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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  • Kimberly G.
    Kimberly G.

    I’m so ready to get back into the workforce!

  • Daniel W.
    Daniel W.

    Manager IT


    Like it

  • Angela Schultz
    Angela Schultz

    While staying positive about the situation i do think that if your the one then they know right from the start! Within 10 minutes you know if that person is the one & i feel like it just was not the one! Keep going be positive & youll suceed!

  • Julie A.
    Julie A.

    I have had literally 4 to 5 interviews with just once indecisive employer.

  • Herman C.
    Herman C.

    I’m not getting a second interview bc I am RETIRED.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Melissa C thanks for your comment. I sure do hear you and agree. It used to be that employers would follow up and let you know that they appreciate your interest but they have hired someone else. They don't even acknowledge receipt of your resume any longer. The world has changed. Your resume does not go directly to the hiring manager as it did in the past. It goes through an applicant tracking system (ATS) software first. There it gets screened and scored. If the score is below the threshold, it is either discarded or put into a resume bank. I know that sounds harsh but it's the reality of today's job world. As for the recruiter, it is possible that she is no longer there. Recruiting is a tough job and it has a very high turnover rate. I would find another number for the company and call to get another recruiter if you need that. @Catherine K - thanks for your comment also. It's good to follow up - within reason. Just make sure that you aren't following up so much that the company starts to consider you a stalker. And, always make sure that you send a thank you note after your first interview to show that you are still very interested and why. All the best on your job searches!

  • catherine k.
    catherine k.

    Instead of waiting I would keep checking in about the job

  • Melissa C.
    Melissa C.

    I don't understand why companies do not follow up or let you know you haven't been selected. I had a recruiter schedule a phone interview with me via email. Cancel said interview due to illness ( which I of course understand) and then reschedule. Date and time came and went and nothing. I called her nothing. Its like she fell off the face of the earth. I get I need her, she doesn't need me. I just don't understand. There should be follow up regardless.

  • Craig Lospaluto
    Craig Lospaluto

    I agree I would separate myself from the situation

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jamie S. thanks for your comment. Please note that your resume critique was done through our in-house software that acts like an applicant tracking system (ATS) - the same software that companies use when screening resumes. It's not meant to be mean but to assist you in having the best resume possible when you apply for a job. As to the achiever vs doer - the hiring company knows you can do the job; they want to know how you do it over and above others. How are you helping your current employer or how did you help you previous employer - by achieving more than expected. You can look up doer vs achiever on the Internet and find a wealth of information. All the best.

  • Jamie S.
    Jamie S.

    These people could be a little nicer when there talking about a resume that you did yourself...wow how ignorant I will stick with zip recruiter... And 100 plus dollers for some geeky collage kid who probably has a program to make resumes .. probably fill in the blank, I am takeb aback she said I am a doer and not a achiever lol you don't know me. Wow 😈😈😈😈😈😈😠😠😠😡😡🤬🤬🤬🤬☠️☠️☠️☠️☠️👺👺👺👹👹👹👹🤡🤡🤡👹👺💀💀☠️👿👿

  • Emmanuel D.
    Emmanuel D.


  • Scarleth B.
    Scarleth B.

    gaps on your resume

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Vanessa A. thanks for your comment. I agree that it would be nice if they would get back to us and tell us why we aren't moving on to a second interview or receiving an offer. In the past (more than 10 years ago), employers would do that. But today, we are lucky to receive a "thanks for your application" from employers. The issue, as you already know, is that if it's ageism or some other protected status, they won't tell you because they don't want a law suit. They will just tell you that they another applicant that was better suited for the position. As to being at an interview where the interviewer didn't even know about the position - that's when I would say thank you but no thank you and leave. If the company is so disorganized that they can't have the hiring manager or a qualified rep doing the interview - why would you want to work there? As for the hiring manager seeming to be blown away by a person who has several degrees - that just tells me that they didn't look at my resume before they called me in for an interview. Another reason to walk away from that company. Keep submitting your application though. Not all companies are terrible when it comes to the interviewing process.

  • Vanessa A.
    Vanessa A.

    There should be a survey sent to hiring managers etc on why they don't follow up with those interested for a second interview. There's ageism involved, sometimes cultural differences too (which they'll never say that's why they didn't proceed with a second interview). I've had contact where the person conducting the phone interview had NO CLUE about the position I was applying for. There are also situations where the hiring manager sees that you have several degrees and that alone is intimidating so they don't move a person on. In all I think an employer research study would be nice to consider

  • Kristi P.
    Kristi P.

    I'd genuinely appreciate any and all constructive criticism/advice for me to land a good job to take care of me and my daughter, especially since it's been a while since I've interviewed/been in the workforce for some time. Thank you for your time and interest in reviewing my application/Resume.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Catrina W. - so sorry that happened to you. Did you have the opportunity to discuss wage? Did you do research before the interview to try to find out what the salary range was? When they offered, were you given the chance to tell them what you need and see if you could come to a mutual agreement. Sure, they are going to offer the lowest possible wage that they think they can get away with. But that doesn't mean that there's no wiggle room. If they are adamant about the salary, then you thank them for their time and you walk. Prior to your next interview, see if you can't do some research to find out what their salary range is. That way you will know whether you want to schedule an interview with them. There are many sites out there where you can find salary info: salary.com; LinkedIn.com: Glassdoor.com and so on. Take some time to check it out first. Good luck on your next interview!

  • Catrina W.
    Catrina W.

    How to say no politely when they offer you a job with a salary that couldn't even pay my car payment?Then they expect you to be so excited you were offered.

  • Jimmy B.
    Jimmy B.

    67 years old. Age is a factor I surmise.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Rich M thanks for your follow-up. So sorry about the job. This happens sometimes - especially when doing temp work. Could be that they found someone with more experience who was willing to do the work for less money. Someone that they could hire right away so that they didn't have to pay Staffworks their fee? It's just wrong that they didn't tell you why. But it sure does let you know that you don't want to work for them in the future. Also lets the recruiters know to be wary of additional jobs from them. Now all you have to do is get back to the job hunting and find that next great adventure! All the best.

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    Hi Nancy, I did learn some new things on the job. I thought I was going to be there after three months, I was wrong. Last Friday,the 13th, I got a call from Staffworks saying they, Infitec, decided to end my assignment. How's that for a kick in the pants. They didn't say why they ended it, just they ended it. No reason was given and I feel I should know why it happened. From the start, I felt I was upfront in asking if there was a quota they wanted and tell me if I was doing anything wrong. I was friendly to the other employees and didn't do or say anything out of line. I kind of think, because they had to make a new plate or two for the press I was using(I didn't break anything, the ink wasn't picking up on the plate and stamping on the part where it should be) because it was waring out. I also felt that I was doing the best I could in the job I was doing. After all, you can't rush a machine in going faster than it's suppose to go. In setting up the press, you have to adjust to print on the part where it's suppose to print and that takes a little bit of time. I did get it down to about fifteen minutes from start to putting pieces into production. So what was I to do? I was there on time, twenty minutes ahead and courteous to the other employees. Again, thank you for your support Nancy and I hope to be working real soon. Infitec did tell me, I was doing fine everyday and I took that as I wasn't doing anything wrong.

  • Sabena S.
    Sabena S.

    sustainable development

  • Hassan M.
    Hassan M.

    I sent 2 likes


    Useless article. Employers treat applicants like garbage. Why don't you ask these questions to employers?

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