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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  • 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

  • ARTURO S.
    ARTURO S.

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

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the great comments. @Lloyd L. if you truly feel that this is ageism or sexual discrimination, you might want to look into hiring an employment lawyer. Companies will continue to hire the cheapest person they can regardless of their ability to do the job. In a few weeks, that same posting will be listed because that person was fired. This is the same merry-go-round that has been happening - well, forever. What can you do? Keep applying. Try going in as a temp if you can and that way you can show your worth. @Sharon Ozel congrats on the interviews. We have folks who have been looking for a LONG time without even so much as the first interview. Maybe they will all call at the same time. Just keep at them until you either get called in for another interview or they let you know of their hiring decision. Some companies take a long time to make the decision. Just keep your positive attitude. @Marshall Posey - thanks for your comment. To you these things may not to be new but to a person going for a job for the first time, they are great! All the best to all of you.

  • Scott B.
    Scott B.

    Makes sense to me.

  • MARSHALL POSEY
    MARSHALL POSEY

    There is nothing new to these reasons.....you are just rehashing things that everyone already knows.

  • SHARON OZEL
    SHARON OZEL

    Thanks for these tips. I think I followed each tips well. I had a job interview today for the 20th time. I was told by the interviewer she wants to call me back for a second interview, because I have the experiences she is looking for. However, she had to interview others and discuss with the hiring team. I was told the same thing by the last interviewer and it has been two weeks, “Nothing.” I did reached out one week later, thanking the recruiter for the opportunity. I feel that one day all of these jobs will be calling me at the same time offering me a job.

  • Lloyd L.
    Lloyd L.

    So what if you do follow all what is recommended and still don't get the job. I have seen a a lot of Sexual discrimination and age discrimination. I apply for positions in the administrative side of medical and get passed over for college kids with no experience and are female, when I look in the offices all I see is female workers. I have called one company out on it and they claim the person had more experience. When the person is only 18, how can that even be possible?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Rich M - thanks for the follow-up. Congrats on the new position! You will learn the job for sure. You worked hard enough to get it. If you work that hard on the job, you will certainly become permanent in 3 months. Good to know that age was not a factor! It's what we try to tell job seekers all of the time - don't get bogged down with age. Just keep your resume fresh and keep applying. All the best in this new adventure!

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    Hi Nancy, I did get a job. I started last Wednesday. I start at 7 am and end at 3:30 pm. The position is from Monday-Friday and I have to wait, I still hope to be there, 3 months before I get hired on permanently. I have a lot to learn and they are so patient and kind there. It took a long time and hopefully it'll pay off in the end. Now I just have to catch up on my bills and get them straightened around. So, in short, there is hope for us old timers(I'll be 60 next month) in landing a job. It just takes a little longer. Thanks again, Nancy for words of encouragement.

  • Antwi G.
    Antwi G.

    Am new in this job but I wont to greet you all my memberes think you all

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Noreen R. thanks for your comment. So sorry for your circumstances. Have you considered a remote position? Sounds like it might be your best bet. Especially as a graphic designer - remote sounds like your best choice. That or moving to another town!

  • Noreen R.
    Noreen R.

    @ Candy B. I live in a small college town and moved here for my ex and his job. I stayed home and took care of the kids and house. Didn't know he was having an affair with a student until after he was out of the house. Now almost 55, I have had phone interviews and in person interviews. It is very incestuous here, it is who you know and with graphic design, anyone with a computer and a few fonts thinks they are a designer. Also they will post jobs at the universities and the hospitals but already have someone in mind in house even if they don't have the experience.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Beverly Torgerson, RN thanks for your comment. Times may have changed a little bit but the "old school" is still the way to go. People seem to be very lax when it comes to job fairs. Not sure why because first impressions are lasting impressions. I wouldn't change what you are doing. Conservative dress with dress pants or a modest length skirt along with a nice top - minimal jewelry, light makeup and so on. Clean, neat and presentable. Whether a job fair or an in-person interview at the company, remember - you only get one chance to make a great first impression.

  • Beverly Torgerson, RN

    To continue, this line of business what a major medical company and was applying for an RN position. I guess I couldn’t believe what people thought was appropriate. And the people interviewing were recruiters. Has something changed??

  • Beverly Torgerson, RN

    My question is, has the dress code changed for interviews? I’m 43 and I guess I’m “old school” when it comes to dressing for one. Completely business, regardless the job or the stage of interview. I was recently at a job fair and had the opportunity to observe the other possible candidates that had come in. A few were in sandals, some looked liked they were heading into business-casual office, I saw too-short skirts, just, to me, not expressing their seriousness of the job. I saw one young gentleman, who was a teenager, looking for a starter job in a suit and tie (without a jacket). I was impressed by that. There were only a handful that wore a conservative dress with a blazer (business jacket) and conservative heels with light makeup and clean, put-together hair.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for all of the great comments. @Noreen R. I agree with @Candy B.'s suggestion that you look for a consulting position or you consider starting your own graphic design company - be your own boxx. @Candy B. thanks - great information and good to know that it can work. I, too, have been interviewed by younger folks and it is kind of comical to watch their attitudes when we meet in person. I keep waiting for them to ask me if I need help to get up from the chair or if they want to offer me a cane! Just have to try to keep your sense of humor about it and chalk it up to another interview under your belt. @Gerald H. thanks for that. Totally agree. It only takes a second to send an email thanking you for applying but they hired another candidate. That way you can cross that one off your list and move on instead of waiting around or trying to get in touch with them - which they truly dislike. @Richard Waugh - I truly hope that you are wrong. Many job seekers are 67 or older and need jobs just the same as their younger counterparts. All we can do is keep applying and keep following up. The odds are that sooner or later, we are going to land a great job! All the best.

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