Question: “I get my share of job interviews, but I never get any job offers — what’s wrong?”
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
This type of situation — interviewing but not receiving any job offers — can be the most frustrating for job-seekers because you are so close to getting a job offer, and yet it never comes.
If you are getting job interviews, then it’s most likely that there is nothing wrong with your job-hunting strategies or your resume or cover letter. The problem most likely resides with your interviewing skills — or perhaps your references.
It’s time to evaluate every aspect of your job interviewing, from preparation to follow-up. How much effort do you put into preparing for job interviews? Do you conduct research to help you anticipate the types of questions you’re going to be asked? Do you practice responding to common interview questions? Do you dress appropriately for the interviews? Do you make a solid connection (through a strong handshake, good eye contact, and a warm smile) during the interview? Do you research the employer to showcase your interest and knowledge? Do you bring samples of your previous work (such as in a portfolio)? Do you ask questions about the company or the position? Do you hold off discussion of salary and benefits until after the offer is made? Do you thank the interviewer at the end of the interview? Do you send thank-you notes to all interviewers? Do you follow-up after each interview to show your ongoing interest in the position?
If you suspect your references, there are companies you can hire that will contact your references and report back to you with the details. Of course, since the best job-seekers always ask before naming someone a reference, and because the best job-seekers keep the people on your reference list informed of your job-search progress, your references should not really be a problem for many job-seekers.
What’s the best way to determine what’s wrong? If you had good rapport with a few of your past interviewers, call them up and ask if you can set a time to chat about how you can improve your interview style — and use that time to pick their brains about how you can improve your interviewing skills — or any other problems. If you don’t want to go that route, contact a local college’s career services office and see if they can arrange for you to have a mock interview and critique of your interview style. The key to these methods is getting an unbiased opinion about your interviewing strengths and weaknesses.
If you know interviewing is a weakness for you, we have numerous resources that can help you overcome them. Consider:
This article is part of a series from The Career Doctor’s Cures & Remedies to Quintessentially Perplexing Career and Job-Hunting Ailments. Read more.
See a list of all the most common college, career, and job questions — and Dr. Hansen’s solutions.
Who is the Career Doctor? Learn more, read his current career column, or browse the column archives when you visit the Career Doctor’s homepage.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is a nationally recognized career and job-search expert. He is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
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