be maintained!

          Reply
    2. Sammie

      I get callbacks for every place I interview at in a certain segment of my field. But ultimately I decide the job’s not for me and part of it I realize is that these companies are not that discerning and it shows. They will take anyone who ticks some boxes and has some half-decent social skills. For the jobs I’d be willing to move for, I’m going to have to put in much greater effort with my resume, my cover letter, and probably even wait until I have a bit more relevant experience under my belt for the truly enticing roles. But, hey, going on my current statistics I am apparently fantastic at interviewing! (I actually quite like interviewing – I see them as an informative chat between two people who might end up wanting the same thing – but I still don’t know that I’m really that good. My sample size is not significant).

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    3. MissGirl

      Some of it is interview skills but some of it is your stage of career. I used to have a high close rate (ten years experience) but then I completely switched careers. Now it’s closer to one in four. I get really far in the process but usually beat out by someone with more experience.

      It’s so dependent on career stage, pickiness of applications, industry, or field. And some things are out of your control. I usually do well in interviews but last year one manager seemed adversarial from “hello”. Every answer I gave brought out a defensive response. I was rejected less than 12 hours later. All I could do was shrug my shoulders.

      Reply
      1. Sara M

        You’re just showing the company why you’d be a good match for what they want. They don’t care as much about what you’ve done as what you will do. You can’t say that so blatantly, but if you keep that idea in mind, it helps.

        Otherwise I’m not sure how to teach it. Be yourself, but be your best self. The self who seems pretty dang awesome after 30 minutes of conversation (we all have such a self, whether it be bubbly & outgoing, or a great thoughtful listener with thorough answers, or a clever speculative thinker who hears the unasked questions, or… figure out what aspect of your personality looks great in a short time span, and see what you can do to bring that out.

        Reply
      2. zora

        I’m very similar to Sara M, and also think that most of it can’t be taught.

        Mostly, I’m a good actor. I am good at reading other people quickly and mimicking them, and good at telling them what they want to hear. I’m very engaging and am able to be pretty convincing at telling people how I would be good at what they need, whether or not it’s super true. (Yes, I’m a good liar) And it also took me several years to realize that wasn’t actually that good for me to do that! Because I ended up in jobs I hated and wasn’t really good at. Now I’m more brutally honest, because I know what jobs I don’t want and to be more clear about that so it’s a good fit for both sides.

        But the things I think you can teach/practice to get better at are:
        1. Really thinking ahead of time about all the standard interview questions/practicing your “tell me about a time” stories.
        2. Practicing in front of a mirror, seriously, it feels weird at first, but you want to practice your “active listening” face, and your facial expressions and your interview posture so that you don’t have to think about it as actively during the interview.
        3. Slowing down, actively listening to their questions, and giving yourself a second to think of the best answer instead of feeling rushed which can result in rambling or stumbling.

        Reply
        1. MassMatt

          All really good tips, I would add:

          Video record your answers to a some common questions so you can see how you do. Try listening to some with the sound off and focus on your body language. Are you slouching? Making eye contact with the camera? Smiling when appropriate? I did this on recommendation from a job hunt company and it was stressful, I HATE listening to myself, but it was a huge help.

          Ask a friend, especially one with experience hiring, to do a mock interview with you and for honest feedback afterwards. This was a big help to me also, I learned that some things I planned to say worked really well and some other things were meh.

          Most people find interviewing really stressful, if you make your practice realistic it will simulate some of that and make the real thing easier.

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          1. RUKiddingMe

            Yes all very good. Some of my most successful interviews have been when I’ve said some version of “sorry, I’m just not good at interviews.” The first few times I said it I was too young to know better but then I noticed it seemed like a positive to most people. I have a theory that *everyone* knows what being interviewed is like and that it helps them sympathize a little bit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I don’t necessarily recommend it, just a piece of trivia…

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      3. The Man, Becky Lynch

        Fake it till you make it! Communicating well and answering questions fully or asking them to clarify if necessary.

        So many bad interviews are due to things out of control. Someone is rushed or unprepared or in a bad mood. You can only control yourself and have to let weird things fade into your background. Be a duck, let it slide off your back.

        I say this as a fumbling fool of a person who doesn’t get every job because tbh I didn’t want every job I’ve interviewed for either but as a master of keeping cool under ridiculous uncertainty.

        Reply
        1. Sara M

          Fake it til you make it is great advice too. It’s a little bit of acting. What would a confident person do in your situation? Do that. (Just pay attention to the flags you’re seeing from the job, or you might end up hired into something terrible!)

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      4. MsSolo

        Depending on your industry and role, if you can, try and get involved in a bit of application scoring, or even sitting in on interviews. Seeing how other people behave in interviews is really helpful for both dos and don’ts! My employer is really keen to have a transparent and fair process, so there’s a standardised approach to scoring answers to interview questions (equally, applications are scored without personal information and career history on them, to reduce bias in selecting interview candidates).

        The most useful thing I’ve picked up that’s more widely applicable is that when you get those “tell me about a time” questions, there’s certain points you should hit:
        1) what the problem was
        2) what actions you took
        3) what changed as a result of your actions
        4) what you learnt that you can apply going forward

        If you answer doesn’t include point three (and it’s surprisingly common for it not to!), it’s a poor example.

        Reply
    4. Artemesia

      Me too. I once narrowly missed taking a job that would have been a nightmare; I had the technical skills for it but at that point not the political skills and am so grateful that my instincts protected me. I wasn’t sure why it was a ‘no’ but it was and knowing what a train wreck the workplace turned out for the acquaintance who eventually was hired, I am grateful I didn’t say yes. I haven’t interviewed that many times over the course of my career, but when I did I always got the offer. At some of the jobs I was magnificent and at some not so much — but apparently the interview part, I had down in those days.

      Reply
    5. Snowglobe

      My husband has received an offer every time he’s interviewed. Several times he’s reveries an offer *during* the interview. And he is in his 50’s, and has worked for a number of different companies.

      I think it is a combination of two things. 1-he is very funny and can talk to anybody about anything. Most people like him right away. 2- interviewers who don’t interview often and who just want to hire a guy they like. He is good at what he does and has a good track record, but his success rate at getting interviews based on his resume is not as good as the interview success, so I really think it’s just how he talks to people.

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    6. Blue

      This has largely been my experience. When you’re mostly applying for things you are, objectively, extremely qualified for, your odds go way up. But I know I’ve been fortunate to have the luxury of being so selective in my applications over the course of my career. If I was desperate to find something new or trying for some real reach positions, I’m sure my track record would look very different. It also helps that I’m generally pretty good at interviewing, but that mostly comes down to practicing a LOT.

      Reply
      1. CastIrony

        I didn’t even get hired for a job I was extremely qualified for! Then again, I’m horrible at anything social/interviewing.
        (End sour venting)

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    7. Little Bean

      Exactly. I’ve gotten almost every job I’ve interviewed for (7 out of 9). When I was first out of college, I was lucky and got offers from the 2 jobs I interviewed for out of the dozens of applications I’d sent out. Since then though, I’ve been extremely selective about what I apply to and I generally only apply if I’ve done a lot of research and I’m reasonably sure that I’m going to be a competitive applicant.

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    8. Flash Bristow

      Thinking about it, I’ve got every job I’ve interviewed for.

      But I certainly don’t think I’m amazing! More that I went somewhere where I knew a bunch of people who vouched for me, and then that people have subsequently moved on and head hunted me. My favourite interview went “Hi flash, you’ve got the job, what shall we talk about?” *grin*

      So I’d venture that another option is that they’ve got a good network.

      I certainly wouldn’t consider to brag about it… And once you’re in a job it’s irrelevant, right? If you screw up in your current role, how many interviews you had won’t really matter.

      My only other thought was that maybe it’s being said as a kind of “I only interview at places where I really want to work” and it’s meant as a cackhanded compliment to the company. But that’s a bit of a stretch.

      Reply
    9. Green

      I used to get ever job I interviewed for (or almost every job I interviewed for) because I was applying for entry-level gigs or jobs particularly suited at a natural stage (law school, post-law school). I also used to conform to my interviewers.

      But now I have mid-career seniority. I’m only applying for jobs that are a significant promotion or a significant shift in focus. And when I interview, I’m authentically me. If someone seems like they’d suck to work for, I don’t pretend to be like them to get the offer. I ask real questions.

      With those two factors combined (reach jobs + authenticity), I’m getting fewer jobs out of my interviews. It can be a little discouraging if you’re used to getting everything and it can be tempting to just deliver exactly what the interviewers want, but I have to refocus on my strategy that I’m interviewing THEM as well and won’t take anything that’s not a significant improvement from my current job.

