Failed a job interview? Here's how to do better next time

Failed a job interview? Here's how to do better next time

You may have felt that you have nailed the job interview, having replied all questions well, narrated engaging stories, asked insightful questions and dressed smartly. But the companies acknowledged your efforts with rejection e-mails or, worse, with no response at all.

And you are left without a job offer to your name.

Unfortunately, most companies would not explain much. They may offer a generic statement such as "We will consider your resume for future suitable positions".

Here are some possible reasons why you fell short.

1. You're not qualified 

Most companies would not hire candidates with a lack of expertise, as this would bring about a significant loss in terms of expenses, time and effort.

Instead of looking for the highest salary offer, it is better to find a job that fits your skills, expertise and passion.

As your capability increases, a salary raise will follow.

2. Incomplete applications

Some facts and figures - such as dates of availability, employment history and accurate salary information - might be crucial for some companies.

If you did not mention them in the application letter, they could be your red flags that lead to your failure.

3. Resume lacks clarity

The human-resource department might be too busy to compile the multiple resumes on their desks and select only the best to interview.

They tend to look for the keywords in the resume for a quicker selection.

Is your resume well-organised? Did you put the most important and relevant content near the top? Is the information about how you value-add in your previous jobs, internships, academic projects and volunteer work stated clearly?

If your answers are not "yes", regroup and prepare a new resume from scratch.

4. Cover letter

Is your cover letter of an appropriate length?

Did you make it clear that you possess the desired skills, experience and knowledge to get the job done?

Also, are you sure that your cover letter and resume are both error-free and well-written? If not, get a friend to check and proof-read the documents.

5. References statement

If you are asked to provide employment references, make sure that the names you put down are going to give you a good recommendation instead of tarnishing your reputation, as companies do contact them before the interview.

6. Failure to sell 'you'

Be confident in expressing your skills, achievements and experiences, as this will help to convince the hiring team.

While it is great to be confident, do not go overboard.

Everyone has weaknesses. Some of these weaknesses, however, can be turned into a positive challenge, and that's what companies expect from the candidates.

This article first appeared on recruitment firm TBC HR Consulting's website at

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