4 Roadblocks to a Job Offer

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You received an interview for a job you’re really interested in.  You felt prepped and ready to crush the interview, but now that it’s over, you’re left critiquing your performance.  Was it enough?  The following post interview reactions and responses are some of the most common, and ones that are always tough for us to hear:

  • “I was so nervous that I could barely answer questions I knew” - Candidate
  • “I don’t think I provided the answers they wanted” – Candidate
  • “I don’t think I got my qualifications across” – Candidate
  • “I experienced a lot of anxiety” – Candidate
  • “Do they even want this job?” – Client
  • “I’m not sure they even read the job description” – Client

Let’s start by identifying the major issues we’ve seen as roadblocks that prevent qualified candidates from receiving the offer, which include: anxiety/nerves, poor elevator pitch, perceived lack of interest and “tangent talking.”

Interview Issues and Offer Roadblocks for Candidates
  1. Anxiety/nerves - It impacts almost everyone, but some certainly more than others, to the point where it unfortunately can ruin your chances of getting selected even if you have everything listed on the requirements list.  A big contributor is often “imposter syndrome” or simply not believing you’re an extremely qualified person for the job.  You can minimize anxiety/nerves and keep your self-doubt, especially considering many of us are our own worst critics, from being displayed by reviewing the job description and list of requirements and writing down or saying out loud why you ARE a fit and how you think you could contribute to what they’re trying to achieve!  Also, keep the 80:20 rule in mind, and don’t let yourself get derailed if you’re missing +/- 20% of the skills/requirements they’re asking for.  We’re big fans of Certified Body Language Expert Jeff Baird’s work/thoughts in this area, and being an MSSQLTips author, you can view many of his tips on how to minimize anxiety via his author page.
  2. Elevator Pitch - Your 30-second answer to “tell me about yourself” needs to be concise, confident, and relevant (in the sense that it aligns with what they’re looking for/need).  Outline your relevant skill sets and strengths against their open need/job and then practice that at least 2-3 times (using a timer) the day before an interview!  We know individuals that have recorded their elevator pitch and/or practiced in front of a mirror, both of which are great options!
  3. Interest level - A major reaction we hear from clients/managers when we capture feedback after an interview is “they just didn’t seem that interested.”  After the fact (i.e. interview), it’s hard for a candidate to really convince a manager that they are in fact interested.  You need to ensure your excitement about the company, group/team, project, position, etc. is clear!  Never leave a Manager wondering “Do they want this job?  Will they even be here after 6 months?”  If the manager says something interesting or exciting during an interview, make sure to react accordingly.  Body language goes a long way in impacting and helping you express your overall interest!
  4. Tangent Talking - We’ve all been in a conversation with a “tangent talker.”  It feels like they go on and on without ever saying anything, or you’re thinking to yourself “this could’ve been said in at least 20% of the time.”  Tangents are extremely hard to follow, and a major turn off since no one has time to listen to strings of words that don’t result to anything.  Interviews are not a time to drone on, they’re a time when “less is more!”  Practicing answers to common questions while timing yourself is vital to helping you evaluate the length of your responses and figuring out how to tone down.  Identify 5+ common interview questions that’d require an open-ended response and practice.  Here are some examples:
    1. “Tell me about yourself”
    2. “What’s your experience with ____ technology/project/development?” Pick 2-3 technologies/skills listed at the top of the requirements list!
    3. “What do you know about our company?”
    4. “Why do you think you’re a fit for this role?”

This is a great activity to practice in front of a mirror or do a roleplay with a trusted mentor, recruiter, friend, etc.

Next Steps

What prevents great, qualified candidates from landing an offer?  It’s often due to:

  1. Nerves/anxiety and the unfortunate consequences when “nerves get in the way.”
  2. The Manager leaving the interview with a thought of “do they even want this job?”
  3. Instances of “tangent talking” that might leave a Manager thinking “did they even answer the question?”
  4. Poor explanation of skills/strengths that result in a Manager thinking “I’m not sure what their background and/or core competencies are!”

Keep these points in mind, identify which ones might be impacting you and take measures to overcome!

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Erica Woods Erica Woods has nearly a decade in the IT staffing world, an MBA, and is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

View all my tips

Comments For This Article

Friday, December 29, 2017 - 5:57:12 PM - Mr. Jackson Back To Top (74582)


 I shared this with a friend in hopes that it will help in preparing for an upcoming interview next week. I’m confident it will be of great interest and help.

 Well written and insightful.

Thank you,

-Maurice “Marty” Jackson


Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 9:39:34 AM - Erica & Cate Back To Top (69355)

Great to hear, Roger!  Good luck on your interview/s! We've written 20+ tips on interviewing, which you can check out via https://www.mssqltips.com/sql-server-tip-category/215/professional-development-interviewing/.

Erica & Cate

Friday, November 3, 2017 - 5:41:31 PM - Roger Senerius Back To Top (69168)

 With an interview coming up very soon, your article was timely and very helpful!


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