      Reply
  2. Karen from Finance

    I used to say this phrase when I was youngers and those jobs were internship after internship, and then my first actual job. I found it’s gotten harder as I move up, which makes sense. I think that phrase is definitely on of those that one says from the cockiness of someone inexperienced.

    Reply
    1. Sloan Kittering

      Yes if you have good qualifications relative to most recent graduate, and the job is entry level and isn’t paying very much, your chances may be pretty good early on but that’s not really a wider reflection on how your career is going to go, necessarily. I found that jobs were much more discriminating when there was more money and responsibility involved.

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      1. Mystery Bookworm

        Yes. I actually could have said this in my early twenties. Then, as I moved up the ladder, I started getting rejections.

        I’ve switched careers in my thirties and I’m back in school and doing some entry level work. Once again, I’m finding that if I make it to the interview stage, I’ll get an offer.

        I suspect that part of what’s going on is that the stakes are lower for an entry level hire, so people are more swayed by things like personality and general enthusiasm, and maybe there’s less of a critical eye on these positions. I think when you’re early on in your career, smaller things can have a bigger impact, because there’s so many people who are a bit clueless about interviewing. But as those people get savvy (or get weeded out) things become more competative. Plus the stakes are higher, so more people are involved in the hiring choices and they’re asking tougher questions.

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    2. AnotherAlison

      I think when you’re in the 15 yr+ experience range, if the job is exactly like something you’ve done, you’ll get an offer. If it’s not within your existing skill set that commands the bigger salary, forget it, but I don’t understand why those folks are getting in-person interviews anyway. My current boss has us interview people who get offers, but his predecessor brought in a lot of 20+ year people who left me very confused as to why I was interviewing them.

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    3. The New Wanderer

      Yep, me too. It was true for the first, say, 5 years of my career (and I only applied a handful of places so it wasn’t like a ton of offers) and it kind of skewed my own expectations when I was on the job market last year. Last year I got at least a dozen interviews, only made the final round twice, and got 0 job offers. I was not being that selective in my applications!

      However, just as it wasn’t my incredible awesomeness that got me offers early on, it wasn’t some horrible fault preventing me from getting offers last year. There are too many variables to think that my personal contribution was the dominant factor in successes or failures.

      Reply
  3. Sloan Kittering

    To me, ten interviews to one offer sounds a little high, I would say five to one are closer to what I would expect. But it probably varies by field and the type of qualifications.

    Getting 100% offer to interview seems odd to me in an alarming way, like a student saying they’ve never received less than 100% in any class … I’d start to think they must just be taking very easy classes, or something.

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    1. Dr. Johnny Fever

      I think it does vary by field. I was out of work for 8 months and had about a 12-1 rate of application to interview.

      I remember early in my career when advancement options were like low-hanging fruit I could say I got every job I applied for – but I can say now I’m happier not to have taken jobs and waiting until I found my current one.

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      1. Sled dog mama

        Yeah, my last job search 3 applications, 2 interviews, 2 offers. I got incredibly lucky to find two places that wanted what I could bring (and I only applied to positions that met some pretty narrow criteria because I was employed and not really looking to move quickly). Search three years before that, I stopped counting at 15 applications, around 10 phone interviews, 3 in person and finally 1 offer.
        I’m told this is very standard in my field, straight out of school (up to about 4 years) you take whatever you can get, after that if you want an open position you will likely get an offer.

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      2. MassMatt

        It definitely depends on the field, and the region, and the overall job market. During a recession and its aftermath lots of great candidates could not get work (one reason why I am so infuriated when I read the many “my coworker is incompetent but cannot be fired” stories here), or took many interviews to land a job. Many areas of the country now are having trouble finding employees. If it continues they may need to (gasp!) increase salaries to attract candidates.

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    2. Doodle

      Try looking for a job in academia (tenure track faculty positions, and even non-tt) — depending on the field, you will count yourself lucky to have that many interviews and the competition is so fierce that you may not get a job out of it.

      When I looked for my first faculty job, I applied to a good four dozen positions, had 12 interviews (almost unheard of to have so many), 5 on campus follow up visits (also an excellent rate of return), and zero offers (I was in good company — hardly anyone in my cohort got a job that year — top five program in the field). I got a job after most searches were closed because a friend was working at a school where the search failed, the friend recommended me as someone who’d be great (the department had straight up rejected my application early on), they solicited my application, flew me out, did the interview and campus visit and presentation ordeal, offered me the job later that week.

      So I was a superior candidate (not the best in my cohort however), had a great application packet, interviewed well, did well on campus, and still did not get a job until my network came through for me.

      Reply
      1. Artemesia

        After losing my job in a merger where my department was cut, I applied for a research position with someone coming into an institute as a new faculty member and institute director. I also reached out to my major professor from grad school to put in a word for me. (the incoming director was a ‘footnote’ in our research so I figured he knew him at least slightly) I got two letters in the mail the same day: one to Dr. Artemesia, so sorry, on file. two: Artemesia, Lee spoke very highly of you. Please call my admin and set up an appointment so we can talk about a position I need to fill on X research project. Our discussion once he arrived was not on whether I would be offered the job but the logistics of setting things up and what he wanted me to tackle first. I might have managed it without that network connection once he arrived, but maybe not. This position eventually evolved into a full time position that led to a 35 year career in that institution. Part of the later success was the luck of wowing everyone on that first task. It was not hard but apparently previous people at the Institute had failed to accomplish it so I was immediately viewed as incredibly competent — mostly a matter of luck there. It truly was fairly obvious what to do and I can’t imagine why anyone else had found it difficult to pull off.

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      2. Birch

        I think this varies widely between academic fields too–there aren’t four dozen positions in the whole world that would be a fit for me, for example. But I think your situation is also common, that a lot of positions are gotten by networking with the people you’d be working with.

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      3. Blank

        Yeah, I’ve been at my current institution for almost 4 years, building a role out of bits and pieces that have snowballed into a full-time (temporary, sigh) assistant prof role. I haven’t been called for an interview since 2014, even though I’ve been looking for something permanent/tt. The job I do now is 100% because of lucky networking.

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    3. CJM

      100% or slightly less shouldn’t be unheard of if you’re selective in what your apply for.

      And by selective I don’t mean easy, I mean that you’re highly qualified and what they’re looking for.

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    4. designbot

      Your last point is what I was just wondering about. I’m one of those people who gets not just every job I interview for, but every job I apply for at this point. Now part of that is that I’m in an extremely niche field and finding someone with any significant experience in it is rare, we tend to get snapped up quickly.
      But part of that is who I’m targeting too. These are jobs where I meet 100% of the requested qualifications. Maybe I would get better jobs if I only met 80%, you know, the jobs a man would go for.
      Maybe this is like salary negotiations, and if they give you what you ask for you know you left money on the table?

      Reply
    5. I did it but it's not worth bragging about

      This may be a bit pedantic, but I consider the distinction between getting every job one has interviewed for vs getting every job one has applied for. I’ve gotten every job I’ve interviewed for, but not every job I’ve applied for. I don’t generally go around announcing it though, but if someone were trying to get me to discuss my experience with not getting a job after an interview I thought went well, I’d probably acknowledge I have not experienced that. That sort of thing (and this post) are probably the only context in which I’d mention this though.
      For example, as a teen, I could not get an interview for anything. Not even standard teen jobs. I felt like an epic failure. Couldn’t get a summer job. Couldn’t get an interview for a summer job in any of the places half my high school worked. Had plenty of availability. Couldn’t figure out why I never even got a call.
      Went to college and got a workstudy job.
      Acquaintance via that job knew someone hiring for something else in my wheelhouse.
      Got that as second job while being a full-time student.
      Graduated. Got different job because of skills learned at both those other jobs.
      Outgrew the role and got poached by someone I’d impressed in the meantime. Repeat x2.

      I realize I’ve not had a ton of jobs, so we’re still talking small sample sizes here, but I’m also now very much considered an expert in my field with a 20 year career. I don’t think it’s an accomplishment in and of itself though. It happened more or less by accident and I think is probably one of a bunch of possible outcomes that sometimes just shake out that way. For every person who interviews and interviews and interviews and maybe even if frequently a finalist and it just keeps not working out (and that doesn’t mean they’re bad, just that someone else on those occasions seemed better) there’s also probably someone else who just got it every time. If you’re qualified and a good fit, it can happen. But it’s also a little bit like flipping a coin and calling it right many times in a row. Statistically, yeah it can happen. It doesn’t make you awesome though. It was always a mathematical possibility.

      Reply
  4. Yorick

    It’s also kinda meaningless because it could mean you don’t get many interviews (you apply for 100 jobs, get 2 interviews and 2 offers).

