Interviewing

Ask the Coaches: Why Aren’t I Getting Any Second Interviews?

second interviews

Searching for a job can be frustrating.

Although everyone’s situation is different, there are some common hurdles most job seeker must overcome. In our Ask the Coaches series, Ivy Exec’s leading coaches respond to questions from our members.

Your Question:

I think I’m really good on interviews. Every question asked, I knocked out of the park. I was able to clearly articulate my value, how I would work well within the office culture, and take the company to new levels. But I never got a follow-up interview. This isn’t the first time it has happened either. It seems like every interview, either in person, or over the phone, leads to nothing.”

Our Coaches Respond:

Listen more than you speak.

Sometimes people think an interview went well because they spent a lot of time telling the inter- viewer about their experience and skills. But often they talked too much. It is more important to listen. Asking questions and listening carefully to the manager’s replies will help you understand the company’s pain points—that is, its problems. Once you know those, you can position your- self as the solution to those problems.

–Lilly-Marie Lamar

Keep it Short.

Stop making “I statements,“ claims about yourself and your value. Instead, focus on the impact you had in your previous roles and how your abilities can help this company with its specific needs. It’s not you that employers are interested in, it is what you have been a part of.

— Staci Collins

Follow up carefully.

You may have done well in the interview, but didn’t seal the deal with a great follow-up. Make sure your thank you note refers directly to the conversation you had, and add a thought or two on how you can meet the company’s needs. Send both electronic and prints version of your note as electronic communication has its glitches. To your emailed version, attach something that might be helpful to the interviewer, such as an interesting link or article related to what you discussed. After this, if you don’t hear anything for what feels like a bit too long, follow up directly with the person who interviewed you. If you asked at the end of the interview how long the hiring process should take and what the next steps are, you will know when enough time has elapsed and you need to reach out. In this email or call, let them know you are still interested, and ask where they are in the decision making process.

— Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill

About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and iVillage.com, among others.