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Tons of Interviews But No Offers

by Lori
(Oregon)

Mike-
I have had many many interviews, phone and face-to-face within the past month...actually months! Hope you can send some suggestions my way.

Most of my employment has been Executive Level Admin contract work with major IT companies. I feel my resume is working because I am getting lots of calls, but I am finding it very difficult to land a position.

ALL the feedback I get is always positive, during the interviews I am told that I am just what they are looking for and my job skills mirror their requirements and for the most part the connection to the interviewer seems to click.

Phone or F2F when I leave an interview and feel I am a strong candidate, but then nothing.

I have always sent hand written (whenever possible)thank you cards right after the interview.

I actually had a phone interview early this week, it went very very well and I was told there would be a next step and then late in the day I get a thanks but no thanks note!

I would love to know what I am saying or not saying to have these interviews fall flat.

I am very frustrated and really don't have any idea what is going on. Previously I have always landed most positions that I am submitted for, but now I am at a loss.

In the last month I have been to 4 F2F interviews and had multiple phone interviews...nothing :-(

I HATE to think it is an age issue, but I am beginning to think that might be the case. Maybe not an actually age issue, but if I am competing with someone that is obviously 8-10 years younger, I come in 2nd.

I have made my resume reflect my experience and have not added irrelevant positions over 10 years ago. I am a high energy person, I dress for the interview, usually a step above business casual for example if it is Microsoft, or a little more business depending on the company in classy slacks/tops and add a jacket if necessary.

I have at least 10 years of work in front of me yet. I have been told I don't "look" my age and certainly don't act my age :-)

I am in my 50’s. But I am stumped!

How can I break this bubble or give me something to chew on that I have not thought of?

I have a phone interview on Monday and I really want to ace this one! I have researched the company and the business group I have my questions and answers prepared for my cue card.

Thank you for your insight.

Lori

Mike Petras Comments:

Hello Lori-

Sorry your job search has been such an emotional roller coaster ride. You're right, your resume must be working well if you're landing all these job interviews. So we know your resume isn't the problem.

Also, the IT field is very hot right now.

If you're getting positive comments and feedback after your interviews, it sounds like your job interview skills are pretty solid too.

What we don't know is how many job seekers are interviewing for the same position. Obviously the more competition you face, the tougher it will be to win the offer.

Here are a couple of ideas to consider.

The next time an employer interviews you by phone or in person, near the end of your interview, ask the interviewer how many candidates you're competing with for this job.

About half the time you are going to hear, "a lot" or "a couple", but often times they'll just flat out tell you.

If you start hearing 5 or more applicants, then you'll know you are not royally messing up in the job interview. Now your mission will be to perfect your job interview skills so you stand out over your competition.

Unfortunately, many employers are not going to give you honest feedback after your interview. In fact, many of them won't even give you the courtesy of a call back.

I've asked several companies why they do this and I've been astonished to hear comments like, "We don't have time to call and chat with folks about their interview shortcomings. If they don't get an offer, that means we hired someone else."

Wow...really? So we're suppose to be mind-readers? Total indifference means no?

I guess these employers missed Sunday school the day they had the lesson on "doing unto others like you would like to be treated".

What they probably haven't figured out is just about everyone at some point in their career will lose their job...including them.

When that day arrives and they are sitting on the opposite of the interview desk, I'd love to watch them munching on a big wedge of humble pie. Wouldn't you?

Despite this poetic justice, none of these thoughts are helping you solve your dilemma. So let's get back to what you can do win an offer.

Ask a friend to meet with you to do a mock job interview. Here is a true success story about a friend of mine who was experiencing the same problem as you, and how it was revealed to him what he was doing wrong.

Make sure you are well prepared for your interviews.

FACT: 75% of all job seekers are rejected for 2 reasons: a poorly written resume, or under-performing in a job interview.

Here is an article on my website with links to other articles that I believe you'll find helpful: 14 Key Job Interview Tips.

As a general rule, if you don't get feedback from a company after your job interview, always follow up three times. About half the time you will connect with someone or they will call you back.

Although the interviewing process can be cold and impersonal, there are a few loving souls out there who will share with you one of your shortcomings that will help you move forward.

Here is an article I wrote about effective follow up after a job interview without offending anyone or being tagged as a nuisance: Three Strikes and You're Out.