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    1. Edith

      Yeah, it’s like people who brag about how early they get up in the morning or about how they never take sick days. It’s not anywhere near as impressive as they think it is, and it rubs people the wrong way because of the tacit implication that getting the flu or being a night owl or not getting every job ever makes a person inferior somehow.

      Reply
        1. Edith

          I meant people who brag about never getting sick— people who somehow feel superior because they don’t need to use their sick days. As if having a migraine or the flu is a failing on the part of their coworkers.

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          1. The Man, Becky Lynch

            I had someone toss me that “never sick!” nonsense when I was doing their insurance paperwork. I was just like “lol okay the point of insurance is just in case you’re hit by a flying hippopotamus next week, you’re covered, bro.”

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          2. SS Express

            Someone phrased this really well to me once. I forget his exact words but it was along the lines of “people who have the good fortune to be healthy but give themselves all the credit for it”.

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            1. Bagpuss

              I had n interesting conversation with a colleague about this. He falls into the ‘never sick’ category himself and said the same thing – it’s not an achievement on his part, he’s just lucky.

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    2. Willis

      Yeah, I’d guess that most people who are successful at interviews go on fewer interviews. It would be odd to keep job searching just to further validate a 100% offer rate!

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    3. GermanGirl

      Yeah, this.
      If I only count job interviews, I have a 3/3 success rate. If I count applications, it’s more like 3/15 – so I guess I got lucky that the people screening the resumes at those companies had a good idea of what they were looking for?

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  5. [insert witty username here]

    I would add one more to Alison’s list: you’ve gotten incredibly lucky/things have just worked in all your situations

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    1. Lucy

      I sort of say this – but I don’t count the interviews where I decided I didn’t want the job, or where I got a better offer where I was, so didn’t proceed; let alone the applications where I didn’t even get an interview.

      I have an unusual CV even in my field, which I know will sometimes get me an interview I don’t deserve, and sometimes exclude me unfairly. I guess it balances out in the end! As I’ve progressed in my career I’ve found that it’s far more about reputation and relationships than resumes and interviews … I’ve got my last three positions on recommendation whereas when I was fresh out of college it was all recruitment.

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    2. Sharon

      Exactly. You can also run into interviewers who apparently deliberately try to torpedo you.

      For example, last year I interviewed at one place that sounded pretty good, and the job was exactly in my skillset. Things went very well as I spoke to the hiring manager and his team. Then he brought in another person from outside his team but who I would work with on an occasional basis. That person was argumentative with me. I had my best “customer service” face/demeaner on (meaning I tried very hard to understand what she was looking for, didn’t get flustered or angry). She still torpedoed my chances at that job. As she was engaged in her one-sided debate I glanced over at the hiring manager and saw his face fall from “I love this candidate” to “darn, she just isn’t up to it”.

      Never heard back from that place, but that was okay because after that situation (difficult person and the hiring manager not intervening or apparently siding with her) I was no longer interested.

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  6. Abdi

    That was me up until a few years ago. The rejections were quite a humbling experience once I started climbing the corporate ladder.

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    1. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night

      Same here! I think I’ve gotten an offer for every lateral move I’ve interviewed for, but none now that I’m focusing on roles that are one or two steps above me. It blows!

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      1. Fenchurch

        Look at the bright side, at least you get offers for lateral moves! There have been lateral moves I’ve applied to lately where I haven’t even been brought in for interviews – for interal positions…

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    2. your favorite person

      This was me until I was about 23. Then I got a professional job and haven’t had an offer since :( I’m not currently looking (I’m expecting and don’t plan on moving on anytime in the next couple years now) but it was quite demoralizing to realize while I’m pretty great at my current job, and good at interviewing there are LOTS of people in my field with more experience who are willing to work for less. Being well paid in the NPO
      adjacent field is a double edged sword.

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    3. Anne Elliot

      As a lawyer, this sounds like a young trial lawyer who is bragging s/he never lost a trial, and then you find out s/he’s only had two. Like “I’ve never lost a game!” or “I’ve never been turned down for a date!” The speaker is trying to say how awesome they are, but to me they just sound inexperienced, because if you’ve done enough interviews/ asked enough people out/ chaired enough trials/ played enough games, at some point you’ve lost or someone has said “no.” And if that’s not true, you probably having been doing your thing for very long.

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    4. Bagpuss

      I was the other way round. I graduated into situation where a combination of factors came together to mean that getting a job in my field was incredibly hard – to the extent that a lot of my peers never did manage to find work in our field. The job I got, I was told after I started that they had had over 200 *qualified* applicants – just getting an interview was an achievement! This is all over 20 years ago now, but I think I had about 7 or 8 interviews having made hundreds of applications. Most of the places I interviewed that time seemed to be interviewing 8-12 people.
      Things got better after that – I got my next two jobs on the basis of being approached, so no formal application ,and then I think had 3 interviews and 2 job offers.
      Thinking about our current processes, we would normally interview 2 or 3 people for most senior roles. We do interview more people for entry level roles as prior experience or qualifications are typically less relevant in those roles, so it’s harder to rule candidates in or out without meeting them.

      Reply
  7. The Wall Of Creativity

    If you get the ball in the basket every time, it probably means you’re standing at the top of a stepladder right next to it.

    Reply
  8. CR

    I haven’t gotten every job I’ve interviewed for, but I have gotten every job I really wanted to get. I know I’ve been very fortunate, but like many people, I can apply for 100 jobs and get two interviews out of those.

    Reply
  9. Anonandon

    I don’t know, I think it depends on the job and what career level you are. I had a LOT of interviews before I landed my current role.

    Reply
  10. Oof

    Going back to high school, I’ve only had four interviews where I was not offered the position. (I’ve held nine positions overall, plus a few freelance things) But I am really selective where I apply, I’ve been a strong candidate, and later a strong employee. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took longer at some point in my career, but I am rather proud that I have going rate I have had. It’s given me confidence, without arrogance.

    Reply
  11. The elephant in the room

    I used to work with a girl who was the “I get every job I interview for” type. I can say firsthand that it was because she had the kind of personality that people are attracted to. But she sucked so much at her job that, once she was fired, we spent almost a year cleaning up after her and then had to institute new standards of procedures to keep anyone like her from screwing up that badly again.

    Reply
    1. CRM

      Yikes!! Did she lie in her interview? Or did they (the people who hired her) know it was a risk but liked her so much that they decided to give her a chance?

      Reply
      1. hbc

        Based on what I’ve seen, it’s probably not that she lied, but she told her view of the situation. She probably thinks she’s very good at A, B, and C, or that she would have done fine at X if the company didn’t have a dumb system, or what have you. So she can confidently and charmingly state how she had X, Y, and Z under control, and a surprising number of companies don’t reference check or skills test, so she’s in.

        Reply
    2. The New Wanderer

      I know someone like that. This person must be amazing at interviews because they keep getting new jobs every year or two at big, well-established, household-name companies, even though job-hopping in my field is not typical AND if those companies ever checked references, maybe they’d decide differently. (This person is on a no-rehire list at 3 companies, minimum, by now)

      Reply
    3. The Man, Becky Lynch

      I’ve cleaned up after those people my entire career. I’m kinda glad they exist so I can shine so much brighter…oop.

      Reply
    4. DisMuse

      My relative consistently gets every job he applies for because he is a charming and feckless liar. He never keeps them long, either the references are checked, he flames out because he doesn’t have the skills, or he just gets bored—but he never has trouble finding a new one. He’s awful, I mean being charming and feckless are the high points of his personality, but there’s a certain Kevlar quality that comes from not actually caring that seems to come over well in interviews? It passes for confidence, I guess.

      Reply
  12. MLB

    I’ve worked with plenty of people who, when they’ve moved on, have gotten incredible jobs with very little skill or work ethic based on how they treated their job at our shared company. And you know why? Because they were good bullshitters. There can be a bunch of other reasons as Alison mentions, but some are good at schmoozing and getting their foot in the door. I, on the other hand, am terrible at interviews, but will work my ass off once I get there. This had led to many interviews and few jobs, but I’ve been lucky to find managers who will give me a chance and I was able to prove myself many times over.

    Reply
    1. SigneL

      I’m not good at interviews but a good, solid employee….most of my jobs came from networking. I have seen people who are very good at interviewing (lots of personality!) who flat-out lied about their programming skills and still managed to get great jobs.

      Reply
  13. Pam

    I see it the other way. Often, plenty of people in the applicant pool are fine for the position.

