You thought you hit the ball out of the park during the interview, but you have yet to hear from the recruiter. You're not alone. It has been reported that each corporate job opening receives 250 applications, and only four to six of those applicants are called for an interview, with only one ultimately receiving a job offer. In other words, 249 applicants face job rejection. Do you think your candidature has the X-factor to be the one that gets the offer? 

Often, we live in our heads with the belief that our resume contains the maximum power words, has the most visual appeal, our persona and body language is impeccable, and that our responses to the interview questions tick all the right boxes. But are these beliefs based on facts? Let us analyze and identify the top probable job rejection reasons. 

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Interview Rejection Reasons and Job Rejection Reasons

1. One-Type-Fits-All Resume and Impersonal Application

Do you customize your resume according to the open position every time you apply? Do you make efforts to find out the name of the recruiter to include in your cover letter? If you answer 'no' to both questions, your application is more likely to be overlooked. A one-type-fits-all resume will not carry the key skills listed in the job description of the position you are applying for. Since most companies these days have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in place, your resume will not even be viewed by a human unless it contains certain keywords that match the job description. This is one reason to always tailor your resume for each job application you make.

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2. Under or Overqualified, Exaggerating Experience

Did you ensure that you truly meet all the criteria listed in the job requirement? Do you have sufficient experience to handle the role? If you do not, your application will be discarded by the ATS. And, in case you chose to exaggerate in your resume, it will come back to bite you hard. 

Recruiters always run background checks on shortlisted candidates for any discrepancies in qualifications and experience. When your lie is exposed, you can forget about any future chances of employment with the particular recruiter.

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3. Social Media Behavior

A balanced social media presence is essential in the current professional environment. Exhibition of discriminatory opinions, inappropriate photographs, and venting about past employers or positions could brand you unemployable. It has been revealed that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 57 percent are not inclined to interview candidates without an online presence. Are you mindful of what you post or how you engage on social media?

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4. Inappropriate or Untidy Appearance

Let's say you were interviewing in a startup company that has a comfortable dress code in place, and you appear for the interview in a full suit, tie included. You could be considered too uptight, a cultural misfit for the company. In addition to inappropriate attire or frumpy clothes, unpolished shoes, disheveled hair, bad breath, and other appearance flaws can create a messy first impression. Your appearance makes or breaks the deal with the hiring manager in the first few seconds of the interview.

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5. Poor Body Language

The way you walk through the door, your grip during the customary handshake, and your posture during the interview all communicate a significant amount about your personality. It is also recommended that interviewers make eye contact at least 50 percent of the time when speaking, and 70 percent of the time when listening. Being aware of your body language will help you control undesirable non-verbal cues that reveal disinterest, lack of sincerity, conviction, and confidence.

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6. Lack of Good Communication Skills

Recruiters may lose interest in candidates who talk too much and tries to get too familiar during an interview. It is a good idea to build a personal rapport with the interviewer, but please know where to draw the line. Also, you need to take care to eliminate grammatical errors when you speak. Remember that excessive use of verbal fillers and swearing can be damaging to your communication skills during the interview.

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7. Vague Responses, Avoiding Questions

Vague responses to questions during the interview, unsophisticated answers, answers that figures or statistics don’t support, avoiding answering tricky questions – the sum of all these mistakes is your failure in demonstrating your knowledge, experience, and capabilities in front of the interviewer, and is part of the list of common interview rejection reasons. Answer honestly, with enthusiasm, and show that you are deserving of the job.

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8. Unrealistic Career Goals and Job Expectations

Most likely, during the interview, you were asked about your career goals and expectations from the open position. Now, let's say you are just starting out in the marketing industry, and you state that your goal is to be the Chief Marketing Officer of a corporate giant. This is not a feasible scenario, and despite getting credit for being ambitious, it could also come across as unrealistic. It is best to align your career goals with the organizational goals you are applying to and set job expectations after studying the industry standards.

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9. Early Discussion or Questions About Salary/Benefits

Did you make the grave mistake of jumping the gun and asking about salary and benefits even before the interviewer was done with his questions? It is best to sell yourself first to demonstrate your excitement to work with the organization and convince the interviewer that you are the best fit before moving on to salary questions. Think along these lines; asking your salary questions too early in the interview shows compensation as your sole motivation and not the experience to be gained.

Let's find out the next possible job rejection reason.

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10. No Post-Interview Thank You Note, or Too Frequent Follow-UPS for Updates

A simple thank-you note addressed to the recruiter a day after the interview helps keep your candidature on top of the pile. It also shows how deeply invested you are in the position. Having said that, do not go overboard with your follow-ups. You can send a short note once, a week after the date the recruiter said he or she will touch base, and finally, another note requesting feedback if you do not receive the offer.

These were some of the common job rejection reasons that can cost you an interview. Upskilling with all relevant knowledge and certifications in this cut-throat, competitive market can help you get ahead and stand out. Advance your career with Simplilearn's professional certifications in varied domains like Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, Big Data Engineering, Machine Learning, etc. Enrich your resume with certificates from IIT Kanpur, Purdue University, University of Massachusetts, Google Cloud, IBM, and others. Take advantage of digital learning from the comfort of your home and grab that much-awaited promotion or job offer. 

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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