Job Search Tips Professional Development

6 Signs You Didn’t Get the Job

Written by Peter Jones

Your resume and cover letter were pitch perfect. Your interview outfit was flattering and made you feel like a million bucks. You hit it off with your interviewer, sailed through all the tough questions, and had a great handshake on your way out the door. Now you’re sitting at home sweating bullets wondering why you haven’t gotten the call.

Even if you’re the perfect candidate and everything goes this smoothly and more, it’s possible that—for reasons that might not have anything to do with you—you still won’t get the job.

Save yourself a lot of agonizing disappointment by keeping an eye out for these six signs instead:

1. You were downgraded

You were supposed to meet with three members of the team, but when you showed up, only one measly HR rep was there to meet you. This could mean they’ve all but finished up their search and your interview is now a mere formality. It’s not a good sign either way.

2. Your time was shortchanged

Your interview is over minutes after it begun. You were just easing up and getting comfortable explaining your many virtues! And all of a sudden—“That’s all, thank you.” This is pretty much a death knell, unless the building happens to be on fire.

3. Your interviewer is distracted

You’re rocking it, but your interviewer doesn’t seem to care—or even notice. Maybe they’re checking their phone, or looking out the window, checking their email thinking you won’t notice. If they’re not just as invested in impressing you as you are in impressing them, this will probably end up like a bad first date; you’ll never hear from them again.

4. It’s clear you’re unqualified

Your interviewer keeps asking about a skill you’ve admitted you don’t have. They keep emphasizing just how important that skill is to the team. Translation: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” At least you’ll know why you didn’t get the job.

5. There’s no mention of a follow-up plan

You had a great time and really felt like you nailed it—or not!—but your interviewer just says “Thank you” or “We’ll be in touch.” If no next steps are mentioned, and no timeline is given, that’s a pretty good sign you’ve reached the end of the line with this one.

6. You’re given sage advice

If your interviewer gives you advice on job searching, they’re probably not expecting to give you the job. They might just be trying to help you out and soften the blow. The good news about this particular brand of rejection is that you get a free coaching session. Take it and move on.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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