Getting Started Job Interview Tips

Top 5 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get Hired

Written by Miranda Pennington

Want to know some red flags that will make hiring managers toss your resume to the bottom of the pile? Tim Sackett over at Eremedia offers these 5 dealbreakers—if you see one you recognize in yourself, make a quick fix before you enter the job market.

1. Messy personal organization

If a hiring manager asks you for a copy of your resume and you reach into your briefcase or portfolio (or pocket) and pull out anything crumpled, ripped or otherwise falling apart, it’s a safe inference that your organizational skills and priorities aren’t up to par.

2. A troubling social media presence

If your social media presence features statements that would reflect poorly on a company or seem to indicate prejudice of any kind, you will more than likely be given a hard pass.

3. Disinterested interview manners

If you can’t even muster up enough enthusiasm to interview with some personality, what makes a manager think you’ll bring your A-game to a regular dreary Tuesday?

4. Fixation on an ex-employer

While it’s just as bad to be shifty and mealy-mouthed about your last employer, if you go on and on about how your last job was amazing, someone across the table is likely to be thinking, “So why are you interviewing with us??”

5. Bad manners to service employees

If you’re snotty to a receptionist or unleash a tirade on the barista, you’re likely to be shown the door. An inability to be a good customer speaks volumes about your ability to be a good employee, a good representative of a company, and probably a good person, too.

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About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.