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6 Reasons You’re Not Getting a Second Round Interview

second round interview
By Natalja Atapin

You had your first job interview and thought it went pretty well? Of course, there could have been some points that you could have done better but you didn’t get a totally ruin it, right? So, what’s the reason that the interviewer, or anyone from the hiring organization, didn’t give you a call to set up a follow-up interview or provide you with an offer? You probably are wondering what went wrong and why you’re not getting a second round interview? And what should you do now?

Have you ever experienced such a situation? It’s a difficult position to be in, especially since you’re not exactly sure about what you can expect and why you’re not making progress in the interview process. You should realize that a lot of factors are at play when applying for a job at a company. Therefore, it’s not strange at all that you’re not exactly sure what you’re doing wrong during job interviews. Below we discuss six possible reasons that could have caused you to not make the best impression during your first interview.

  1. Other Applicants Are Better Qualified

It’s not fun to hear but it happens. If an interviewer already came across a candidate he really liked and you came right after, they will still want to hire the other person. If this is the case, it means that there is nothing wrong with you, but somebody else just fitted the position better and there’s nothing you can do about it. Another situation that might occur is that a company is hiring but prefer to hire/promote an internal candidate. For the formality, a company can still decide to have interviews, but they already have their preferred candidate shortlisted.

  1. Company Culture Fit

Cultural fit is just as important as your qualifications in regard to your skills. Culture fit can be defined as how your values, beliefs, and attitude match with the core values and culture of the company where you’re applying for a job. Human Resource professionals are usually good at finding a match based on candidates qualifications and experiences. However, it’s also their task to find someone who will find joy and happiness within the position. Scientific research has shown that employees who are happy and fulfilled with their job are performing better but are also more likely to work in the company for a longer period of time. This, in turn, increases the company’s productivity and retention rates while decreasing recruitment costs in the process.

Therefore, if a candidate that you’re competing with is just as qualified but the hiring managers think that their fit with the company culture is better, they might be better of hiring him or her. You could, of course, position yourself in the job interview based on the due diligence that you have done in preparation for your interview. This means that if you have done your homework you can provide examples on how you compatible you are with the company culture.

  1. The Company Needs Have Changed

Another reason that is out of your control; maybe the company needs have changed in the meantime. No matter what position and at what company you’re applying for a job; companies change all the time. For instance, a company can be dealing with budget cuts, relocation or focus on different teams and roles. These are all examples that are caused by changing needs in changing market environments. If this is the case you usually get a call from a recruiter that will tell you that the needs of the company have changed.

  1. You Bombed the First Interview

Even though your goal is to ace your interview, there are a lot of ways how you can blow it. For instance, by wearing the wrong interview attire, calling the people present at the interview by the wrong name. Other easy mistakes to make is not knowing a lot about the company, not knowing why you want the job or if you’re unable to answer common job interview questions. Not preparing for a job interview is not the way to go and you have a fairly large chance of not getting the job.

If you blew a job interview try to learn from it and make sure that you know what you should do better next time. Also, don’t feel too bad about when you totally bombed the interview. Of course, it’s not good, but just make sure you do better the next interview; bad interviews happen to everyone.

  1. You Come Across as Desperate or Cocky

If a lot depends on getting this job or not you might come across as desperate, which is not professional. Hiring managers can spot this behavior and will ask questions to get more information about your situation. If you’re nervous and have a lot depending on this job you may be less appealing for the position than another candidate. Therefore, try to stay calm and professional during the interview.

The same goes for being cocky and trying to act as if you do not really need or want the job. Both ends of the spectrum are not professional behavior. You should be interested in what the interviewer has to ask/say and communicate with confidence. Your main goal to be a professional and behave as one throughout the interview.

  1. There Was No Match in General

There’s always a chance that there is no match between you and the company in general. If the vibe is off during the interview and you’re not able to establish a connection between you and the interviewer this might be a bad sign. You should always try to connect with your interviewer on some level. You can do this based on the research you did (or should have done) up front.

Also, if you come across as a person who is looking for what’s in it for you if you get this job – instead of what you can do for the company and the team; this will not help you. Don’t immediately ask about salary, benefits, bonuses, and vacation time/free days off. Focus on getting your foot in the door first by providing information that qualifies you for the position that you have applied for. That way you can present yourself as a professional and start a dynamic conversation with your interviewer. The key to success here is focussing on why you’re there in the first please; follow a strategy and ace that interview.

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic

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Natalja Atapin is a seasoned job interview and career coach at and brings a decade of recruitment and coaching experience across diverse industries. Holding a master's degree in Organisational Psychology, she transitioned from coaching to managerial roles at prominent companies like Hays. Natalja's passion for simplifying the job search process is evident in her role at, where she contributes practical strategies to assist professionals and fresh graduates.

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