Getting rejected in interviews? What are you doing wrong?

Job interview rejection hurts the most. Where you are going wrong and how you can make it right to get the job? Tried preparing for interviews with a mentor?



As you might know, the professional world has become fast-paced and extremely competitive.

You have to keep yourself updated and keep looking for a job that suits you, meets your expectations and also helps you grow.

Now, whether you are a fresher or an experienced professional, there will be a lot of interviews that you will end up attending.

Now think about this, you have given an interview for your dream job or at your dream company. You feel that you have answered all of the interviewer’s questions correctly and confidently. You wait anxiously for the call from the recruiter, only to receive a polite rejection email.

According to a report, every job opening, on average, gets close to 250 applications!

Out of these only 3 or 4 people get selected for the interview process. And in the end, only 1 person gets selected.

Appalling, isn’t it? 😨

In that case, what are the odds of you landing a job you’ve applied for?

Is there something you can do or avoid doing?

Interview rejection: Why is this such a common occurrence?

If you have made it to the interview stage, chances are that you possess the required skill set for the role. Yet, you end up getting rejected in the interview.

Sometimes, this could be due to reasons beyond your control.

The competition is stiff. There may be a better candidate, more well-suited for the role.

It could also be that the requirements or budgets may have changed, or the company decided to promote internally.

However, more often than not, it could be something that you might have done wrong unknowingly in the interview that ends your chances.

Let’s take a deep dive into what could have gone wrong and how we can help you. 👇

Top things you’re doing wrong and how to make them right

🟠 Bad attitude

The main goal of an interview is to see if you are the right fit. The interviewer will not just test your skills and knowledge but also how well you fit into their culture. Inappropriate, negative behaviours can sway the interviewer against even the best skillset.

It is important to find the right balance between being polite and being confident.

👉 Don’t get into arguments with interviewers.

👉 Avoid letting your biases creep into discussions.

👉 Don’t outline performance abilities and achievements in a boastful manner.

👉 Focus only on what you learned from the negative experience you might have had at a previous job without criticising your previous employer or colleagues.

Remember, the interviewer is wondering, ‘do I want to work with this person I am interviewing?’

A good first impression is crucial.

🟠 Poor communication skills

Interviewers will quickly write off candidates who are unable to express themselves clearly.

Vague or short answers to the interviewer’s questions will come across as a lack of knowledge or interest. All the technical skills in the world are of no use if you are unable to convey to your potential employer what you can do for the company. 😬

Work on your communication skills.

👉  Be a good listener first.

👉 Take care to maintain proper diction and grammar when you speak.

👉 Avoid conversational fillers such as ‘like’, ‘kind of’ and ‘umm’.

👉 Don’t use foul language or slang, even by accident.

👉 If you do not know the answer to a question, say so. Don't try and bluff the interviewers by winging it.

You can come up with insightful and natural responses to some questions by rehearsing and practising them with a friend beforehand.

Or even better, practise them with a seasoned professional.

🟠 Lack of confidence and poor body language

Communication doesn’t just end with what you say.

Body language can convey a lot of non-verbal cues and show your state of mind.

Interviewers judge your personality based on how you look, stand, walk, talk, and even your handshake. It’s normal to be a little nervous, but not to the extent that it interferes with your performance in the interview.

👉 Practice good posture. Sit up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed. Project confidence by keeping your body open.

👉 Avoid fidgeting, quick and jerky movements, tapping the desk etc.

👉 Maintain eye contact, but don’t stare.

👉 Don’t get distracted by objects in the room. Keep the focus on the interviewers.

👉 Keep smiling. A smile helps you come across as more approachable and confident.

Learning how to project confidence in your body language is key. 😉

This can only be developed over time by practice as you attend more and more interviews.

Mock interviews can help you condition yourself without the risk of ruining your chances with an actual potential employer.

🟠 Not able to apply skills

When you are preparing for an interview, it is important to know the profile you are applying for, whether or not it suits you, and if you have the skills for it.

