Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 18th May 17, 4:34 PM
    • 34Posts
    • 17Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    Can't get Through Interviews
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 4:34 PM
    Can't get Through Interviews 18th May 17 at 4:34 PM
    Hi all

    I've been applying to quite a few jobs in my field lately and have not a bad strike rate of getting interviews, but I just can't seem to convert them into hires.

    There's no exaggerations on my CV, I do my research, always have my own questions for the interviewers and often get a chatty rapport going, but have been for 5 interviews in the past year and have succeeded in none of them. I've also bombed a couple of phone interviews (and truth be told have never passed a phone interview in my life)

    On the rare occasion I get feedback it's usually positive (came across well, good candidate but someone else had the edge etc) but this just feels like standard fobbing off.

    Anyone else had this problem? Is it just a numbers game?

    For a bit more context I'm currently employed in the same field I'm applying to and it tends to be one that gets loads of applicants per position. Looking back across my career over the 4 - 5 years I've been in this industry I'd say I've attended around 20-25 interviews and only succeeded in getting 3 job offers.

    Cheers!
Page 1
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 18th May 17, 4:54 PM
    • 13,490 Posts
    • 13,035 Thanks
    Guest101
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 4:54 PM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 4:54 PM
    Yes its a numbers game, but also if others have the 'edge' it could be because they are doing continuous development outside of work and / or qualifications.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 18th May 17, 5:41 PM
    • 1,934 Posts
    • 2,663 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 5:41 PM
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 5:41 PM
    Do you know anyone who could give you a mock interview and honest feedback? Maybe a friend/relative in a senior position (doesn't have to be in your field).

    When I did this, it turned out my body language made me look a bit feeble and indecisive, even though my answers were good. It was a revelation - and I aced the next interview I had.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 18th May 17, 5:55 PM
    • 592 Posts
    • 1,210 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 5:55 PM
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 5:55 PM
    A good handshake (not weak, but not Trump grabby) makes a positive impression. Also little things like standing if someone enters the room. Very subtle but if you can get down to the final two that first impression could swing it for you.

    What type of interview are they - competency, technical, cv based? Also have you had three jobs in the past four years? If so, that will be a negative to new employers, but one that you will overcome with time and commitment.
    • gonthemicrobe
    • By gonthemicrobe 19th May 17, 6:54 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    gonthemicrobe
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 6:54 PM
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 6:54 PM
    Thanks for the replies...

    Not had 3 jobs in 4 years only 2, but I was offered 2 jobs at the same time and had to decline one of them.

    In terms of body language that might be the problem, though I wouldn't think I come across as feeble because in general I don't get all that nervous. I'll look into that one though!