    When we’re interviewing people for advising positions, we start with a stack of applications of people who meet all qualifications to interview.
    We then choose a subset for phone and in-person interviews. A few years ago, we were hiring for multiple positions. We dipped back into the application pool at least three times, when some of our first choices didn’t accept offers, and those last chosen applicants have been great employees.

    Reply
  14. Catwoman2

    It probably took me 10-15 interviews (between undergrad and grad), in part to just figure out how to interview.

    As I’ve gotten more experience, it’s become easier, although I’ve still gotten rejections. That being said, I have good experience, have a specialized skill set, and a good personality/decent people skills (which can be a challenge to find in my field). I honestly think my success is from knowing how to interview and generally being able to read a room!

    Reply
  15. Curiouser and Curiouser

    This was true of me when I was in my early 20s/fresh out of college. It is not true as I move up, and there’s a lot of reasons for it. But a big one is – when you’re entry level/early in your career, there are often more positions per level. If you have 5 managers, for example, and all of them oversee 3 people…there are 15 entry level positions and only 5 to move into, and so on. A basic bottle neck.

    And the issue becomes: you start to compete against other people who “get every job they interview for”, because being a great interview can get you the first few levels, but it’s not as much of a selling point when you’re competing against people who are ALSO great interviews, and it has to be based on other factors.

    Reply
  16. Miss Wels

    My partner gets every job he interviews for. He has exceptional emotional intelligence making him great with people, but he also has spent his entire career in one specific field where everyone knows everyone and he already has a good reputation, so the last time he had to interview one of the people on the panel had already decided they were picking him no matter what. I am not sure how he would fare if he tried to switch fields.

    Reply
    1. Minerva McGonagall

      My husband has also gotten every job he’s interviewed for. He also has a high level of emotional intelligence and is great with the population he works with. He’s really good at selling his past experiences and how that would help him in the new job, which I think is his strongest point when he interviews.

      Reply
    2. your favorite person

      My husband just started his career in tech (coding) and is great at being a people person, has good EI and is also a good coder. He’s been offered jobs left and right in the last year because he is getting a good reputation and hiring coders in our area that are both a. good at code b. good with people is so rare he’s basically a unicorn. On top of that, he’s a veteran so employers like that as well.

      Reply
  17. Not a Horse

    Welp. Last job search, I got 3 offers from 3 interviews out of 50+ applications. The 2 post-interview rejections I’ve had in my life were from trying to work retail as a teenager.

    My role’s associated with a portfolio (or an evaluation), so I think that helps filter applicants before interviews come into play. Then it’s just about being personable. To be honest, I sometimes think I only get offers because I’m a woman in a male-dominated field, or some other form of happenstance.

    Reply
  18. TooTiredToThink

    Heh. I’ve been employed for over 20 years now. My first ever interview (in high school) I did not get the job (which based on what I remember of the interview I think was a very good thing); and other than that I’ve only ever been to the interview stage once where I didn’t get a job offer (I’ve gotten to the interview stage twice where I withdrew from consideration). And what’s funny is that I am an awful interviewee. Or at least, I think I am. Most of my jobs I’ve gotten because I specifically have the skills they are looking for or I was a warm body that passed all their qualifications. But regardless, I still wouldn’t try to push myself off as some expert.

    Reply
  19. CJM

    I’m a CPA with 37 years experience and I’ve gotten every job I’ve ever applied for. I only apply for jobs I think I have a good shot at landing.

    Plus, I’m good ; )

    Reply
  20. Elspeth McGillicuddy

    I think the only jobs I can think of where you can get a 100% job offer per interview rate have really low expectations. Did you show up to the interview? Where you clean, sober, and able to string two words together? Cool, you’re hired.

    This would be food service, hospitality and retail (except in recessions), low skilled blue collar, and other similar jobs, plus maybe the more non-competitive internships and entry level office work.

    Even then you’re still lucky to get a job every single time.

    Reply
    1. Not a Horse

      I think that’s backwards for some roles, for example, ones where you submit work samples before interviewing. If it’s a role requiring a specific combo of skills and they only interview applicants who tick every box, you have a high chance of success once you get to that point.

      Reply
      1. LQ

        But at least half of the people who get to that point don’t get to that job. And I’d guess most time the interview is far more than 2 people, so you now have 1/4 of the people who interview get rejected even though they are all really excellent matches to the specific combo of skills. While Candidate A may be really excellently matched and highly likely to be successful in the role, so are Candidates B, C, and D. And if A gets hired then B, C, and D (who were all really close and had that combo of skills) get rejected. To me the math on this simply doesn’t work out.

        Unless the problem is the people we “hear” say that they got every job since so few people say it, it sticks out in our mind.

        (This feels a bit like the Monty Hall problem. I don’t know that saying you get every job you interview for makes any sense. I think that you’re statistically more likely to not get jobs you interview for than to get them.)

        Reply
        1. Not a Horse

          “But at least half of the people who get to that point don’t get to that job. And I’d guess most time the interview is far more than 2 people, so you now have 1/4 of the people who interview get rejected even though they are all really excellent matches to the specific combo of skills. ”
          Even so, the odds are still much more in an applicant’s favor after reaching that point. If one’s good at interviews (as AAM describes), they could have the hit/miss rate to show for it.

          “Unless the problem is the people we “hear” say that they got every job since so few people say it, it sticks out in our mind.”
          Also true.

          “I think that you’re statistically more likely to not get jobs you interview for than to get them.”
          We diverge there. In the application phase, definitely. But I’d wonder how I got to the point of interviews for a job I don’t have a good chance of getting.

          Reply
          1. LQ

            The no show thing is interesting and may have a factor in things as well.

            I’m not saying they don’t have a good chance of getting it. I’m saying the other candidates also have a good chance of getting it. If you have 4 people even if they are all EXTREMELY good, and a literal exact match for the job and the hiring manager has to do a random number to select which single hire, more people get rejected from that job than get it.
            4 people interview.
            3 people are rejected.
            1 person gets the job.
            75% of the people who were interviewed for that job (though highly qualified) did not get that job. They were in fact rejected for that job.
            (Although getting selected for a job doesn’t mean you took it which might skew things as well, if A is offered but rejects the job, and then B is offered the job, 50% of people “got” the job.)

            Reply
    2. Jennifer

      I agree with you when it comes to low skilled blue collar. I have a friend who manages a warehouse and has trouble getting people to show up for interviews. If they can stand upright and pass a drug test they usually get hired.

      Reply
  21. Typhon Worker Bee

    Another possibility for Alison’s list: you’ve got every job through connections you’ve made in previous jobs.

    This is how I got to be one of those people who’s been offered every job I’ve ever interviewed for (although there have been some I applied for but didn’t get an interview). I got my first job in my city by applying “cold” for a posted job from overseas, but then I worked for a spin-off company whose president was also the head of my academic department in Job 1, then worked for someone who collaborated with Job 2 guy’s wife, then during that Job 3 met and worked closely with people who five years later hired me into Job 4, where I met my current boss, who was involved with one of the projects I managed. I still had to interview for every job, and there was competition every time, but the personal connections certainly helped.

    Reply
    1. Lucy

      Agree strongly (I posted a top level lower down). If you only ever interview where they have already chosen you and they’re basically checking that your reputation isn’t a total fabrication, of course you’ll be successful. It makes for quite narrow career progression in some ways, and isn’t at all representative of recruitment processes more generally.

      Reply
    2. Miss Pantalones en Fuego

      I think this is how my husband manages it. As far as I know he’s gotten every job he’s applied for, certainly in the last 10 years or so, but he has only applied for things that someone he knows at another company has told him about. He is an expert in a fairly niche field, which also helps.

      Reply
  22. Lirael

    My field is pretty saturated, so getting an entry-level position was competitive – it was basically a numbers game. But I’ve now gotten in a pretty niche/up-and-coming sub-field, and I was a top finalist for every job I applied for during my last job search. Sure there are fewer positions in this niche area, but there are also a lot fewer people who have the necessary skills and experience. Different numbers.

    Reply
  23. all about eevee

    I am in my thirties and have gotten every job I have ever applied for. But I only apply to jobs that I know I am very qualified for and I am very charming.

    Reply
  24. MsChanandlerBong

    My mom says this all the time. The reason she’s gotten every job she’s interviewed for is because she has mostly applied to high-turnover, hard-to-fill jobs (CNA, unit secretary at a hospital, etc.). She’s never applied for a job where she’s competing against 500+ other people, most of whom meet or exceed the minimum qualifications. My mom (and my dad) are also extremely risk-avoidant, so once she has a job, she typically keeps it for a long time even if she could make more elsewhere or be happier elsewhere. She’s had three positions at her current employer, but she’s been there for almost 24 years. Before that, she was a stay-at-home mom, and before that she was a teenager with the typical teenage jobs.

