Job Doc

A great interview doesn’t guarantee an offer

Q. I have gone on several job interviews. Often I leave with a very positive feeling that the interview went well. Is there a way to tell if you got the job after you have interviewed? I feel I am well qualified for many of these jobs, but don’t receive an offer.

A. Unfortunately there are probably many reasons why a candidate does not receive an offer after feeling an interview went well. Some possible reasons include:

  Several strong candidates were interviewed. Since 2008, when the last recession hit, there have been fewer opportunities available. When an opportunity does become available, many candidates apply. Sometimes these candidates are overqualified or beyond what the company expected from the candidate pool. I have had several clients tell me that they feel like they could have offered the job to any one of the final candidates because all were qualified and capable.


  The opportunity no longer exists. Sometimes an open position is put on hold.

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  Sometimes an internal employee is moved into the vacant position.

  Often human resources or hiring managers do not want to give candid feedback to candidates who are rejected. Candidates can sometimes become angry, hostile, or downright nasty if you are candid. Other times, they can be argumentative.

  Sometimes a candidate’s skills, background, qualifications, or compensation expectations are not on target for the role. Interviewers can sometimes learn a lot during the hiring process. In the early stages, hiring managers might think that seven to 10 years of experience are required. But after interviewing a candidate with five years of experience, they might change their minds and decide someone with fewer years of experience would fit the bill nicely.

  Finally, you might think that you aced the interview, but the recruiter would not share your assessment.


The good news is that with each interview, your interviewing skills should be improving. You should feel more relaxed and confident when meeting with recruiters, human resources, or hiring managers.

Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton.