6 Reasons You Failed Your Job Interview

Once you have landed a job interview, it is easy to get so excited that you forget to prepare for the interview! 

Whether the interview is for your dream job or your first entrance into the workforce, the excitement of a callback after applying for a position can make you instantly feel pressure to succeed. Perhaps you are someone who works well under pressure, or maybe you are someone who gets easily rattled by demands. Either way, you want to be successful in your interview and get that all-important job offer. 

Naturally, not everyone will get the job. Sometimes, other candidates are better qualified for the job, but other times it means that something went wrong in your interview. To help you prepare, we have compiled a list of reasons that can lead to a failed job interview so that you can avoid these mistakes and better set yourself up for success. 


6 Reasons You Failed Your Job Interview

When you do not receive a job offer after completing an interview, it can be disheartening, especially when you are qualified for the job. Unfortunately, when this is the case, the answer as to why you weren’t selected may lie in your interview. 

You may not even be aware of the mistakes that you are making in your interviews, but learning about them can prepare you for future interviews and set you up for success. 


1) Not Preparing for the Interview

It goes without saying that you need to be prepared for every job interview you get. However, most job seekers are not aware of just how prepared they should be for an interview. 

In fact, preparation for an interview is arguably the most important thing a job hunter should do. Think about when you sat down to write a school exam—when you really studied, your nerves almost disappeared. The same concept applies to job interviews. 

Prepare for your interview with mock interviews, looking up common expectations for your job role, and studying the job application. Another excellent way to prepare for a job interview is to hire a certified career coach. Career coaches are up to date on the best hiring practices, and you can easily order a one-on-one session to reacquaint yourself with the ins and outs of interviews. In addition, a certified career coach can give you job interview practice questions and run through a mock interview once you have studied for your exam. This scenario is perfect for someone nervous about interviewing. 

If you have applied for more than one position, you might be faced with numerous interviews. Keep the interviews straight; it’s detrimental to call the organization by the wrong name, and you may be scrambling to remember the job title or requirements for the job you are interviewing for. Potential employers expect you to have some level of preparedness as this shows that you are organized and that you want the job.

Try to get enough sleep the night before your interview. The last thing you want to be doing is yawning during an interview. You also want to give yourself enough time to get ready to take on an interview, meaning: brush your teeth, comb your hair, and wear neat clothing (more on this later). 


2) Your Online Presence Isn’t the Best

Most people have some form of social media these days. Even if you don’t, you could still be “Google-able.” Chances are, when your resume eventually lands on a hiring manager’s desk, they will search your name on social media sites or a search engine. 

Some of the things found on social media that will automatically remove you from consideration are:


  • Excess alcohol consumption/drug use references
  • Being untruthful about past job experience, education or qualifications
  • Prejudicial statements
  • Inappropriate photos or comments
  • Negative comments about past employers
  • Disparaging remarks or cyberbullying

Your social media accounts should be considered a representation of you, so it is best to keep your social media platforms professional. 


3) Arriving Late to the Job Interview

If your interview is remote or even if you are going to the office building for your interview, your entrance needs to be prompt. 

This piece goes hand in hand with being prepared. Arriving early for your interview will not only give you the time to relax before being called into an office, but it will also create a great first impression. If you have a remote interview, test your equipment the day before your interview and then again an hour before the interview to ensure that your technology is working and there will be no hiccups. 

Not only is the time you arrive for an in-person or remote interview important, so are your mannerisms and body language. Ensure that you are aware of your body—try not to slouch, chew gum, and even avoid looking at your phone while waiting. 

If you happen to be running late due to weather or an unforeseen technology issue, your best bet is, to be honest, and apologize for your tardiness. Try to email or call the interviewer ahead of time if this is the case.


4) Not Dressing for Success

You must dress appropriately for your interview, remote or in person, and that is non-negotiable. Even if the position you are interviewing for is casual and modern, wearing khakis and a polo shirt is far more suitable than wearing jeans and a t-shirt. 

A good rule of thumb is to choose a blazer and dress shirt with dress pants or a skirt to appear professional and serious about winning the job.

If you are without business dress clothing that you believe to be appropriate, you can buy second-hand or borrow some. The important thing is that it is professional, it fits, and it is clean and ironed. When it looks like you don’t care for your appearance, you are presenting yourself as looking like you don’t care. If you cannot afford nicer clothing, don’t be afraid to explain this to your interviewer. 


5) Failing to Research, the Interested Company

When you score an interview with a company, the first thing you should set out to do is to research the company and job requirements. 

Even if you are not asked about the company you are interviewing with, throw in some information you have learned about the company you’re looking to work with. This will impress the hiring manager or recruiter and will show that you have researched and prepared for the interview. Again, this shows initiative and planning.

When you show interest and knowledge around the company, you are applying to and the position you are applying for, you can forge a relationship with the interviewer. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask about their own career path within the company. Doing so will make you noteworthy when the hiring manager reviews interviews and gives you a better chance of landing a job.


6) Giving Hollow, Generic Interview Answers

The most important thing to consider when interviewing is how you answer the interviewer’s questions. 

Remember to avoid hollow, generic answers to an interviewer’s question or answers that seem to be copied from the internet. Answering in a monotone, generic way will make you sound as though you are bored, unprepared, or not invested in the conversation. 

Your responses should be well thought out and relevant to the question as well as the position. You should be able to bring in personal experiences and inflections to the points you provide. It would be best to structure your answers uniquely to stand out from the interviewees that provide generic responses. 

A skilled interview strategist can help you to formulate unique answers for behavioural and value-based interviews. Career Marketing Centre has developed an award-winning methodology used to structure interview responses that get noticed. 


Get Ahead of the Crowd

When you have landed the coveted interview, it is crucial to do all you can to set yourself up for success. 

Avoiding the mistakes, we mentioned above and using the tips we included will help you on your way to a triumph in your interview. To bolster your chances of having a winning interview, you can also enlist a certified career coach’s services

An excellent certified career coach service, such as Career Marketing Centre, can help you prepare for your job interview. Career Marketing Centre can supply you with, and run through, practice behavioural interview questions, frame your work history into a narrative that presents you as an asset to any company, and help you get over the nerves that often accompany job interviews! 

Reach out to Career Marketing Centre to talk to a certified career coach today. 


Amy Watt6 Reasons You Failed Your Job Interview