Why You Didn’t Make It Past The First Interview
16 August 2018

You’ve spruced up your CV, perfected the pitch of the cover letter, and landed an interview for the first stage of the recruitment process. Good work! But once the interview’s done and dusted, you’re informed that the employer won’t be moving forward with your application. Defeated, confused and a little bit annoyed – rejection can be difficult. But what if you learned from your mistakes to help you land the next opportunity? Here are some of the most common reasons we find why you don’t make it past the first interview.


You Were Unprepared

One of the biggest and most obvious reasons for not reaching the second stage of the interview would be total lack of preparation. Trying to wing it on the spot won’t go down well with employers or recruiters, even if you think you’re confident enough, we can see right through it. Not only will this waste our time but it’ll also cost you the potential of future opportunities with the company, as they won’t take you seriously as a professional.

Remember to always come prepared, research the position and the business, and demonstrate that your interest in the role is authentic.


Your Opinions Were Too Strong

Though it’s often a good thing to be ambitious and strong-minded, there’s a time and a place for intense opinions, especially when it comes to the industry you’ll potentially be working in. Don’t confuse being assertive with being rude, you’ll come across as argumentative and confrontational and no one wants that kind of mindset in the workplace.


You Didn’t Fit The Company Culture

Company culture is a massive part of any job, and if you don’t reflect the company’s attitudes and ethos, not only when it comes to what you say and do but also how you present yourself, you won’t be considered for the role. Often this can just be a clash of personalities, with no hard feelings. Companies look for someone who will represent their brand and their beliefs, so if you didn’t quite make the cut, chances are you were better off without each other. 


You Were Over Qualified

Believe it or not, this happens more often than you’d think, but don’t be put off applying for a role if you think you’re over qualified, just remember that it might not be what a particular employer wants. For example, your over qualification to some companies may suggest that you won’t be able to be moulded to fit their company goals because you’ve got too much experience elsewhere, or that you won’t be happy with the salary they’ll offer. Sometimes, totally out with your control, senior management may be intimidated by your qualifications, or they’ll assume that you’ll leave after six months to move onto greener pastures, making it not worth their time training you up.


You Waffled On A Bit Too Much

It’s a particular skill to know how to streamline your answers and offer succinct responses to your interviewer’s questions. Though it can be totally understandable that you’d be nervous and maybe not as polished with your speech as you normally would be, it really puts off an interviewer if you waffle on for too long without getting to your point. The ability to give short, interesting and concise answers will give your potential employer the chance to assess your competency, communication and analysis skills, crucially important for a lot of jobs.


What are your experiences of not getting past the first interview? Did any of the above apply to you? Chat to us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn or read more interview chat and career advice here.



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