8 Reasons You're Not Getting a Second Interview

Carly Naaktgeboren
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After a first-round interview, you may have thought everything went perfectly fine.  You wait and wait, but only hear crickets, and then you get the email stating that they are carrying on with second interviews or making offers and you’re not one of them.  So, why were you passed up for a second interview?

1. Were you late?  Were you running through the halls, waiting on the elevator, waiting for the bus, waiting, waiting, waiting? Of course, stuff happens.  You might have google-mapped three different possible routes and still been running behind.  Unfortunately, this shines an unflattering and unprofessional light on you.  You have to at least show you care enough to arrive on time, or better yet, slightly early.  There are plenty of cafes and parks you can hang out in if you have an excess of time, and that can calm your nerves and keep you from becoming too frazzled.

2. Speaking of professionalism, how did you dress?  Did you look put together? Did you wash your hair?  Did you dress in a way that said you knew anything about the company?  Do a little research to help you plan your outfit ahead of time so that you look professional and also like you could fit-in in the work environment.

3. Again, with research, did you do any?  It’s of the utmost importance to research EVERYTHING before your interview.  It shows you give a hoot about the job.  Have information on the company and on your interviewers.  Know what has been said about them in the media.  This can also help you prepare commentary on your own qualifications and how your experience fits in with this project or that report.  

4. Were you rambling like a fool?  Think about questions they’ll ask you.  RESEARCH questions they’ll ask you.  And know how to answer in a perfunctory way.  Don’t be so wordy that they can’t understand what you’re trying to relay to them.  

5. Did you show off your personality?  It’s always good to be professional, but your employers want to know who you are as a person as well.  They’ll be working with you day in and day out.  You’re allowed to smile and be charismatic, it might make them like you more as a human being, and thus, as a possible employee.

6. Did you ask questions?  Have questions prepared for the end of the interview ahead of time and think of some relating to what the interviewer has told you.  Ask them personalized questions as well, this is both flattering and shows you have been paying attention.

7. On a similar note, did you listen to them?  Were you attentive when they spoke and did you wait to give a thoughtful response?  Showing people you care suggests you will take your job seriously and also be a solid team player.

8. Did you send a follow-up thank you email?  Sending an email or note immediately after an interview shows you’re willing to go above and beyond and keeps you in the thoughts of employers.  Make sure you send a separate one to everyone who interviewed you so as to not create confusion or make anyone feel excluded.

And remember, it might not be you at all! They could have met someone they felt was a better fit for whatever reason just ten minutes after you left.  Don’t take it personally.  Prepare ahead of time, know you did your best, and then confidently continue on interviewing until you find the job for you.


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  • Mary B.
    Mary B.

    I'm trying my best
    Has to be something

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Rich M thanks for your comment. Sounds like you did everything that you could. You did mention that you arrived early. Just make sure you don't arrive too early. 15 minutes prior to your appointment is about right. Sometimes, even though we do everything right, it's just not the right fit or they already have someone else in mind. Just keep doing what you have been and that job will come your way. All the best.

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    On my last interview, I did send a thank you note (by email) as well as thanked them before I left. I did ask questions during and after they were done. I did check them out online and made a print of the company's history and had it with me. I arrived early and while waiting for them, I read what I had brought with me (company history and what they do) before the interview. It's also smart to find where they are, print out a map and take a dry run to the location so you won't be late for the interview. Be friendly and listen to what they say. Sometimes you don't get a second chance and it has to be perfect the first time.

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