    Interviews have been a mix really, it's the competency questions that trip me up as you often have to give detailed answers to vague questions like "How do you handle working in a team" etc!
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 19th May 17, 7:18 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 918 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 7:18 PM
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 7:18 PM
    I'm similar. 3 interviews and nothing so far, but when I used to apply 15 or more years back I was always offered on the 1st or 2nd go so I think it is harder today.
    I know interviewers make an opinion in the first minute or so. I've seen some interesting clips on this. If you are fat or have scruffy shoes you are more likely to be overlooked. Woman who wear too much makeup or revealing clothes can do well if its a man on the panel and worse if its a woman. A man without a tie or someone with lots of tattoos or piercings might struggle. Stupid but true!
    It might be none of this though. You might be more reserved and not 'selling' yourself enough. I hate it because I don't want to sound boastful but if the next person is confident and tells them that one different thing that you didn't, you could lose out. I know of some companies that don't hire woman of childbearing age and another that only wants staff under 40! They are finding anyway to get rid of over 40's! Nobody would admit it of course but it happens. Try to stay positive its unlikely to be anything personal.
    • barbarawright
    • By barbarawright 19th May 17, 10:06 PM
    • 1,643 Posts
    • 3,144 Thanks
    barbarawright
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 10:06 PM
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 10:06 PM
    Practise is really important. You need your anecdotes illustrating what problems you've overcome or how you've approached change to be really polished and to end confidently rather than trailing off into silence. Also, an example from outside work might make you stand out rather than just stories about how you rearranged the office filing system or whatever. Are there any interview practise courses you can go on, even if you have to pay?
    • abernathy
    • By abernathy 20th May 17, 6:00 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    abernathy
    • #8
    • 20th May 17, 6:00 AM
    • #8
    • 20th May 17, 6:00 AM
    I have been invited to 6 interviews in my life and have been offered every single job. My advice..
    • Find a list of typical interview questions beforehand and think of an answer in preparation.
    • If being interviewed by more than one more person, direct your eye contact AND your answer to both/all (changing mid-sentence), regardless of who asked the question - you want to leave an equally positive impact with every person interviewing you.
    • It's better to overdress than underdress - always wear a suit/formal interviewing clothing.
    • Firm handshake, always engage with every person on an interview panel not just one person.
    • Be confident, plenty of eye contact, sit up straight, don't do anything weird.
    • You have to make the interviewer believe you are almost too good for the job. Provide plenty of anecdotal examples.
    • When answering questions, explain how YOU can BENEFIT the company - what you can offer that will be useful and/or unique.
    • When leaving, always thank them for THEIR time.
    • Bring along your C.V, covering letter and any relevant training certificates/qualifications in a presentable folder.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by abernathy; 20-05-2017 at 6:03 AM.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 20th May 17, 7:40 AM
    • 922 Posts
    • 918 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    • #9
    • 20th May 17, 7:40 AM
    • #9
    • 20th May 17, 7:40 AM
    Reading the other posts has reminded me to have anecdotes up your sleeve. Anyone can give generic answers so giving an example to prove you have experienced x is important. My last interview was made up entirely of ' tell us about a time when you did x' .To be honest it was hard to recall good examples under pressure. Also I've decided to keep a little log. Each time I encounter something new or achieve or conquer something noteworthy, I will jot it down to use in interviews!
    Abernathy you have a very impressive record. Could you go in disguise on my behalf?!
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 20th May 17, 6:05 PM
    • 1,934 Posts
    • 2,663 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    And in the meantime, look back over all your previous interview questions, and think about what you wish you'd said. And write it down. Most interviews run along similar lines, particularly if they are for similar jobs, so over time you will build up a library of fab answers to all the common questions.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 20th May 17, 6:17 PM
    • 2,979 Posts
    • 2,133 Thanks
    marlot
    • When answering questions, explain how YOU can BENEFIT the company - what you can offer that will be useful and/or unique.

    .
    Originally posted by abernathy
    Some excellent tips there. This one is particularly important. The STAR technique can be helpful.

    https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/star-technique-competency-based-interview
    • Planet Switzerland
    • By Planet Switzerland 21st May 17, 12:24 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    Planet Switzerland
    I've been in a similar situation, but it worked out in the end. You may find you get the job at your next interview and be glad that was the job you got rather than the other 5.


    When I decided I wanted to move to London several years ago, it took me 7 interviews and over a year until I got there. It was very frustrating and was losing hope I'd ever get there, but it worked out well in the end. This is how it went for me:


    Interview 1 - Borehamwood (Yes I know, not London or anything like London, just saw it was inside the M25), was a disaster, but seemed a depressing place to work.


    Interview 2 - Central London, thought interview went well but afterwards the recruitment consultant at the agency who was calling me constantly prior to the interview was now always unavailable to talk when I called so assumed I didn't get the job.


    Interview 3 - Richmond, they decided to phone me rather than e-mail me afterwards to tell me I did well but the other candidate beat me on experience.


    Interview 4 - Central London, small company who's MD interviewed me, he was an idiot, not a good interview.


    Interview 5 - Central London, did a test which I aced, interview seemed to go ok but apparently my experience wasn't quite what he was looking for.


    Interview 6 - Southwark, had been a few months since last interview, job was paying a couple of grand less than I was looking for but was desperate. Did test first, got 100%. Interview went well, but someone who had been made redundant in that exact role for a competitor was given it, but was told I would have got it if that person hadn't come along.


    Interview 7 - Central London, did a test, realised I'd screwed it up and didn't have time to put it right. Explained what I should have done in interview, end up getting the job.


    Obviously I didn't want jobs 1 or 4 and just wanted 6 out of desperation. Job 3 seemed ideal to me, but Richmond, although a nice area, is quite far removed from the rest of London, plus I found out a year or so later that the founders sold the company and reviews on glassdoor say that made it a terrible place to work.


    Given the choice between the other two jobs and the one I got, I would have chosen the one I did get.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,700Posts Today

6,395Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Just leaving Manchester after the funeral of my beloved grandma Gladys who passed away last night. https://t.co/nuC9ry5mP6

  • The strange thing with a 4yr old is having to play & smile while inside feeling sick for those in trauma in my birth town #Manchester

  • Just a quick ta-ta for now. I'm taking the week off for family time with mini and Mrs MSE. So I won't be here much. Back after the bank hol

  • Follow Martin