Recruiter Secrets: The Real Reason Why You Didn’t Get the Job

 According to Cheryl Polk, career advice expert for Excel Career and College Planning, there are plenty of reasons why recruiters choose someone else over you.  But let’s be honest.  It’s rejection.  And none of us likes rejection.  About the best you can do in such a situation is to figure out what you did that didn’t work.  Figure out the recruiter secrets that cost you the interview.   Then, make adjustments going forward.

You may have to explain why you took that sabbatical to Australia for six months.  Or what looks like a change in career focus.  But Cheryl says there are three interview killers that you should avoid in every interview.  Doing any of these is deadly to your chances of getting the next level interview let alone hopes of a job offer

  • Lack of energy during interview – Hiring managers often view candidates that are too “laid back” as lazy and lacking ambition.
  • Bashing Previous Employer – Hiring managers often view candidates who bash their previous employers as negative and someone who enjoys “passing the buck” and not taking personal responsibility for their actions.
  • Too Talkative – The ability to listen and respond completely and succinctly is a very important skill that should be practiced and mastered. Going too far on a tangent can show lack of focus and that you aren’t teachable.

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Rehearsal Is Key To Preparing For The Interview

Obviously, you can’t record your interviews.  All you have to go by is your memory, which can be sketchy when you’ve been in the pressure situation of an interview.  And of course the unpleasant feedback that you didn’t get the job or even an invite to the next round of interviews.  So the key is rehearsal.

According to Monster, “even the most charming of candidates needs to practice before stepping in front of a hiring manager.”  No matter how qualified you are or how confident you are, if you’re really serious about wanting to land the job offer, preparation has to be a top priority.  And going in cold is almost assuredly going to result in failure.

What’s the best way to prepare?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Practice answering interview questions.  There are tons of resources on the internet that range from the top 10 to the top 100 interview questions.  And especially look at the tough interview questions.
  • Record yourself practicing.  Video is best, but audio will do.  Hate yourself on video and audio?  Get over it.  Everyone does.  Interviewing is performing, and you have to perform at your peak.
  • Set the stage.  Don’t practice at your kitchen table.  Or worse, at the local pub.  Set up a table and chairs as it’s likely to be in the actual interview, and have a friend ask you the questions.

Preparation Before The Preparation

Have you ever considered that your resume is part of the interview?  Or that it can influence the flow of the interview?  The recruiter will use your resume to look for strengths and weaknesses.  And those will be part of the focus of the interview.  Even format, literary style, grammar, and appearance of the resume can push the interview in one direction or another.

If you have any doubts about creating a resume that works in your favor, you should seriously consider having it reviewed by a professional.  Check out to receive your FREE resume critique.   They’ll provide an honest assessment on whether your resume is a “go” or a “no”.


You can make that dream job a reality with great preparation.  Remember, it isn’t that game of thirty or sixty minutes that makes the difference to get the win.  It’s in how you train for the game.


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