Rejected from job interview. The 8 most important reasons

Alex Valassidis
6 min readJul 5, 2022

Have you ever wondered why you have been rejected in life or in a job interview?

It is not a nice feeling, but your emotion regarding rejection is certainly going to change if you realize certain things. Realize the reasons behind the surface WHY you have been rejected.

The nasty feeling of rejection sparks most of the time from our natural human emotion to be liked, to belong to a group, to be loved. That exact emotion however is the reason to undermine your self to conformity, to be agreeable and likable.

As Winston Churchill said: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

So in the end, it might not be a bad thing to be rejected after all even your willingness to belong to a group requires your rejection from other groups.

Let us see the 8 most important reasons for rejection.

(P.S. The No 1 reason is still that you might don’t have the skills or that you over-evaluate yourself.)

Rejected from job interview Reason No 1.

The pattern to be followed.

You follow a pattern in a conversation that does not differentiate you from the rest. Let me give you an example, (and at the same time reveal why big talents can not be employed by big corporations).

Let us say you have a job interview in a big corporation. Most of the time the first stage of the interview is going to be held by a ~25-year recruiting employee. What are her, (his) criteria for bringing you to the next level? Yes, you guessed it right.

These are the criteria that the company sets for a second interview. These are not the criteria that free individual sets with the one and only ambition in mind: to get the best possible employee for the position, but rather get the employee that is going to compile with the set of q&a the company sets. Every disruptive interview and positioning that breaks the pattern of expected answers is going to have as result in the rejection of the candidate.

That exact characteristic however is the necessary ingredient for key players in an organization.

The candidates know that of course and they are going to play the game to proceed to the next step, what character however you have if you compromise on such essential positionings in your life, just to get to the next step? I understand the Machiavellian motto “the ends justify the means”, I don’t sympathize however with people that think like that. But that is me.

Stand your ground and don’t be likable, you are going to get rejected most of the time but appreciated by the righteous.

Rejected from job interview Reason No 2.

Can not see the value.

There is a vicious cycle in humans. The cycle goes like this. (Example Sales Manager)

My business does not do good in sales. I need a sales manager.

I need a sales manager because he knows things I don’t know.

I have a perception of what a good sales manager is.

I hire the one that fits this perception. (I don’t hire the one that does not fit in my perception, That is exactly the reason why I fail.)

I fail.

I blame the sales manager

Broader Example

I am not successful.

I want my kid to be successful

I think I know what it takes to be successful although I am not.

I give advice based on my obsessions (perceptions) on how to be successful, although those were the exact perceptions that made me a failure.

The kid fails

I blame the kid.

See the value of things you DO NOT understand. Put your EGO by side and recognize the fact, that other people know things better than you.

Rejected from job interview Reason No 3.

Racism

I understand that is a topic, not very easily discussed in today’s politically correct world, where everything is painted with pink colors and nice little clouds.

Yes, racism is a huge factor, why you are not going to be employed by some corporations. Of course, no one is going to tell you that in your face, but in reality, the reason why they don’t hire you is exactly that.

There is nothing you can do about that. Suck it up and move forward. There are always going to be racists out there.

For all of us that do not fit in the specific “ideal” nice candidate, everyone would like to employ is an added obstacle.

There are things out of your control. Do not bother them, as there is nothing you can do. Bother for the things they are under your control.

Rejected from job interview Reason No 4.

Politics

Within big corporations, there are politics within these organizations. Politics you can not know as an outsider. Maybe due to this politics they decide against you.

You can not know in advance what is really going on. Maybe they want someone not very competitive as you to prove a point, maybe they want to hire someone for specific reasons that serve specific purposes.

Be yourself, you can not know what is going on in the background.

Things that are out of your control, can not be influenced. You can not know the internal structure, politics, and issues within an organization, so there is nothing you can do. Be yourself, what is not meant to be for you might open another opportunity.

Even if you are accepted under criteria, you don’t understand and know, is in reality the wrong start of a collaboration. Do you want that?

Rejected from job interview Reason No 5

No one was ever fired for choosing IBM.

You certainly know this quote.

Let me give you an example.

Let us say you pass all the interviews and the hiring managers believe you are the best possible fit.

There is an issue, however. You are not known in the market. And although everyone believes you are going to be the best candidate, at the end they chose for someone else.

The reason is that this someone else has a reputation you don’t have.

This means in case he can not deliver the answer of the hiring manager is going to be: “But I hired Mr. X, who worked at the XXX company and has XXX recommendations and testimonials.”, but if he hires you, Mr. Nobody, then they are going to blame him for his poor decision.

You are a high-risk choice.

That is why is always better to speak directly with the owner of a company as he evaluates you only under his personal interest and is not influenced by the opinions of others, that however can not be the case in big corp.

If possible, speak directly to the owner of an organization, not to the employee, regardless of how high in the hierarchy he is.

Rejected from job interview Reason No 6

No money

Make sure the company you are applying to has the budget to support your role.

It is often the case, that you are not going to be hired because they don’t have the money to pay you. Keep that in your mind and chase healthy companies.

Money talks

Rejected from job interview Reason No 7

Bad moment

You chose simply the bad moment to have a conversation of importance.

Have the empathy and emotional intelligence to understand when a good moment is and when is it a bad moment.

There are many reasons that can influence a decision.

Understand the timing and have the emotional intelligence to understand if it is a good time to have a conversation or not.

Rejected from job interview Reason No 8

Cultural differences

Be aware of cultural differences. As the world is closer than ever before and as today, specifically after the Covid era, hybrid or remote positions are offered openly, it is very common to have international environments and workers, working in remote places and locations.

What might be a common thing and practice in India, might not be in Europe or the US. Quality, communication, expectations, and perceptions vary from country to country.

Be compatible with your company’s culture. The good news is, that the bigger the corporation the more standardized the cultural environment. Adopt it.

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Alex Valassidis

I am an expert sales consultant. I give no-nonsense life and business advice FOR THE REAL WORLD. https://alexvalassidis.com/