Why Aren't You Getting Internship or Job Offers?

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Unfortunately, not all interviews result in job offers. Don't get discouraged. A rejection letter may mean only that there was a particularly large and well-qualified candidate pool. You may not always be the most qualified candidate; however, you can certainly try to be the most prepared by carefully researching the company, practicing your interview skills and conducting yourself in a professional manner at all times.

Rejection shock may result if you are not prepared for what is a normal part of the hiring process. Rejection shock can have a spiraling effect. If receiving a rejection letter discourages you or damages your confidence, it may lead to poor performance in your next interview, which could result in another rejection. Try to stay positive. Your job offer is out there; you just have to find the right fit.

If your interviews are not resulting in job offers, there are positive steps you can take to turn things around. Review the list below and ask yourself if any of these characteristics might be the reason for the rejections. Consult with a Career and Internship Services counselor and arrange for a practice interview.

Factors Leading To Applicant Rejection

The following factors leading to applicant rejection were reported by employers:

  • Lack of career planning - unclear goals
  • Inability to express self clearly - poor voice, diction, grammar
  • Poor personal appearance - over- or under-dressed
  • Lack of confidence and poise - nervousness, failure to look interviewer in the eye, ill at ease
  • Poor scholastic record - just got by, no improvement over time
  • Narrow interests or failure to participate in activities
  • Made excuses - evasive, blamed others, condemned past employers, hedged on unfavorable factors in record
  • Merely shopping around - used interview to practice
  • Unwilling to start at the bottom - expected too much too soon
  • Late to interview without good reason
  • Asked no or poor questions about the job and company
  • Did not research the job or company - unprepared
  • Little interest and enthusiasm - passive, indifferent, unmotivated or no sense of humor
  • Overemphasis on money and/or status - interest only in best dollar offer
  • Lack of tact or courtesy - outspoken, impulsive or cynical
  • Lack of maturity
  • Lack of experience - inadequate training
  • Intolerant - not accepting of others who are different
  • Poor handling of personal finances
  • Unclear on salary range
  • Limp handshake - not assertive
  • Marked dislike for school work
  • Overbearing, over aggressive, conceited, "a know it all"
  • Sloppy application form, resume
  • Wanted job for only a short time
  • Unwilling to relocate, travel

Remember, there is rarely a professional position open that does not draw many qualified applicants. You get only one chance to leave the right impression, so take the time to do your homework. Research the organization and prepare and practice for the interview to increase your chances of leaving a positive impression.