9 signs you didn’t land the job

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 27, 2014 @ 12:18 PM

How to know when you won’t be getting a call-back after the job interview.

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You spent hours crafting your cover letter and tweaking your resume for the job application. You pass the phone screen with flying colors and are invited to interview in-person with the team. You practice your elevator pitch, don your best interview outfit, and head out to the meeting. Then you leave the interview feeling … confused.

Did it go well? If you’re unsure where you stand after the interview is over, consider these telltale signs that you didn’t land the job. [TWEET]

You met with fewer people.

You were supposed to meet with three different people in the department, but after the first interview, they sent you on your merry way. Unless the entire team suddenly came down with the flu, don’t expect to receive a call back from the company.

Your interview is cut short.

Perhaps your interview was expected to last an hour, but the interviewer wrapped things up in the first 15 minutes. If your interview experience went something like this, it’s not a good sign.

The interviewer keeps emphasizing a skill you don’t have.

If the interviewer continues to mention the importance of a skill you either don’t possess or have little experience in, then it could be an indication the employer is looking for a different kind of candidate.

The interviewer is ‘going through the motions.’

When the interviewer seems disinterested in what you have to say, is asking questions that sound a little too rehearsed, or is checking their email, texting, or staring at the clock while you’re talking to them, it’s not a good sign.

You didn’t learn more about the position.

If the interviewer isn’t elaborating on the role and responsibilities, then there’s a good chance they don’t think you’re the right fit for the position.

You hadn’t researched the company.

Employers want to know you took the initiative to learn more about their organization. With the ubiquity of social media and mobile technology, there’s no excuse for entering an interview unprepared.

You didn’t have any questions.

When you don’t have anything to ask your interviewers, it sends the signal you’re not really interested in the role. If you can’t think of at least one question to ask each interviewer, your candidacy could be called into question.

You asked about their vacation policy.

When your initial questions have nothing to do with the role and everything to do with the company’s perks, don’t expect a call back. Employers are looking for candidates with different priorities.

The next steps are vague.

If the recruiter can’t give you a sense of when they’ll follow up or continuously mentions that they’re ‘interviewing many other people’ for the role, this could be a sign that you’re not a top contender.

While these rules aren’t set in stone, if you experienced one or more of the following circumstances during your interview, it might be time to concentrate on other job opportunities.

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing