Find out why employers don’t call you back

September 17th, 2009 by lewis

How many times have you heard, “We had a number of strong applicants, including you. However, we selected another candidate with better qualifications and experience?
Or have you heard the completely opposite, that you’re overqualified?
A few weeks ago, I talked to a recruiter at a Fortune 500 company. She told me that 50% of the time she makes up a reason why a candidate did not get the job.
It’s not surprising. Job and interview rejection letters and calls can be puzzling. Sometimes the recruiter doesn’t know the real reason why the hiring manager chose a different candidate. Other times, they know the reason, but fearing legal liability, they cannot say it. And probably the most important reason of all, recruiters hate delivering bad news, worried that candidates will get upset, angry — or ask more questions on why they didn’t get the job.
We all want a good job. But you can’t get that job if you don’t know your true shortcomings.
I’ve developed a new service called the “Interview Rejection Report.” Send me the job description and your resume. We’ll do a 20-30 minute mock phone interview, and then I’ll spend another 30-40 minutes telling you what your shortcomings are and provide specific suggestions for improvement.
For a limited time, I will charge $50 for the Interview Rejection Report, a $40 savings. To get started, e-mail me at

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2 Responses to “Find out why employers don’t call you back”

  1. September 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm, Pete K said:

    One of the reasons why applicants are rejected is because when their future supervisor or "immediate report" sees who is coming in, the person reacts with intimidation and fear because the prospect appears to be a potential rival. They invent the story, and it's all in their head by the way, that the applicant in question will soon become their replacement. These economic times do not engender courage.

    In one experience I had recently, a prospective employer gave a written assignment to the remaining "finalists" vying for a management position. It was a three paragraph review of two or three of this particular company's locations in my town. I was the first person he contacted for a follow-up phone interview because my writing stood out. I will bet dollars to donuts that between sharp writing skills, sharp interview skills, and a sharp resume the executive in charge was feeling a bit. . . gouged.

  2. December 15, 2011 at 9:57 am, jaded and bitter said:

    I can say I haven’t been told “We had a number of strong applicants, including you. However, we selected another candidate with better qualifications and experience.” Usually I have not heard back from a prospective employer at all. Recently I fielded a call from a recruiter, did a phone interview, and got an interview on the job site. It was on a huge corporate campus and I was not told what building to go to. Luckily I had arrived early so I still arrived 15 minutes before the interview was scheduled to start. My interviewers didn’t have copies of my resume (which I provided to them of course), and didn’t have a place to interview me. We got thrown out of three conference rooms during the questioning. The two interviewers had preprinted sheets of generic questions like “Do you like to work with people?” “Are you more comfortable with a team or prefer to work alone?” “What is your favorite color?” with nothing specific about the job. Halfway through I gleaned the position they were interviewing for was different than the position I had been told about. Luckily I had the qualifications for both positions (!) but it didn’t help that the first half of the interview I had tailored answers to what I had thought was job relevant but wasn’t. After about 30 minutes the two of them seemed to have run out of things to talk about and after some uncomfortable silence I asked if they wanted to know anything else. More uncomfortable silence and then they told me I could show myself out. A few weeks later the recruiter called to tell me they had stopped returning HER calls. It’s not the end of the story, of course, months later I received calls from two other recruiters for open positions with the same firm. “More qualified candidates” hadn’t been chosen the positions had simply remained in limbo the entire time. By this time I had accepted a job with someone else. My story isn’t that uncommon. The lack of professionalism on the part of employers is astonishing.