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Applying for a job seems like a pretty fair, straightforward process. You send in your application, and if you’re a good fit, the company will give you a call. You’ll go for an interview and show off your expertise. Then, the company will carefully decide who the most qualified person is.

When you don’t land the job — despite being extremely qualified — it can leave you wondering what you’re doing wrong.

The issue is not everything is as it seems in the world of hiring. There are a number of things the recruiter won’t — and often can’t — reveal to you when you’re interviewing for a job.

If you’re wondering why you didn’t land the role, one of the following factors may have been at work:

1. The Hiring Manager Had a Candidate Already Selected 

It’s not uncommon for the hiring manager to have picked someone before you even applied. Even still, the hiring manager may go forward with your interview simply to satisfy the requirements the organization has placed around the hiring process.

2. The Position Was Put on Hold

I have seen this more times than I care to count: A company is already well into the interview stage when something happens to put the brakes on the whole hiring process. Perhaps the department runs out of funding, or a hiring freeze goes into effect, or the hiring manager leaves the company. Positions can be put on hold for a number of reasons, but the company probably won’t share those reasons with you.

3. The Company Reworked the Role

This often happens with brand new roles. After conducting a few interviews, a hiring manager may realize their expectations are a little off. They may need a slightly different skill set, or the candidates may be outside their price range. Whatever the reason, it may cause the hiring manager to pull the job post and refine the role.

4. The Organization Moves Slowly

Perhaps you had a great interview and were told you would hear something within a week. Then, nothing happened. Weeks passed, and still no word came.

You may now assume the job is completely lost — but it’s also possible the company just move slowly. In a month or two, you may very well get a call for a follow-up interview. Don’t count on it, but do recognize that the hiring process doesn’t always move as quickly as companies want it to.

Your best chance of landing a job is to practice and prepare. If you don’t receive a job offer, don’t assume it is entirely your fault. The company likely has a number of things going on behind the scenes that may impact the final decision. Unfortunately, the hiring manager will rarely disclose these issues to you.

A version of this article originally appeared on Copeland Coaching.

Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.



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