You feel you’re the perfect fit for the job, you made it through the phone screening, and landed an interview. But you didn’t get the job and now you’re left wondering why. When you don’t use a recruiter to help you on the job hunt, and you go at it alone, you don’t always receive feedback after your interview. This can often make it hard to understand where you went wrong and make improvements for next time.
Whilst there can be many different reasons why, we conducted a short survey amongst our consultants, and compiled a list of the top reasons candidates get knocked out after the first round.

#1 The first impression

The first impression is everything, but a lot of people fail in this. Eye contact is top on the list, along with a good firm handshake. Whilst in the interview, don't slouch or fold your arms, body language is also very important. Be enthusiastic (but not too much), and smile, let your personality shine through.

#2 You displayed a lack of knowledge

The first interview is an incredibly important way for an interviewer to gauge if you are really interested in working there, rather than just looking for any job. If you don’t prepare well it’s highly likely that you won’t make it through that first round.

So, what to do? Prepare! Make sure you have a good explanation as to why you are interested in the company and role. Gain a good understanding of the company and know what they do. Check out the LinkedIn and Twitter profiles of the interviewers for example, and the social media channels of the company itself. In short, do your research and be able to show why they should hire you.

#3 You focused on what over how

In an interview you are faced with scenario based questions as well as technical questions. These questions provide the interview a great way to deep dive into the way you think and operate, but it often happens candidates often too much on what they know and have done instead of the how. Be aware that interviewers are very keen to see a demonstration of your thought process, and how you get to an answer. What you know can be taught, but how you think is a different story!

#4 You weren’t quite aligned from a technical or cultural perspective

In IT it is often the case that candidates will be subject to a coding challenge as part of the interview and hiring process. So technically, you have to be spot on. Your skills must align to what’s on your resume. When it comes to a cultural fit, different companies are looking for different types of people. Make sure to do some culture research to see how your personality would fit into the picture. Or better still, use a recruiter to align your skills and personality to the right company and role for you.

#5 You focused too much on team achievements rather than your own

Interviewers want to hear about you, what you have achieved, and what you did to get there. A lot of work done, however, is team effort. So in answering questions regarding their performance, many people tend to present their accomplishments as a result of teamwork. There’s nothing wrong with teamwork, but in sharing your achievements during an interview it will be helpful to focus more on individual achievements, rather than what your team has achieved. The interview is about you and your skills, not the team.

#6 You didn’t show enough initiative

The worst interviews are the ones that look more like an interrogation than an actual conversation. Showing initiative during an interview is a must do to be successful, so don’t just sit there and answer questions. Make sure you prepare yourself with some questions for the interview. Bring a notebook to jot questions down as they come up. Show you have a real interest in the company, and the role you have applied for. Interviewers should get the feeling that you have gone above and beyond to make sure this place for you. This will set you apart from the others in the running.

#7 Your communication skills are lacking.

The interviewer wants to see a candidate who can communicate their thoughts and ideas well. Sometimes, candidates can be too eager to answer quickly, when they don’t fully understand the question. Other people are shy and provide answers that are too short and lack content. Great communication is the key to a successful interview, but unfortunately we’re not all born with it.

Luckily, everyone is able to practice their communication skills! For example, you can start with paying attention to your body language. Whether it’s how to make eye contact or how you hold yourself during the interview. Learn to really listen, pay attention and let the other person talk without interrupting. And relax. When you feel calm and comfortable, you’ll notice the conversation with the interviewer will go way easier.

Find talent

Your next superstar is a click away

Explore talent

Find a job

Find a job that’s just as awesome as you are.

Explore jobs
Enter security code:
 Security code