|You pore over job announcements, apply only to the ones that seem written just for you, and tailor your cover letter to include key words that will capture the attention of the screener. You charm the hiring manager, ace the interview, and strike the perfect tone in your thank you letters.
Then, your dream job emails to thank you for being among the many qualified candidates, tells you it is moving forward with another candidate, and wishes you good luck in your career goals.
What happened? Sometimes it seems there’s a vast conspiracy keeping you from getting a job offer. It is easy to imagine the position never was truly “open,” but that the interview process was mere window dressing before the company appointed a marginally qualified “boss’s pet.” As the perfect candidate, you can be forgiven for assigning sinister motives to the interviewer. She thought you were too old, too short, or too pretty, and she allowed that bias to deprive you of a job you deserved.
All those scenarios are possible, of course, but it is more likely that the home run you thought you hit in the interview was more like a swing and a miss.
Take stock of your interview style to make sure you do not strike out the next time you step up to the plate:
The best candidates have the best resumes; that’s why they get invited to interviews. The best candidates, however, don’t necessarily have the best interviewing skills; that’s why they don’t always get hired. “Every day, candidates who are perfectly qualified on paper will be rejected after they interview because they were unable to connect themselves to the position they are applying for, they couldn’t articulate themselves, or they created some kind of doubt in the minds of the interviewers,” according to HR writer Brad Bingham. “It’s not enough to have a stunning résumé and know in your own heart that you are the best candidate for the job; you have to make someone else believe it, person to person, word by word – and every detail counts.”