Here’s Why You Didn’t Get the Job You Wanted – and How You Can Fix It

It’s one thing to be unemployed, it’s another to be employed somewhere you don’t like. And then, there’s the worst condition of all; not getting a job you really wanted and liked! You know your qualifications are impressive, your first impression was on-point, and your shot was just as good as anyone else’s. So why them and not you? Where did you go wrong? Is there something you can do to regain a better candidate position, or some aspects you should work on? 

All these what’s and why’s and what-ifs can disrupt the calm in your mental and even physical well-being. However, instead of letting it go without reflecting, and risking making the same mistake again, it’s better to identify where you could have improved and fix the mistakes that cost you your effort during the job application.

Here are a few hints to help you narrow down specific reasons why you may not have had the result you expected. 

What Went Sideways

1. Academic Credentials

Many of us hear about how experience and skills far outweigh educational status, but you can’t simply ignore the role your academic and technical credentials play during an interview. If you apply for a job where your credentials do not match, it’s an easy way for your recruiter to not invite you to the interview process. And even when you have a dynamic and diverse skillset and academic background, it may not always appeal to your recruiter. 

The thing is, there are some positions and organisations that prioritise educational level above everything else, so even when you feel like you have enough field knowledge for one kind of industry, not every job within that industry may be compatible with that experience alone.  

2. Errors in the application

If you didn’t receive the call from a potential employer, it might also be because of specific errors on your CV, your application, or the answers you provided to their questions. Some of the mistakes may be technical. These may pertain to incorrect dates, spelling errors, chronological errors, and so on. 

These may be minor errors, or they may be major ones. A second category of errors is discrepancies in your documents. Did you organise your CV to make it relevant for the employer? Did you ensure all your documents have verification resources and that everything on your application is clear, accurate, and verifiable? If you missed out on these pointers, you might have lost a point or two against other candidates. 

3. Your Demeanour 

Employers and HR specialists are usually quite well trained in getting behavioural cues that help them analyse how you may behave in an office environment. Your first impression only lasts from when walking through the door to when you greet the interviewers and sit down for the conversation. Then, the person sitting across from you controls the environment of the table, so you have to guard yourself rather well to avoid slip-ups. 

If you’re wondering where you may have failed, consider this; was there a point of conflict during the conversation? Any instance where you felt pressured, or any moment when you had to consider your professional ethics carefully? The interviewer may have deliberated those moments to see how you behave under different office situations. So even though you feel like you didn’t lose your nerves and delivered a flawless performance, your interviewer may not always think the same. 

How to Fix It?

The good thing about jobs you like is that even if you didn’t get the result you initially wanted, they’re not lost forever. You may come across another opportunity, or may even end up availing the same chance if you manage to fix your mistakes through the following approaches: 

1. Review Your Application 

You may check the advertisement or referral that led you to the application for this job. From the initial advert to the last email in your thread, you may examine each part to check where there were misunderstandings on either your part or the part of the hirer. The chances are that you may have filed an incomplete application, perhaps in response to a vague advertisement for the job. Wherever you find a discrepancy, you may take notes on your weak points during hiring conversations. 

2. Follow-Ups 

If you think there’s still a chance to get in touch with your interviewer and clear a few misinterpretations, go ahead and do it. You can send a follow-up email to ask the status of the vacancy and then proceed to request them to inform you as to what led to your rejection. If you’re lucky and persuading enough, who knows, you may end up getting hired after all! 


From behavioural counselling to CV writing services, there are countless ways to fix your applications blunders. In case you are clueless about why you didn’t get hired, you can always ask for follow-ups or a friend to review your application for you.

Alex Cole is a Specialist Building Services Recruiter with Responsum. He’s always interested in networking with Building Service professionals. He loves talking football, is hoping to get on the property ladder soon, and visits Tenerife every year!

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