Overcoming the unknown reasons for not getting the job you wanted. The most often question I get from job seekers is “why am I not getting the job.”
Does this sound like you:
I interviewed well, knocked it out of the park, and I didn’t get an offer.
I’m perfect for the job, totally qualified, and I applied and didn’t hear anything.
So-and-so got the job and is less qualified than me, why did they get the job?
My leadership team offered a job to someone else and didn’t even consider asking me, what is wrong with me?
Here are the answers to the complexity of human behavior, which is a mix or combination of components that arise in these situations.
The reason most people get opportunities that others do not is quality of relationship. What relationships are most commonly providing the best chances for the hiring team?
The strongest is a former boss. If you have a strong relationship with a hiring manager that already knows you, knows your work, and has the same need for an employee, then that would be the best scenario. This is why internal hiring is so frequently successful. Why not hire the person you already know!
The second best is an coworker that has trust with the hiring manager. Most likely this is someone in the exact department that has a need for what you have to offer. The value of a 3rd party endorsement is critical to your success. I have found that the strength of your relationship doesn’t have to be total and solid. Your success can be described by the quality of trust relationship between the hiring manager and the 3rd party. I suggest finding anyone willing to recommend you.
The least-best, but a little more effective than blind application and crossing your fingers, is the cold relationship outreach. A reactive strategy that can work occasionally, the additional activity on your part may offer you a finalist spot when the hiring team doesn’t know anyone.
People who make decisions do so based on professional and personal judgement. It’s clear that most people make decisions based on emotions, feelings, and perceived value. Notice that this may not include truth or reality.
How you present yourself, and your integrity, will determine your perceived value. You control this process through your interview performance. Make sure you consistently stick to your strengths and present yourself as a solution to the prevailing problem with each individual interviewer.
In the interview is where relationship becomes critical – it allows you to know how to position yourself well.
VALUE OVER COMPETENCE
Your relationship and your competence got you the interview. To have the chance to become a finalist comes when you can translate your strengths and skills in a way that demonstrates value to the hiring team.
Value is that combination of how your competence properly solved the company’s problems from an audience perspective. The challenge comes when you lack clarity on what and how to correctly solve the problems. Having that internal relationship or champion can prevent you from having to read minds.
There is a right-sizing to this interaction. You don’t want to be under-qualified and you don’t want to be overqualified. You want to hit the bulls-eye that lies in between the two and fill the presumed skills gap. When you are unsure, don’t hesitate to ask at the interview itself to become sure.
Feeling of comfort comes from the ability, over time, to demonstrate trustworthiness. Being trustworthy will allow people to be in rapport during interviews. It’s a feeling of familiarity that leads to being the “right” person by intuition.
The challenge is you are entering a situation where you are an unknown, a stranger. Who trusts a stranger? Would you leave your “baby” (aka the future of your team) in the hands of a stranger? The answer is obvious.
Building trust comes from repeated validation of behavior in front of the interviewers to progressively solidify your identity from candidate, to finalist, to teammate.
All things created equal, which isn’t very often, the person who gets the job performs really well on the interview. The only qualifying factor here would be the number of hours in preparation.
You can perform well by understanding the company, doing your homework, practicing your answers, identifying potential questions, and mock interviews with a partner.
To help you prepare well for your interviews, and to build relationships of trust, check out my Interview Preparation Intensive.