How Do You Know You Didn't Get The Job?

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February 4, 2020
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min read

Searching for a new job is stressful. Countess interviews and follow-ups can leave you feeling like you will never land a new position. With so much of the hiring process being handled from people online, it's hard to know if you missed the mark or if the company hasn't made a decision yet.

However, there are often signs it’s time to make a change in your job search approach. Below are a few things all candidates should be aware of as they work towards their next career opportunity.

Signs to look for during your interview

Length of your interview

The amount of time the hiring manager spends with candidates is a good indicator of how the interview went. An employer does not want to waste their time or yours, so if the interview is not going well it will be cut short. Try to remember what questions you were asked.

Did you cover your recent history and skill set? Did the interviewer spend time getting to know you? If the conversation did not progress past general interview questions, chances are you won't be getting a callback.

People you met with

The first interview is usually with a recruiter, not one of the team managers. They will then set up future interviews with other members of the company. If the employer initially wants you to meet with three people and you only meet one, the job is most likely going to a different potential candidate.

Verbal cues during your interviews 

Pay attention to cues the hiring manager said while you were being interviewed. Signs the job is going to another candidate include:

  • You are overqualified
  • We are still meeting with other candidates
  • Good luck in your job search 
  • There are a lot of internal candidates applying for the position as well
  • We are not sure of timing for the role
  • We feel it might not be a good cultural fit 

Mistakes candidates make during their job search

Sloppy Application

A candidate can lose a job before they even have an interview. A recruiter's first impression of you is your application, whether they're viewing it through a browser or during the interview. If you feel you haven't been getting responses, there are most likely mistakes you can fix.

Reread your resume and any email you have sent to reach companies for interview opportunities. A company will typically not hire a candidate who has grammar errors throughout their initial contact. After applying for a job online, continue to pursue them with a follow-up email if you don't get a response.

A helpful way to ensure you at least get interviewed is to proofread your work before you share it. 

Are you qualified?

A hiring manager or recruiter does not want to meet a candidate that does not have the right background for the job. For example, an employer cannot hire a graphic designer with no training in the field. If you are applying for jobs that aren't in your wheelhouse, you might be wasting your time.

Look into what degrees or training the position requires for hire. If you want to make a career change, consider taking classes or an entry-level position with a company that is willing to hire a candidate for the job with no experience. 

Were you prepared?

Make sure you are prepared for the specific business you want an offer from. Below are some things every hiring manager expects candidates to do throughout the interview process. If you missed one of these, don't be surprised if you don't get the job

  • Do a quick search on the company before your interview. 
  • Practice answers to common interview questions. 
  • Show up on time for all interviews, regardless of the company. 
  • Send a thank-you email after each meeting, to each interviewer. 

Do employers call to tell you if you got the job or not?

It depends on the company, but some may email you to inform you that the position is no longer available. Typically though, they will not actually call you just to tell you that you did no job.

How Do I Know if I Got Hired?

After an interview, how do you feel? Did the hiring manager give off a lackluster vibe? Did the recruiter or interviewer give you negative feedback?

Trust your gut! You will know if you bombed an interview or would be a bad hire at a company. Don’t get discouraged though. Take some time to reflect on what you can improve on.

Ask questions or send an email to someone that interviewed you for advice if you don't get the job at their company.

There are simple changes every candidate can make to impress a future employer and advance their career, so make a note and you'll be that much more prepared to bring your A-game for the next company that invites you to do a job interviewer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are subtle signs during an interview that might indicate I'm not the preferred candidate?

Subtle signs include a lack of engagement from the interviewer, such as minimal eye contact, short responses, and a hurried pace. If the interviewer doesn't discuss next steps or seems disinterested in your answers, these can be indicators that you might not be the top choice for the position.

How long after an interview should I wait before concluding I didn't get the job?

Generally, if you haven't heard back within the timeframe the employer indicated, or if two weeks pass without any communication, it might be a sign that you didn't get the job. However, it's always a good idea to follow up with a polite email to inquire about the status of your application.

If I suspect I didn't get the job, is it appropriate to ask for feedback on my interview performance?

Yes, it's appropriate and can be beneficial to ask for feedback. Send a courteous email thanking them for the opportunity and politely ask if they can provide any insights that could help you in future applications. Keep in mind that not all companies provide feedback, but it's worth asking.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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