    It was VERY annoying for her to say this type of thing when I was struggling to find a job during the recession.

    Reply
    1. PB

      It was VERY annoying for her to say this type of thing when I was struggling to find a job during the recession.

      Yes. I had a coworker make this same brag once shortly after I started working with her. This was at the beginning of the recession. I was coming off of very long, very painful job search, in which I interviewed for many jobs I didn’t land, and applied for many more that never led to interviews (or were canceled due to budget). Her comment was more thoughtless than intentionally hurtful, but it still stung.

      Reply
    2. The Man, Becky Lynch

      Argh my mom is in healthcare and threatened me if I ever went that direction for the turnover and burn out issues. She did everything in her power, including refusing to let me apply to her company for any non certified positions after graduating. It breaks my heart remembering other parents don’t advocate looking for professional advancement. “It worked for me! Screw the fact I’m not happy and underpaid!”

      Reply
      1. MsChanandlerBong

        I used to get mad, but honestly, it’s amazing my mother is where she is. She was severely neglected as a child (she was legally blind, but she didn’t have glasses until third grade because no one took her to the doctor; she also had scarlet fever, and they weren’t even going to take her to the doctor–the only reason she got any care is because her school sent the public-health nurse to check on her), she didn’t have indoor plumbing until she was six years old, she had no role models (alcoholic mother, veteran father with unresolved PTSD from WWII, alcoholic brother with mental illness). She dropped out of high school but got her GED and managed to make a life with my father. They don’t make a lot, but they’ve never been in any debt (except their mortgage), own their home outright, and have never had to ask me or my brother for financial help (unlike some relatives who have had better jobs and did a lot of living outside their means). It is definitely annoying when she says stuff like this, but I try to remind myself of all this.

        Reply
    3. Bagpuss

      I learned a long time afterwards that my mother was upset (and keeping very quiet about it) when I was desperately job-hunting during a recession because she felt she couldn’t offer me any useful advice, because she’d always got every job she applied for.
      She recognised that this was because she started out in a job where there was a shortage of qualified people, so it was literally a case of her deciding where she wanted to work, and then applying, she then had a long period out of the paid workforce as a full time mother, and then went into a job where she had been volunteering and was asked to apply for the paid post which was created.
      I’m very grateful that she refrained from commenting on my job search, and stuck to general encouragement instead!

      Reply
  25. Fuddy Dudd

    I’m thankful I haven’t gotten every job I’ve interviewed for. With the benefit of hindsight, I know for various reasons that those jobs wouldn’t have been the best fit for me and only paved the way for me to be in a role that I’m happy with now.
    Additionally, while those rejections definitely stung at the time, learning to accept rejection was vitally important for me in my professional growth.

    Reply
  26. SaffyTaffy

    Oh my gosh! I knew a kid in college who was like this- i had NO IDEA it was “a thing”! It wasn’t until a few years ago, around when I turned 30, that I looked back and thought, “hey… there’s something off about that.”

    Reply
  27. Marthooh

    If they’re telling the truth about it, clearly they must be doing something right. The braggadocio is probably a form of advertising for them, but if on further acquaintance they really do seem to take themselves that seriously, it’s a bit of a warning sign.

    Reply
  28. emmelemm

    I’ve never gotten a single job I interviewed for. Every job I’ve ever gotten was through a connection or recommendation that bypassed the interview process, or temp-to-perm.

    I’m an exceptionally good worker and have done very well at every job I’ve had, but cannot interview to save my life. I guess I’m terrible at being enthusiastic about myself. And at this point, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy to bomb an interview. So send some of this mojo my way!

    Reply
    1. epi

      Yeah, I have not had to interview in a long, long time.

      The second to last time I job searched, I was clearly out of practice or maybe just straight up bad at it. I got nothing but rejections even for jobs that were lateral moves, at partner organizations. I know in my field that some of those jobs were never really open– they were intended for someone but required to post. But all of them? That was on me.

      Once I got to my current organization four years ago– I’m a PhD candidate– I never had to apply for a job again. People who have worked with me before, want to hire me again. Or new people hear good things and ask if I’m free. I’m proud of that and I think I’m right to be. But I’m definitely not looking forward to trying again to learn to apply cold.

      Reply
    2. Tobias Funke

      Same. I own my own business now, largely because I don’t think I would ever be able to work again if I had to interview.

      Reply
  29. Lynn Marie

    Some of my best and most worthwhile interviews have been for jobs I didn’t get. I’ve met some great people, learned things I didn’t know before, and each job interview I didn’t ace made me better at interviewing for the next one and more able to recognize and appreciate a great job offer once it came.

    Reply
    1. SleepyInSeattle

      Yup. Organizations are like a triangle. Lots and lots of opportunities at the bottom, and if you are really good, have a standout resume and can interview well you really stand out among an entry-level crowd. Those folks do get lots and lots of offers. But, as you climb up, the competition gets way more intense since all those top folks are now competing against others like them, not the masses.

      There are some fields though where at some point, due to talent crunches, highly qualified applicants will always have their pick of opportunities.

      My husband works in a field experiencing a major talent crunch. He has a very unique skill set that is in high demand and keeps getting raises because he boss knows he could jump to 5 or 6 other companies on a moment’s notice. I’d be shocked if he didn’t get an offer in just about any job he applied to at the moment.

      My field is the exact opposite. Lots and lots and lots of highly qualified people who all want to do what I do. It doesn’t matter how good you are, we have 8-10 A list candidates just about every higher level job we search for. You get very comfortable with rejection in a job search.

      Reply
      1. Sabina

        Yep, there is the “triangle” effect and also just plain ageism. I got 95% of the jobs I interviewed for until I had the nerve to live past age 50. After that the ratio went WAY down.

        Reply
  30. That Girl From Quinn's House

    I’ve gotten most of the jobs I’ve applied for, but I have spent a lot of time woefully underemployed for various reasons and thus am often the big fish in the little pond, so to speak.

    Getting rejected can be a good thing, it means you’re applying to jobs that are at your level or a step up.

    Reply
  31. kittymommy

    I can only think of one interview I had I didn’t end up getting, but at the same time I don’t apply to much (when I was job searching) – I was very selective; I have a good resume; but I suck at interviewing. So I personally probably wouldn’t read much into it.

    Reply
  32. GlassAlwaysEmpty

    It’s crazy that to some people this is something to brag about and that it’s only positive. I’ve gotten every job I interviewed along with other accommodations or positions but I do not consider this a good thing. While I know part of it is that I’m a good interviewer and that it’s still early in my professional career, you’re telling me when you get rejected you’re not going to completely break down or worse, fight about it. Even when a promotion I did as a trial because I knew it was all things I was poor at, the anxiety that developed after that didn’t work out (didn’t even get fired, just back to my original position) stayed with me for a long time

    Whoever says this is really setting themselves up for a crash

    Reply
  33. Snow Drift

    I hear this in my field from “good old boys” who think their experience of working at one or two companies for your whole life is still the norm. It’s great that you get every job you go for, Bob, but the last time such a thing actually happened was the day after you voted for Dukakis.

    Reply
  34. AnonMurphy

    I agree that early in your career this is more likely, but my initial reaction on reading that headline was ‘then you’re not really stretching for jobs.’ Not meaning you’re not ambitious, but you’re maybe being too selective on what jobs you apply for or too accepting of fit regardless of how you feel.

    Reply
    1. SS Express

      I had the same thought. It’s unlikely to happen if you’re always up against a group of people who are somewhat-equally-qualified. If you’re always the best applicant by a mile it’s way more likely – but then why are you applying for jobs that don’t attract anyone else of your calibre? (I mean, maybe for a very good reason! But maybe because you’re only going for jobs where you’re a shoo-in, and you’re possibly missing out on other great things because of it.)

      And I say this as someone who has been offered nearly every job I’ve interviewed for. Some of which turned out to be a pretty bad fit…especially the one where they were so eager to bring in their “best” candidate that they misled me about the level of responsibility. I was not the best person for that job. Someone with less experience would have been much better suited to it.

      Reply
  35. I Work on a Hellmouth

    I apparently often have interviewed immediately after the people who showed up in jeans, or played with/looked at their phones during their interview, or showed up in club wear or fetish heels. I highly recommend going on after a trainwreck if at all possible! ;)

    Reply
  36. Staja

    I’ve been trying to convince my hubs that getting every job you interview for is not A Thing (nor is getting an interview for every sent resume). He’s re-entering the job market with a freshly minted Masters in IT, no experience, and 15 years at his previous job…which he got through a friend. Goid luck to him, but pickings are slim and I just need him to be employed…somewhere

    I interview fairly well and have certainly been rejected. Sometimes after 2-3 interviews. But, it’s all part of the game, right?

