Women upset looking at her computer after not getting a job.

Getting rejected during a job search can be incredibly discouraging. Even more so when you had an in person interview. You can start to doubt yourself, and your ability to find a job. Unfortunately too often this causes job seekers to blame themselves. However, there are many forces out of your control that may influence the decision. So if you are rejected as a candidate, it may be because of something completely out of your control. Today, we’ll explore 5 different reasons you may not get the job, that aren’t your fault.

1. They Hired Someone Internally

This is an extremely common occurrence. Many companies who are mindful of their employee’s growth and development allow them to apply for positions internally. So although they may interview you, it’s possible that the company was looking at someone who currently works for them. If the finalists all have similar qualifications, they will likely hire the one person who already has direct experience at their company. This happens quite often!

2. You Were Under/Over Qualified

Although most of the qualifications and requirements are usually listed on the job posting, they may not all be there. It’s possible that the hiring manager has some requirements that were kept private, used to decide between candidates later on. It’s entirely possible that you were over or underqualified, and didn’t quite fit the bill. If you were overqualified, the company may have assumed that they couldn’t pay you as much as you’d like. If you were underqualified, they may have simply worried about your ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. When you are applying for a job you think you may be over or underqualified for, it’s not a bad idea to address that in your cover letter.

3. Hiring Needs Changed During the Process

It’s also possible that the needs of the company change over the course of the hiring process. Meeting with candidates may cause them to reassess the type of employee they are looking for. Job postings are simply a wish list of a hiring manager, and those needs may change from when the job is posted initially. It’s also possible that the department wasn’t able to allocate the budget necessary to hire that position. They may have also done a complete reassessment, and realized they aren’t interested in filling that role currently.

4. You Interviewed First, or Last

Sometimes the early bird gets the worm, but that isn’t necessarily the case with job interviews. If you are one of the first candidates to interview, you may be forgotten by the end of the hiring process. In that case the recruiter would certainly be at fault, but it does happen. Sending a thank you note, or a follow up email after a week or two is a good way to avert getting forgotten. On the other hand, if you interview last, it’s possible that the company already has a candidate in mind they plan on hiring.

5. Personal Bias

Finally, of course there is personal bias present with every hiring process. Recruiters have certain candidates they like over others, even if they might be less qualified. Likeability does play a big role in job interviews, so you have to keep that in mind. Every recruiter and hiring manager has their own biases and preferences, and there’s not much you can do to detect them, or change them. So it’s entirely possible that whoever was hired came down to personal preference.

Now that you’re familiar with some of the most common reasons candidates don’t get hired, we hope you feel somewhat better about getting rejected! In many cases the decision has nothing to do with how you interviewed. It may just come down to qualifications, or personal preference. So the next time you aren’t hired for a position, don’t let it get to you! The right job is out there, and you just have to chase every job with confidence.