You were on time. You dressed the part. You asked all the right questions. Frankly, you flat-out nailed the interview. But, you didn’t get the job.
Even if you were able to ask for feedback from someone at the company, chances are their response would be generic and extremely politically correct. Well, I’m here to tell you the facts, no HR filter, no BS. Here are six highly probable, legitimate reasons you didn’t get the job.
6 – You Were Too Arrogant
Platoon bragging rights in your last unit have very, very little translation in a job interview. When you start to feel yourself getting hyped up and carrying on about how “dope” your Motor-T skills were or how nobody could “touch you” in your unit’s marksmanship challenge, take a chill pill. You can convey the same information without coming off like an arrogant jerk. Try backing your job skills up with facts rather than your bad@$$ reputation.
5 – You Bad-Mouthed Former Employers
You hated your last duty station. You hated your last commander. The military siphoned years of your life you’ll never be able to get back. We get it.
Things you should do: Get in line behind the rest of us.
Things you shouldn’t do: Bring up all of your disdain and negativity in front of the next person who wants to hire you.
A simple statement along the lines of, “I enjoyed serving my country abroad for many years, but now I’m ready to make a difference in a smaller venue” is a much classier, intelligent tactic.
4 – You Didn’t Read the Job Listing Carefully
Lots of employers are willing to train new hires in certain areas and job-specific specialties. But, more often than not, every job listing comes with a “required skills” section. So, if you skipped over the “MUST BE AN EXPERT IN EXCEL!!!” statement in the job posting and you’ve never used your computer for anything more than video games and Domino’s online delivery, chances are you’re not getting that job. Attention to detail, my friend.
3 – You Botched the Salary Issue
For the love of BBQ Rib MREs and belt-fed weapons, do not let the first words out of your mouth be, “How much money are you going to pay me?” Yes, I know, it’s the number one thing you care about and you’re dying to know if your new salary will support your motorcycle/beer/firearms habit. But there’s a method to the salary madness. Read When To Talk Salary to be sure you get it right.
2 – Your References Didn’t Support You
They might not seem like a big deal to you, but references can sometimes make or break your selection chances.
Things You Shouldn’t Do: List your barrack’s buddy because he’s your homeboy and says he’ll “always have your back.”
Things You Should Do: Be conscious of your reference selection. Be sure to choose people in your chain of command who will have positive, accurate things to say about you.
Also – stay in touch with your references and update as necessary. If all of them have “this number is no longer in service” messages because they’re downrange and their phones are shut off, your potential employer is sure to be less than impressed.
1 – You Seem Entitled
I’ve seen it hundreds of times and I’m sure I’ve even been guilty of it myself…
You deserve discounts at retail stores.
You deserve a front row parking spot at Home Depot.
You deserve any job that you apply for.
All because you’re a veteran of the greatest fighting force on this planet.
Well, I’m here to tell you…you don’t deserve anything with a self-entitled attitude like that. And I can guarantee the person who interviewed you feels the exact same way. You worked damn hard to get where you are today, don’t let the chip on your shoulder ruin your chances. Stay humble. Stay classy. Get Hired.