If it doesn’t match with what you have studied, what you have done in the past or what you want to do, you will end up not knowing any answers to the questions asked and in the end getting rejected.‍

👉 Do your homework. Study the profile, the company and the skills required for it.

👉 Display the skills. You might be given an assignment – it could be to write or to code – make sure you know what you are doing and ace the assignment, thereby showcasing your skills.

👉 Don’t look confused, or scared while answering.

Knowing the skills is of utmost importance. If the interviewer doesn’t see the potential in you, they will surely not take your profile ahead.

Talk to people who are in a similar kind of role, and let them mentor you while you prepare for the interview. This will help you apply the skills and pass with flying colours, or in this case a flying offer letter. 😃

🟠 Not Being Proactive

When you are preparing for an interview you are so focused on the fact that you will be asked questions, you just prepare for the answers for it.

But sometimes, do you forget that you also must ask questions? 👀

Asking questions in an interview shows your interest and the fact that you are being a conversationalist.

👉 Prepare for questions: Go for the interview with a list of questions. This could range from details about the company, profile, culture, people, etc.

👉 Make conversation: Turn this interview into a two-way conversation. Don’t just answer, start a conversation. This will make the interviewer know more about you as a person.

👉 Follow-ups: Once done with the interview, don’t just wait for HR to call you. Do regular follow-ups and ask for feedback.

You must show your potential employer that you are a proactive person and this skill will also reflect in the work that you will be doing.

No interviewer is going to be happy if you give one-word answers or do not ask any questions. This will make you come across as a disinterested candidate.

🟠 Lack of clear career goals

There must have been a lot of interviews, where you must have been asked – ‘where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?’

While we understand that sometimes it can be challenging when questions such as these are thrown at you, if you don’t have a clear answer to this question, it can have a negative impact on your interview.

👉 Be clear: Be honest and clear on what you want to do in your career.

👉 Don’t look or sound confused: Be confident in what you want to do and talk to the interviewer about the plans you have for your career journey.

👉 Sometimes, it is okay to ask the person taking the interview about their opinions too. This shows your seriousness and that you are open to listening to others.

When you start your career, it will be a very natural situation where you might not have any idea about what you want to do.

So, when you are preparing for your interview, it will be a good idea to speak with someone experienced who will help you see a career path that is meant for you.

Know what your interview preparation journey is missing

Is your interview preparation missing a sense of discipline or a schedule? Or a plan or a strategy that you can execute to land your dream job? 👀

Do you have someone you can rely on for guidance? Or for those days when you get stuck on a problem and don’t know where to go to ‘unstuck’ yourself.

Many consider reaching out to friends and peers to help them prepare.

This is a sound strategy, as it can put you at ease and take away the nervousness because of the comfort level you share with them. They can often also be from a similar field and help you channel your skill.

However, this confidence can sometimes be misleading as it will not prepare you for a real interview, with a stranger, and often a much senior interviewer.

Friends can also have a bias towards you and not be able to see areas that you are lacking in, or more often than not, not be willing or able to give you objective feedback.

This is where a mentor comes into the picture. A mentor’s significance lies in letting a candidate polish their existing skills and abilities while providing them with objective feedback on areas where they are lacking.

What does mentor-empowered interview preparation look like?

Mentor-based mock interviews are the closest that you can get to the real thing. In such interviews, the candidate is interviewed by a professional interviewer or a mentor who has vast experience in the field.

Unlike a peer-to-peer interview, a mentor-based interview will involve multiple levels of interviews such as technical, general, and HR. This is made possible as such agencies will have experts from every department who can conduct a mock interview and provide personalised feedback.

Check this out: Peer to Peer vs Mentor-Based Mock Interviews. Which one is right for you?

Preparing for an interview can be a daunting task, especially after a rejection.

You can improve on most aspects with practice, but guidance from the right mentor will amplify your efforts and help you land that dream job. 💫

All the best for your interview preparation journey!