I received communication from a candidate today that renewed my faith in our process. While disappointed, she sent communication to us asking what she could have done better; more specifically, she asked for specific communication as to how she could improve as not to receive a decline from another opportunity.
As a third party recruiter (who cares more about the candidate than the fee) this is refreshing feedback; but also difficult feedback because we are not always privy to this information. But, it is an important (lost) trait when involved in an interviewing process. This is especially true when the candidate wasn’t looking for a job in the first place, and we actively recruited them.
So, it stands to reason, that this left us thinking about reasons seemingly qualified (on paper) candidates are declined at the face-to-face interview phase. We do not see this often, generally, if candidates make it through our process, they are vetted and the job is theirs to lose. However, here are some reasons you may receive (or give) that dreaded “Thanks But Not Thanks” email communication. We have a fair amount of experience (23 years) in this industry, so we have seen it all in some cases! Here are some reasons candidates are declined at the face-to-face interview.
- Failure To Show Up On Time--Super Bowl winning coach Tom Coughlin has a rule for his players. “If you are not 5 minutes early, you are late”. This is a good rule. If you are running late, it is important to get in touch with the store so that the person interviewing you will know. Advising us will cause a delay and the opinion is formed.
- Failure To Bring A Resume--Failure to show up with a resume is a huge mistake. Many of our candidates have to create one (they aren’t actively looking for jobs). But the hiring authority cares little about how you are sitting in front of them; to them, you are another candidate.
- Failure To Present Yourself Professionally-This is a big one. There seems to be some confusion as to “professional attire”. Here are a few things to remember: 1) No denim 2) No flip flops 3) No wrinkled clothes 4) No uncovered tattoos 5) No piercings that are not your ears. If you have them, remove them.
- Failure to Tell The Truth–Remember the golden rule, especially as it pertains to your work history: tell the truth, it’s the easiest thing to remember.
- Failure to Articulate Negative Work History/Situations- There are plenty of reasons to leave a job. But the person that is interviewing you doesn’t want to know them. Attempt to frame negative situations in the most positive light; remember you are there to move forward. Don’t look back; you are not going that way.
It is possible that our candidate did not fall under any of these categories. Sometimes, the hiring authority may feel threatened by a candidate; and that is sad, but true. If you have been declined after a face-to-face interview, evaluate your part in the process. Do not hesitate to ask the hiring authority why you are being declined. There may not be a good reason, but there is no harm in asking, and there is certainly no harm in asking.
It is also entirely possible that you are not a fit. This is hard to hear, but in the end, a declination is the best things that can happen to you.
Stay tuned for a declination after a phone interview!