15 Signs You Didn't Get a Job After an Interview (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 6, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

After a job interview, it's natural to be curious about the outcome and the hiring manager's decision. If you don't get a definite response from a hiring company, you may use certain signs to determine whether your application is successful. Learning about various signs that indicate you didn't get a role can help you understand your application status and quickly find other opportunities. In this article, we explore 15 signs you didn't get a job after an interview and provide helpful tips for handling job interviews that may not proceed as planned.

15 signs you didn't get a job after an interview

Consider exploring this list of possible signs you didn't get a job after an interview:

1. The interviewer offers career and interviewing advice

An interviewer who coaches and advises you on how to proceed with your job search can signal you didn't get the job. If your responses and attitude impress the interviewer, they rarely offer advice about handling the next one. Instead, they can discuss other relevant information about the job and help you advance to the hiring stage.

Related: 13 Signs You Got the Job (With Tips For Your Job Search)

2. The interviewer doesn't explain the role

If the interviewer doesn't explain the duties, responsibilities, and expectations associated with the role, it may indicate that you're not their ideal candidate. Explaining the position is an essential aspect of the interview process as it enables you to decide whether the company is a good fit for you. They may not explain the job functions if they have already decided you aren't suitable for the role.

3. A recruiter contacts you for the same job

If a recruiter reaches out to you again after completing an interview for that role, it can indicate that the company decided to expand its search to receive more applications. This may be because they didn't find an ideal candidate meeting all specified requirements in the first search or want to choose from a broader selection of candidates. Organizations often contact recruiters to receive additional applications. They can also hire a recruiter to fill the position if the requirements change.

Related: Reasons to Use a Recruiter to Find a Job (With Helpful Tips)

4. Your job references don't follow up

The job references you provide can significantly impact your job application. Past employers recommending your work and skills can increase the hiring manager's confidence in selecting you to work for the company. Aim to leave a positive impression on current and previous employers.

Related: Best People to Choose for a Job Reference (Plus Tips)

5. You learn that applications for the role are open

If a company continues receiving applications after multiple interviews, it may mean they didn't find a candidate who can fulfill their needs. While your application may still be under consideration, they're possibly searching for a candidate with specific skills and abilities, and your application didn't make an excellent match. It may also involve a longer hiring process and a prolonged time before knowing whether you got the job.

Related: How To Write a Job Application Email (With Templates and Tips)

6. The hiring manager cancels the interview

A hiring manager cancelling an interview can strongly indicate that you didn't get the position. They can cancel an interview for various reasons once the position becomes unavailable. For example, the company may decide to hire internally and exclude all other applications. The organization may also restructure the department and employees to cover the duties until they achieve financial stability.

7. The interview ends early

If the hiring manager suddenly ends the interview, it can mean they decided to pursue other candidates. While an interview may not have a specific duration, you can notice if the interview was short or not long enough to cover essential aspects of the role. An interview ending earlier than scheduled can indicate the hiring manager thinks you're not suitable for the role.

Related: 14 Signs Your Job Interview Went Well

8. Interviewers don't respond to your follow-up procedures

If you don't receive any responses to your thank-you mail or follow-up questions, it may be a sign that they're considering other candidates. The hiring manager may also find another suitable candidate for the position and not yet notify you. They may also decide you aren't an excellent fit and keep your application in the company reserve without notifying you.

Related: How To Send a Follow-Up Email After an Interview After Receiving No Response

9. The interview questions aren't relevant to the position

A job interview usually entails sending questions and responses back and forth between the interviewer and candidate. This helps you better understand your proposed company and lets the company decide whether you're a good match for the position. The questions also assess your interest and ability to perform specific tasks.

An interviewer asking questions irrelevant to the company or position may indicate their disinterest in hiring you for the role. They may have another candidate they want to offer the job and don't want to cancel the interview scheduled with you. It's also possible they're asking general questions to decide whether to keep your application for future consideration.

10. They mention you're overqualified

If the hiring manager states that you're overqualified as a candidate, it may indicate they don't think you're ideal for the role. It can mean that the salary doesn't compensate for your skills, qualifications, and experience. It may also mean they worry you may leave the company if you get another better offer that suits your qualifications.

11. Your preparations don't align with the interview's realities

If your preparations don't meet the interviewer's expectations, they may feel differently about continuing with your application. They may share comments about the decision to advance with the hiring process. In this case, examine what you can do differently to prepare for your subsequent interviews. Adequate preparation can help you appear dependable, competent, and confident to hiring managers.

Related: How To Prepare for a Job Interview

12. They don't contact you by the specified hire date

If the hiring manager mentions a specific hiring decision date during the interview and you don't receive any follow-up by that date, it may mean they selected another candidate. While companies may extend the specified hire date due to various reasons, they usually inform candidates under consideration. Consider finding out if there are any changes to the hire date when you write your follow-up letter.

13. Your salary expectations don't match

A common question interviewers ask prospective candidates is about salary and compensation expectations. If you realize that your salary expectation is much higher than what the company is willing to offer, it may indicate you didn't get the role. Differences in benefits package expectations may also influence the employer's decision.

Related: How to Answer "What Are Your Salary Expectations?" and Related Questions

14. They don't promote the company or the position

After a series of questions to determine your efficiency during the interview, interviewers often reorient the conversation to market the position and company to you. They may also ask existing employees to give you a tour of the office so you can experience your potential work environment and culture. If the interviewer doesn't enlighten you on the company's strengths and the benefits and positive aspects of working there, they may not be planning to offer you the job.

15. You don't meet specific job requirements

Suppose the role you applied to requires you to relocate or involves frequent travel, and you mention during the interview that it's not possible for you. In that case, it can indicate that you didn't get the job. A difference in schedule expectations may also affect a hiring manager's decision.

For example, if you prefer to work full time as an employee, and the company only offers part-time roles, the hiring manager may prefer to hire another candidate whose situation fits the job description better. While these expectations may not be a requirement in the job listing, they can prompt hiring managers to choose other candidates.

Tips for handling job rejections

Here's a list of tips you can adopt if you didn't get your desired position:

  • Focus on the positives. Aim to be proactive and focus on the positive aspects of your previous interviews. Recognize your strengths, including your work experience and how you confidently answered interview questions, to understand what you're doing right and the areas to improve.

  • Learn from past interview mistakes. Understand the areas requiring improvement and take actionable steps to enhance your future applications. Consider asking the company for feedback on why you weren't offered the role and how you can improve your chances next time.

  • Practise self-care. After completing a lengthy hiring process, it may not be very reassuring to find out that you weren't selected for the role. Consider practising self-care by engaging in activities you enjoy, such as listening to music, watching your favourite movie, or cooking a meal you crave.

  • Apply for other positions. You can use the feedback and recognized improvement areas to ensure a better application process when applying for positions in the future.

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