Out of my 120 job interviews in 99 companies, I received 21 actual job offers, which means that 78 times I didn’t receive any. Most of the times I was not offered a job, I asked them why.
I quite forced myself to do so as it’s not something that comes naturally. It’s like if someone doesn’t want to date you – and you just prefer not to know why because you don’t want to hear that you’re ugly and smelly.
However, very very often, the answer is not that bad. Well, it can be even worse, in a way, but this doesn’t necessarily depend on you. Think about a time you have refused a date – it’s probably not because they were smelly. You were simply not interested, or you were already in a relationship, or they reminded you of someone who bullied you at school. They probably were nice people and all, but there wasn’t a match.
The same applies to job interviews. People don’t ask why they have been rejected because, instead of thinking that they have been rejected for that particular job in that particular company, they think they have been rejected fully and completely as individuals, so they are ashamed and feel guilty.
They think it’s their fault.
After all, it’s exactly what all the useless politically correct advice from sneaky bald recruiters and inhuman resources is made for: to let you think that recruitment is a transparent and fair process where the winner takes it all – so if the winner it’s not you, it goes without saying that you are a loser.
Well, I am aware of every single time I didn’t get a job because of me: it happened where, intentionally or not, I acted in a way not to get an offer. This includes being taller than the male manager, being caustic, refusing to laugh at stupid jokes, refusing to answer to even more stupid questions – or, even worse – answering in a way that makes them feel stupid. However, the rest of the times I didn’t act like a 5-year-old, I asked them why I didn’t get the job.
Be aware that it’s easier to get a genuine answer when an agency recruiter is not involved. This is because when you don’t get the offer, the recruiter is already well pissed-off as they have lost their commission. And even if they haven’t (because, for example, they have placed another candidate other than you) they have no more interest left in you, so they simply babble that someone else who matched the offer best has been preferred.
Always remember that recruiters work for the employers, not for yourself, and they must keep their shit secret, especially when it comes to stuff that can lead to discrimination lawsuits.
In any case, don’t be afraid to ask. When you can, you should not miss the opportunity to check with a prospective employer why they didn’t hire you.
After all, if you are smelly, they won’t tell you anyway.