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HR's Secrets To Denying Job Applicants—Revealed!

So that's why you weren't even considered
by Tanya Umali | Jan 12, 2017
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This is the day you've been waiting for. You wake up early, pick your best outfit, bring all the requirements, walk confidently, smile, and answer all the questions, only to receive an email saying, "We're sorry but we've already chosen another candidate for the position you were applying for." Damn it. 

After reading the dreaded message, you start to look back on the day of your interview to assess where you might have gone wrong. So, what gives? Most companies won't even mention why you weren't hired, so we decided to investigate a bit. We asked an expert to spill the beans on why applicants sometimes get turned down for the job they were applying for.

It turns out your experience wasn't enough after all

Despite mentioning your experience in your resumé, the interview will be the key to truly finding out how much you actually know in a certain field. "In my ten years conducting interviews, the applicant will most likely say something that doesn't quite match the standards we're looking for," says former recruitment manager Lourdes Leonardo. 

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"The applicant might be applying for a job as a content writer and has been in that industry for a long time. However, if he only knows how to write about educational materials and not digital marketing, then we'll most likely scrap his portfolio."

Your portfolio wasn't impressive

This one is obvious. Leonardo explains that, if you don't have enough materials to show the hiring manager, then you'll most likely not get shortlisted. "Portfolios are very important when choosing a candidate. It could be what makes or breaks our decision to hire you." 

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They don't think you'll stay long enough

Even though you spent years working for your previous company, it still won't be enough to convince hiring managers to pick you. According to Leonardo, if you used to work in a specirfic field such as creative design, then suddenly want to shift into another completely different industry, that would make a company think that aiming for longevity is just not your thing. 


Your body languange was a bit off

"No eye contact, fidgeting too much—these are just some of the non-verbal cues which tell us we shouldn't hire you," Leonardo notes. She suggests that applicants relax, smile more often, and make just enough eye contact. Try not to be so stiff. 

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You didn't click with the interviewer

"Maybe we saw something that made us think you won't be compatible working with us," Leonardo explains. "Sometimes, intuition also plays a big factor with our decision-making."

You shared too much experience

"During an interview, some things are better left unsaid" suggests Ms. Leonardo. Apparently, sharing too much of your background, especially personal experiences, is telling of an applicant. 

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The salary you were asking for was beyond their budget

Leonardo says that this is one of the most common reasons why they don't hire a candidate. "If you're asking for too much, then we won't hire you even if you say that you're willing to work for a lower salary. Why? Because, most likely, it's not really ok with the applicant." She also says that a common scenario is that those who do agree to the lower offer often change their mind if they're considered for the position. 

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An employee from within the company was referred

"Of course, between a new person and an employee that has been working in the company, we'll choose the latter," Leonardo shares. Employees that have been referred tend to have a more familiar background and wouldn't have a difficult time adjusting because they already know the culture of the workplace. 

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