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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  • Mary H.
    Mary H.

    A thank you note is a nice gesture

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the great comments. @Aletha F. so sorry about that. Did you happen to follow the interview up with a thank you note? In that you could have clarified your answer to that question and cleared it all up. Might have made all of the difference! @Rich M. glad to hear that things are moving along for your new position. Sounds like they might be ready to make an offer. Just make sure that you have done your due diligence and know the salary range along with the benefits so that you can get what you need. In the meantime, keep searching and keep applying. Don't put all of your eggs in that one basket! @Camila D. thanks for your comment. Sometimes it's true that a company only cares about a "certain look". Wouldn't want to work for them anyhow. You want to work for a company who appreciates what you have to bring to the table - who appreciates your experience, skills and talents. All the best to each one of you!

  • Aletha F.
    Aletha F.

    Attn All, or you make it through the 1st interview fine, and you, personally know it is something that you can do, but you answer one question wrong, or do not elaborate on the answer that you do give, and well, it leaves you out here still looking - trust me those are the shoes that I am currently in.

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    Nancy, thanks again for the feedback. I will say things are turning around, I hope, for the better. I have a drug test coming up on the 20th of August and that tells me, from past experience, I got the job. I'll still wait a tiny bit for it to be confirmed. As you know, it's been a long, hard road for me. As they say, good things come to those who wait. I know sometimes you don't want to wait and really hope you get the job you're after, but that doesn't always happen. I've read the comments preceding this and I do agree with Rick K. and Camila D. It does seem that they want a certain type and you aren't that type regardless of your background or the skills you might have to do that job. Trust me, because it had happened to me and I know how frustrating it is. One place I went to, had the interview and dropped off, in person a thank you note and never heard back from them. This happened in March of this year. The people who interviewed me, said the HR person would get back to me at the end of April. She never did. So I let that go and moved onto the next one. So have faith and hang in there in guys, it'll get better for you.

  • Camila D.
    Camila D.

    Sometimes I feel the person who is interviewing they are looking for what they want but not for what they need. They are looking for people with good look. Sometimes pretty face. They really don’t care about your skills bc you sound like a future threat to get their jobs in the future soon.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Brenda S. - it's only been a few weeks. Have you called to see if the position is still open and if you are still in the running? Only takes a minute to call. If the position has been filled, then you can cross it off your list and move on. @Rick K not all companies want younger employees. They are realizing that it might be cheaper to hire someone young but it cost them more in the long run because the younger person doesn't have the experience. The tides are starting to turn - slowly. Companies are starting to hire the more tried and true applicants. So keep applying! Also, don't forget about networking!

  • Rick K.
    Rick K.

    Hi. The only thing of substance I can come up with is when I put that I'm younger - I get interviews; but upon sitting to interview. I can tell over fifty is an immediate rejection. All I change is my graduation date on the applications and resumes ... that's how they they ignore older applicants.

  • Helen R.
    Helen R.

    Entire article taught me things I would have left out or come across in such a way that might be

  • Brenda S.
    Brenda S.

    they told me they have someone in the DNP classes now that was probably going to take it, then why waste my time?

  • Brenda S.
    Brenda S.

    made it's a blessing bc they have gotten some really BAD reviews

  • Brenda S.
    Brenda S.

    I did all the correct things! did not ever hear back, it's been since July 23

  • Mary B.
    Mary B.

    I'm trying my best
    Has to be something

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Rich M thanks for your comment. Sounds like you did everything that you could. You did mention that you arrived early. Just make sure you don't arrive too early. 15 minutes prior to your appointment is about right. Sometimes, even though we do everything right, it's just not the right fit or they already have someone else in mind. Just keep doing what you have been and that job will come your way. All the best.

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    On my last interview, I did send a thank you note (by email) as well as thanked them before I left. I did ask questions during and after they were done. I did check them out online and made a print of the company's history and had it with me. I arrived early and while waiting for them, I read what I had brought with me (company history and what they do) before the interview. It's also smart to find where they are, print out a map and take a dry run to the location so you won't be late for the interview. Be friendly and listen to what they say. Sometimes you don't get a second chance and it has to be perfect the first time.

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