    Reply
  37. Not Me

    My sister’s one of those people and she is absurdly charismatic and (now) good at her job. She interviewed for a retail job once but really didn’t want it so didn’t get it. Her 3 retail jobs were the only ones she interviewd and yes, at least one was due to the low standards that she didn’t even meet as she was in shorts and her bathing suit top was visible!

    She’s had 2 professional jobs since getting her MS. One offer came from a job fair right before graduating. Her program is well-known in the region and her speciality is niche enough that a newly educated person makes a big deal (special ed. In TN). I heard her interview for position #2 and she’s just good at interviewing! She’d only been teaching a year and a half but everyone said take this opportunity since if you don’t you’ll slam that door in your face hard. So she taught regular education on a base in Georgia for another year and a half – this time leaving in the summer for the ultimate goal with that career track – overseas! Teaching special ed!

    Answer: have highly desirable skills and charisma for days. (Charisma that does not work on family)

    Reply
  38. Urdnot Bakara

    I’ve been hired for all but one job I’ve ever interviewed for but:
    1) I’ve only really had 4 jobs;
    2) For two of those jobs, I was referred by a current employee;
    3) I was temp-to-hire at my current job, so by the time I got to the “real” interview, I’d already been working there 2 months and they were not interviewing anyone else; and
    4) I have applied for MANY, MANY jobs for which I never even got to the interview stage.

    I’m not a good interviewer, just situationally lucky.

    Reply
  39. Art3mis

    My husband got laid off a couple of years ago. Three interviews, two offers. Me? My last search was 11 interviews (not counting phone interviews) and one offer. Sigh.

    Reply
  40. Connie Meier

    There may be some truth to what the letters writer saying, but he seems pretty full of himself to me.

    Comments below indicate that quite a few people do get job offers for many if not most of the positions that they apply for.

    These aren’t easy, entry level jobs, either. They apply selectively, are well qualified for the position, and possess the qualities that the employer is looking for at that particular time.

    Reply
    1. LQ

      The math on that idea really bothers me. That means that if “quite a few” (a quarter?) of the people get job offers to “most” jobs they apply for…then either there are a few people who are taking hundreds of interviews to get job offers, a lot of jobs only have one applicant, or something else is going on here.

      Some statistician want an Ig noble for “I get every job I interview for” the reality, the paper? Because I’d read the heck out of that, and you could do a lot of funny with that, go all in for it!

      Reply
      1. SS Express

        I’d say there are people who take a huge number of interviews to get one offer. Some people are really not great at interviewing – they don’t bother to prepare or don’t know how, they get nervous and mess up, or they just have bad personalities. Then there are the people who apply for every job under the sun because it’s a numbers game, people who apply for jobs that are out of their league because they’re either optimistic or unrealistic…

        Reply
    2. zora

      Right, but the commenters are all agreeing that “I get every job I interview for” isn’t that impressive of a brag. We are all pointing out that it’s situational for some people, but doesn’t indicate anything about ability or success level.

      I don’t get why you are saying the Letter Writer is full of himself, since the vast majority of the commenters are all agreeing with him and Alison, that your ratio of interviews to job offers isn’t really a gauge of success.

      Reply
  41. Great topic of discussion!

    A friend of mine said that she tends to get most of the jobs she applies for because she has learned the right questions to ask at interviews based on her field. She also said that she had to face a bad situation at a previous job, was able to describe it to the interviewers and how she handled it, which makes them see her as “wow if you went through X, then you can surely handle our company.”

    I had no luck getting internships (!!!) before getting my first one at the university I went to. I “interned” for school credit at one of the departments (not hard, just had to “apply” for the class and I don’t think there was a formal interview?) I was helping the person in charge of marketing that department for a few times a week for one full college semester. After than one “marketing intern” role that I had where I could list it on my resume, I suddenly got a whole lot more interviews, although certainly not an offer at every interview.

    I found it hard to get a job at entry level unlike what others said. Aside from the “must have 5 years of experience for entry level” as some job postings implied, I graduated undergrad during the recession so there weren’t very many jobs in my field. I even interviewed for internships after I graduated in hopes of eventually landing an offer at Company. It took me ~ 3 years to get a “real full time job” and countless interviews. Most companies wanted entry level people who had a “real job” before rather than me, who only had internships and some freelance work.

    Reply
  42. ErgoBun

    I, too, have gotten every job I interviewed for. I’ve had a total of 3 interviews and 3 jobs: one in high school, one in college, one post-college. I’m pretty sure I was the only applicant for the first two.

    For my current job, I had the right skills (HTML and web design) at the right time (late 1999). I’ve been here almost 20 years, moving up in title and responsibility. I have no job-searching, resume-writing, or interviewee experience for the last 10+ years! While the statement is technically true, it’s not exactly a bragging point.

    Reply
  43. This one here

    I haven’t gotten every job I’ve ever interviewed for, but recent history is as follows:
    1) in 2007, I talked to someone in another location about working in his new local office, and got that job;
    2) in 2010, that local office was closing, I interviewed for and got the first (only) job I applied for;
    3) in 2015, that job let me go (abruptly), and I contacted someone I’d worked with at the aforementioned local office, who passed my résumé along to his CEO, who called me in for an interview and hired me the same week.

    So, since 2007, it’s been 1) who I know; 2) good résumé and interview, I guess; and 3) who I know + good résumé and interview.

    Reply
  44. Tau

    I’m going to add another bullet point: you’re in a field that’s an employee’s market.

    I’m a software developer and I’ve gotten three job offers from four interviews (and the rejection was an interview I got through a recruiter where it was clear it was a big enough mismatch on experience I wouldn’t have applied to it normally.) My brother recently did a coding bootcamp, went on interviews and I believe also landed two job offers from two interviews. I mainly chalk this up to there being a lot of firms out there desperate to hire developers and not many applicants to go around. At my current company, I’ve seen my boss search for new potential team members… and search… and search. Usually what happens is that someone comes to interview, they’re great, we make them an offer, and then they turn it down because they accepted a different one.

    (I also suspect that in tech fields, if you have the technical skills then people skills go further than they might in other fields – the “omg, look, it’s a person who can code who can also talk to people! Lasso them before they get away!” effect.)

    Reply
  45. The Man, Becky Lynch

    I’m considered a unicorn by all my bosses who hired me. And I’ve got an impressive back story. I still don’t get hired for every job because of a slew of reasons, mainly the fit factor and clicking immediately with the owners who are hiring.

    Lots of entry level positions do go to whomever shows up, it’s like when my dad told me that I’ll probably be hired and put to work the same day LOL. No. I’ve been hired on the spot by only a psycho that I quit 2 days into “training”.

    Reply
  46. Kat

    I have a pretty good success rate when job searching but certainly not every job I applied for! In the last few years after moving to a new state I have applied for 4 jobs, gotten 4 interviews, withdrew from consideration once due to circumstances, and got 2 jobs. But I’ve had the privilege of being very selective about what I apply for. I have experience in a very specific aspect of non-profit work and if I limit my search to those jobs I’m almost guaranteed at least an interview. These types of positions tend to attract entry-level people trying to get their foot in the door and move on to more “glamorous” positions so there is high turnover. My advantage is I love this work specifically and have become an expert in it so I have a shorter learning curve and will stay in it for a while. The last time I did a wider job search (desperate to leave a toxic workplace) I took a week vacation and sent out about 20 applications/resumes, got 6 phone interviews, 4 in-person interviews and 3 job offers. Still a good return rate but more typical I think.

    Reply
  47. Non-profiteer

    It could also mean that this person works in a field that relies heavily on networking, and they’ve never had an interview with someone they didn’t already know or were connected to. I’ve always gotten a job offer from an interview that I got through my connections, and most of my interviews have been that kind of interview. And that makes sense for the field I work in. For both of my major jobs, I’ve basically already had the job when I walked into the interview, because they knew me already and the interview was formality.

    This means that I’m somewhat good at networking, selective in pursuing jobs, and also that I haven’t changed jobs many times. It also simply means I chose my college well – it was in the city I ended up having a career in, and it had well-connected professors that started me on this path. So…I’m a little awesome, but not that special?

    Reply
  48. RMNPgirl

    This could also apply if you’re in a field with a serious staffing shortage. For example I am a Medical Laboratory Scientist (previously known as Med Techs) and we have a serious, serious shortage. If you’ve qualified for and passed your board exam and aren’t completely awful in your job interview, you’ll probably get an offer.

    Reply
  49. West Coast Reader

    I’ve gotten every job that I’ve interviewed for in the last few years since I became a web developer. I’m picky, I’m really good at job applications and interviewing. I’ve also been really lucky that I haven’t encountered the ridiculous white boarding technical questions that doesn’t have anything to do with the day-to-day job.

    However, it also tells me that I haven’t stretched myself enough! I should aim higher and see how far I can get. :)

    Reply
  50. Lucille2

    I think that stating you’ve gotten every job you’ve interviewed for is just falsely inflating the ego. As Alison suggests, that statement can mean a lot of different things. It’s not a measure of success, skill, or intelligence. It might just mean better odds. One could argue it’s a measure of good interview skills, but good interview skills doesn’t equal competent in the job. I’ve been turned down and have had to turn down qualified candidates for reasons like, we lost funding for the headcount (no one got the offer), candidate was overqualified, there were indications that candidate would not fit in the role (travel job vs. concerns about frequent travel), GrandBoss wasn’t a fan and wouldn’t approve the hire. Hiring people should not be a prize given to the person with the best interview – it’s the beginning of what should be a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Reply
  51. Grand Mouse

    I haven’t gotten every job I interviewed for, but I also realized those weren’t the right job for me anyway. If I had gotten an offer I might have felt pressured to take a job that wasn’t a good fit. The one job I really wanted I got, which has been a great fit on both sides. That’s what really counts imo.

    Reply
  52. MommyMD

    It’s an arrogant and jack ass thing to say. Especially to someone who may be job searching. It’s very tone deaf. I’ve had four interviews and I’ve had three jobs. I’m very fortunate I fell early in with a hospital I want to retire from. The job I didn’t get I was late because a gunman was barracaded in a house on my street and the police said no ins no outs. They thought I was bat chit crazy when I gave that excuse. I remember that look lol. I would not have been a good match there. Too serious.

    Reply
  53. Rhymes with Mitochondria

    I’ve gotten every job I have interviewed for, too!
    Working at Carl’s Jr in high school
    Working at Wal Mart in college
    Post college internship (at my friend’s dad’s company)
    Job I was recruited into mid-career when a friend was retiring and recommended me to replace her. I’ve worked there PT for 17+ years and it’s been a good ebb and flow, some years I work more hours, some years less. I *technically* interviewed for that job, but it was more of a get-to-know-you lunch.

    But for most of my adult life, I have owned and operated my own business.

    And I would not say any of that has made me an expert in interviewing.

    Reply
  54. EditorExtra

    I haven’t gotten every job I’ve interviewed for, but I have gotten interviews at something insane like 9/10 jobs I’ve applied for. When I lived in a city with several major, large employers (think hospitals and universities) that always had lots of openings. I never got an interview at any large institution I applied for. I assume most of the postings were not really truly open applications–they were always going to make an internal hire. Everyone else wanted to interview me at least :)

    I put it down to great, tailored cover letters and a readable resume. (Hint, I’ve done a lot of hiring myself now and guess what, *most resumes* aren’t readable. White space and headers are your friend. Use an invisible table to create fields that line everything up.)

    Reply
  55. Mel

    High school, undergrad program stuff, and first job after college: Gotten everything I interviewed for.
    Grad school onward: lots and lots of unsuccessful interviews.
    That was a pretty rude awakening.

    Reply
  56. ManderGimlet

    I think there can be value from advice from those friends if you are having a problem interviewing. I also have gotten every job I’ve interviewed for: I’ve also applied for dozens and dozens of jobs! I think that there is value in knowing that while you may have all the skills and experience for a job, many other people do too, and that your best bet in standing out is making a stellar impression in the interview and demonstrating what makes you valuable compared to someone with identical credentials. I’ve noticed many AAM writers are frustrated by interviews and just wish their resumés spoke for themselves. If you’ve gotten to the interview stage, your resumé has done all the talking it can at that point.
    Being good at interviewing is a social skill and like any skill some people are better at it than others. And like any other skill it can be improved with learning and practice. But if you are saying things like “I’m not getting callbacks” and that’s the advice your friends are giving you? Take a break from those friends until you are no longer job hunting. They are throwing their anxiety on you by essentially “victim blaming” you for failing interviews you haven’t even had.

    Reply
  57. CatMom

    Ha, I mean I have gotten every job I’ve interviewed for because I have interviewed for……..
    ……………..
    1 job. The same one I have now. So I’d take it with a grain of salt!

    Reply
  58. Gdub

    When I was a temp, I was offered a permanent job at every place I worked. I was clean, smart, and could spell. These were terrible jobs!

    Reply
  59. PseudoMona

    “In general, assuming that it’ll take ~10 interviews to get one job offer is a pretty good expectation.”

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m 4 months post layoff, and yesterday received Rejection #6. I’ve got 5, possibly 6, interviews coming up. Here’s hoping that one of those works out.

    My last job search was 9 years ago, I only interviewed for two positions, and got the one I wanted. This job search has been very different.

    Reply
  60. Coder von Frankenstein

    I’ve gotten all but one of the jobs I’ve interviewed for. And even the one I didn’t get, it wasn’t because of the interview; it was a job going door-to-door trying to raise money for an environmental group. You had to bring in $X in the first couple of weeks if you wanted to be hired permanently. I did not bring in $X. (Looking back, I can’t believe I applied to that job. It’s hard to imagine anything I am less suited for.)

    I don’t think it says much about my interviewing chops, though. I haven’t applied for a lot of jobs. I’ve only held two real, professional jobs in my entire life.

    Reply
  61. Clementine

    Getting every job you interviewed for likely means you haven’t stretched yourself. This may be fine if that’s what you want, but it’s not a bragging point. Going for a “reach” job takes some courage.

    As for me, I’ve not gotten some jobs that I would have liked to get, but I’m also grateful not to have gotten some of those. And I should probably start more “reaching” right about now.

    Reply
  62. nnn

    I do find myself wondering how well someone who has gotten every job they’ve ever interviewed for can give job search advice, because it comes so easily for them that they might not be able to put themselves in the shoes of someone who struggles with interviewing.

    It’s analogous to how people for whom good social skills come naturally aren’t best placed to advise those of us who struggle with social skills, because all they have to go do get the desired outcome is act naturally.

    Reply
  63. Admin specialist

    I’m one of those people who gets every job I interview for, but it actually annoys me, because I’ve learned many of these offers are probably just impressed by a shiny resume and good professional presentation. I know it’s not a bad problem to have, though it’s decinitely led me into jobs I should’ve turned down. I’m a mid-level admin with an extremely eclectic background at some big name places and that gets people curious enough to call me in for a chat or recruit me, that’s what I think is going on. I am a good worker, coworker, and qualified for the jobs I do take. The people telling you this may very well have some good advice you could apply to your own job search, while keeping in mind that every industry is different, and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you if you’re not pulling in offers at the rate they are. Good luck on your search!

    Reply
  64. Rhoda

    Decades ago, a company I worked for hired a woman to use an expensive new word processing machine they’d just bought. (This was long before desktop computers.)
    She turned out no work at all and complained that it just wasn’t working. The company that sold it kept sending over repairmen who couldn’t find anything wrong with it.
    Eventually it dawned on management that she had no clue how to use it and had lied on her resume. Just after she was fired, she calmly admitted that she’d gotten dozens of jobs this way, by lying and pretending she had non-existent skills. She’d pick up a paycheck for a few weeks, then get fired and find another job.
    So that’s my experience of someone who got every job she ever applied for. I wonder where she is now?

    Reply
    1. Wow

      You would think that once she got the job, she would read the manual to the new machine to figure out how it worked or ask one of the repairmen who came by.

      Also, wouldn’t her resume look fishy to most hiring managers? Less than a month at Company A, B, and C!

      Reply
  65. Cat wrangler

    I dislike interviews but have learned to see them as more of a game to play, and if I don’t get an offer then it’s no big deal, there’ll be something else out there. I can do things but struggle to promote /discuss my skills. It’s actually got easier as I get older, oddly enough. My boyfriend on the other hand, does get offered most jobs he applies for but then a few months down the line, starts the whole process over as he has no fear of the job hunting process! A lot of that is down to networking and contacts though so the actual interview is a formality. It proves nothing, how long you’ll stay or even if you’ll be effective at the role. It just means that you get offers!

    Reply
  66. Jules the First

    Early in my career I must have done fifty interviews before I got a job…I stayed in that job for eight years. These days I’m something of a purple unicorn, and the last time I changed jobs, I went on six interviews and got seven job offers (one company heard I was looking and made me an offer sight unseen…). The problem then becomes figuring out which offers to say no to…it isn’t always obvious! Over the years, I’ve learned that the universe has better judgement than I do – the jobs I apply for and get are usually disastrous; the ones where employers reach out to me are successful. So I take lots of deep breaths, let it be known that I’m open to moving on, and then try not to panic that no one wants me and I will never have a job again…the right job always finds me.

    Reply
  67. HRJ

    I would add another * to Alison’s list – you are applying for jobs that no one wants so you are one of very few (or no other!) applicants.

    I’ve received offers for every job I’ve interviewed for, which is three (admittedly, not that many. Four if you include an internship, five if you include a student job). For one of those jobs, in high school, I had a schedule that allowed me to work shifts that very, very few others could (mostly high schoolers employed there), which made me highly attractive. I probably could have had by far the worst interview and all but shown up drunk for it, and I would have gotten the job.

    The other two were post-college, professional positions in my field. I was in a “dying” industry that’s really hard to find jobs in, supposedly. I had two job offers, and I had been reached out to about a third job that I removed myself from consideration for because I knew I didn’t want it before I even graduated. My advisor and the head of the department said I had the most job offers pre-graduation of any student (at least in the 10 years or so he’d been with the program). People in my field want Prestigious Job or at least a job in Trendy City. The two offers were in small towns in the middle of nowhere where no one wants to go. I was there when they tried to hire other people for other positions. I know hard it was for them to find people.

    If you want to get hired right away post college, be willing to live in the middle of nowhere for a couple years to get experience.

    Reply
  68. CastIrony

    I had a short job search the first time I wanted a full-time job, which worked out so well I returned to my very part-time job in three months. This time, I am trying again, and I am having several interviews, but no offers.

    I just think times change, no matter how things go.

    Reply
  69. Maeve

    I mean, I got the first seven jobs I interviewed for, throwing one where I am pretty sure I didn’t get hired because I didn’t have the availability they wanted. But they were jobs at hotels, restaurants and with kids and I think I presented myself more professionally than a lot of other people who interviewed. Gave me unrealistic expectations for how job hunting would be later tbh!

    Reply
  70. Lulubell

    This was true for me for the first part of my career – four jobs over eight years. I had never NOT gotten a job I wanted until I got further in my career. I do still have a good interview-to-job ratio, mostly because I’m very selective of what I apply to. I’ve only switched jobs twice in the last 14 years and probably interviewed with maybe 6 or 7 different companies in that time (so, a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio). I’ve been told that I interview well, partly because that is just my personality, but also because I’ve read this blog for so long that I live and breathe the advice.

    Reply
  71. BeenThere OG

    I used to joke to my friends that there are two BeenThere OG’s, the one in the interview and the one that starts the job. Interview BeenThere OG is outgoing, bubbly, agreeable and has all the right answers. Job BeenThere OG is suddenly scared silent, fears they have faked their way into the job and will be discovered if they open their mouth. It took me a long time to realize it was okay to let the interview version of myself come out more. I too have a pretty strong track record of getting the job after making the on site interview and I vet positions heavily. I don’t even scheduler’s phone call without a minimum set of information.

    Reply
  72. Meteor

    I was a dummy in early college, and showed up to a day of co-op interviews without having researched the companies at all. I guess I thought we were meeting for them to woo me, and that they already thought I was amazing. Ha!

    But aside from those, I actually have only applied to 3 companies, and got all 3 of those jobs. So I’m still early-ish in my career, but I think this success comes down to a couple of things –
    – A strong idea of my actual skills & how they will help that specific company/role
    – A lot of research into that company/role to make sure that we are well-matched
    – A big smile & personable soft skills in the interviews
    – After the first job, good references

    Reply
    1. Meteor

      For the record, these are marketing/advertising jobs with a medium-to-high level of responsibility. Jobs with more ‘testable’ skills in interviews, like software engineering, usually lead to more interview failures just because of the amount of skill & pressure involved. I’d say marketing is substantially easier to interview for.

      Reply
      1. Hmm

        Is it really though? I feel like marketing is more competitive because it’s seen as a field that is “easy” and “fun.”

        Reply
        1. Meteor

          There may be more competition for a marketing role, but in my experience, it’s easier to get hired due to charisma & good interplay with the interviewer, rather than displaying hard skills. I’ve never run into an interviewer making me write a brief, or a strategic marketing plan, or something comparative to a coding interview.

          Reply
  73. Lissa

    Oh man, when I was younger the number of people who said this made me feel so badly about myself! I have always had a hard time interviewing and had to apply for so many jobs… it’s better now that I have actual skills and don’t have to rely on my not-so-winning personality but it was ROUGH to have so many people saying this kind of thing..

    I also feel like it becomes statistically unlikely the older one gets. I mean, if for any job there are at least 2 people applying, then at least 1 of them is going to NOT get the job, thus constantly increasing the number of people who can’t honestly say this…and I assume for most jobs it isn’t just 2 applying! Or is this like divorce where us people who suck at interviewing mess up the average by taking like 50 interviews to get a job… :)

    Reply
  74. babblemouth

    I just realised I did get every job I interviewed for. But I certainly didn’t get every job I *applied* for, and I don’t think either of these things is a sign of how good or bad I am.

    Most companies only invite 2 or 3 people for an interview. If someone is early in their career, the odds are good enough that they’d get all of these, but it’s not really something to brag about.

    Reply
  75. media monkey

    i work in a specific field where you tend not to be applying cold directly to a company – most roles are done via recruiter or via someone you know who works there. i have never not been interviewed for a job i applied for and never not had good feedback. however that doesn’t mean i got every job, as there is so much subjectivity. you could be the best person for the job on paper, but in reality, they liked someone else more personality-wise, thought someone else would be a better fit into the existing team, they moved someone into the role internally, someone they knew or had worked with before also applied, or someone else was just better in the interview!

    Reply
  76. Asenath

    Surely this depends on the field you’re working in, the level at which you are working, the part of the country/world you are in and its economic situation and so on and so forth!

    I haven’t done many job interviews – partly because I’ve worked in the same job for long periods of time, and partly because, when I was job-hunting, the trick seemed to be to actually get an interview since I sent out far more applications than I ever got interview offers. I’m a bit taken aback at the processes described by some posters here, with telephone screenings and multiple interviews for a single job.

    But an offer for each interview I did get? No, not at all, and it sounds a little improbable to me, unless, as has been mentioned, the person is very particular as to which interviews they accept and has some very high-demand skills etc.

    One of my worst interviews of all times didn’t result in a job (naturally!). Looking back, I probably wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, but on the other hand I got the distinct impression that it was just a pro-forma interview – the interviewer was almost dismissive. I suspected that the job was going to someone else (possibly an internal candidate) but the employer had some kind of rules that it had to be advertised to the general public so that they could prove that they’d looked for someone else before giving it to the candidate they’d already selected. That sort of thing happens, but I couldn’t have known it in advance. And there was no way that interview was going to result in me getting a job.

    Reply
  77. boop the first

    Ha! I guess it depends on who says it. I got almost every job I interviewed for, but that’s because all of my jobs are lousy ones that would hire anyone who showed up and don’t even ask for references most of the time. Not impressive!

    Reply
  78. Working Mom Having It All

    I used to get every job I interviewed for, and then I moved across the country to a region that has different social norms than where I was previously living. Now I’m down to a more typical ratio. I think that, to the extent that this is a thing, and to the extent that it’s not just beginner’s luck/easier to get entry level jobs, it’s probably just about social skills and first impressions. When I came off as a bright go-getter, I “closed” more in interviews. Now that I have to temper my attitude a bit and work to come off as more laid back and personable, it’s more of a struggle.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think those subtle interpersonal skills translate much to the actual job.

    Reply
  79. GovernmentLawyer

    My ex-husband used to say this. I thought it was probably the case because he is charming and used to work in an industry that had a very hot market for what he did. Then he kept saying it after I watched him switch jobs and most certainly did not get every job he interviewed for. So, selective memory, failure to update self-image over time, or complete BS are definitely options!

    Reply
  80. Trilby

    For what it’s worth, during my first few years out of college I applied for a lot of jobs but I was only offered a handful of interviews, and I was in fact offered every job I actually interviewed for. I don’t see it as something impressive, though.

    Reply
  81. Smile Time

    My ratio of interviews to offers has never been great. I suspect that there have been various drivers for this – when I was just starting out, I know I made the sort of “rookie mistakes” like not researching the employer well enough – but mostly I think it’s my lack of brevity in interviews.

    Though, I have always been fairly competitive in job searches – I work in a competitive field with long interview processes and frequently make it to the end to come up second behind the successful candidate. And my application to interview ratio is bangin’.

    Reply

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