Hope this helps you stand out in future interviews. Please let me know if you have a breakthrough or you discover what was "the problem".

All the best.

Mike Petras

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Comments for Tons of Interviews But No Offers

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May 25, 2016
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I think it was my age
by: Anonymous

I also had one employer telling me "You sure don't look like you have a son out of college". The interview went very well, but I got no offers. I apparently was not the "right fit". I think it was my age.

Dec 11, 2015
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It may not me about you at all
by: Anonymous8

I have a different take. I have had interviews for 5 jobs within 6 weeks. I had basically 8 interviews total. Some of these jobs had two interviews each. I am also currently employed so these were truly waste of my time. I did hear back from them on time except one job - sent the regrets two weeks later...I already figured it out since they told me it would take 48hrs to decide.

These jobs are Admin Assist types (with various titles). However the pay scale is from $26 to $33 per hour with full benefits and are all permanent positions. The companies are mostly non-profit and well established.

Because they are so back to back, I see a pattern. Here is what I am learning so far.

I have gotten great feedback. One offered me another position but I was not interested - it was way too technical for me. Another sent me a list of their affiliated companies and sent my resume to them directly and told me if I see something I like, I should send my resume back to her to forward - this is a great feedback. Another one recommended me to another dept in their company but never heard from them.

They gave me the same line - very difficult to make a decision. Really close but the other person "fit" better...so no one cares skills anymore...obviously skills get you face to face but then that is it.

So I know the problem was not me...but then what was it?

This is my take.

Sometimes they know already who they will hire (through a word of mouth or something) and the interview is just a filler.
If you meet with the hiring manager first interview and you are called again for another interview to meet the rest of the team - thread lightly even if you get an offer - most likely a team issue and the hiring manager could not make a decision without having everybody else interview you and get consensus. Listen to the questions next time you have one of this interviews...the focus is on team issues...also I know this from experience, the more they interview you, the more there is human resource issues at this company and they cannot decide among themselves who to pic...not sure I want to work a place like that. So I was not hurt I did not get it.

Sometimes I google the person they hire and investigate if there is a connection to the company or one of the interviewers...yap! few times. So I know they knew this person before me.

some interviews were so decentralized to the depts. I did not even meet an HR person. I was interviewed by the team assistants and the hiring managers.

I like the idea of asking how many people they are interviewing. If they are interviewing a lot of people for the second time around...I am out...they are not decisive and wasting everybody's time. Their screening is not good.

All and all, as long as you are getting interviews, you are on a good. Do not let self doubt creep up on you. It is good to improve but nothing to be embarrassed about. Some never get calls in the first place.

Send a thank you email and show more interest.


Oct 13, 2015
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A lot of Interviews - Nothing
by: utrocket07

I too have had a lot of interviews, about 10 in the past 3 months. I am 32 and I've been in IT for 6 years and 5 years with a smaller company.

Maybe part of my problem is I was in charge of a company around 50 people (2 offices) for all of their IT Infrastructure?

Currently unemployment is around 5% here. I'm going to take your suggestions because I'm getting the same generic answers for feedback. It's frustrating. Also I've been thinking of finding work under my skill level, just to get away from my current situation.

Am I crazy? Should I just try something else because I am getting interviews?

Michael Petras reply:

It sounds like your resume is working because the only purpose of a resume is to get a face-to-face interview. So employers need your skills and have determined it's worth it to talk with you.

Also, I don't think your lack of offers has anything to do with the IT discipline. So if you have solid skills and education in this specialty you don't want to stray from that.

What you need is someone to be completely honest with you about how you come across in any interview. Best way to do this is to ask a trusted friend or past associate to do a mock interview with you. Give them the interview questions to ask you, then role play the interview.

After the interview ask them to tell you 3 things you did well and 3 things you could improve on. Some of the most common mistakes people make in job interviews are:

  • Over-explaining things...rambling

  • Talking too much (more than 60 seconds per answer)

  • Lack of measurable accomplishments

  • Poor appearance, grooming, attire

  • Too negative about past employers


Once you know where you are weak, you can do something about it to improve it. But whoever is evaluating you needs to be brutally honest.

I remember advising a friend of mine to shave off his goatee because it took away from his appearance in my humble opinion. First impressions really matter in an interview setting. Once hired he can always grow his goatee back.

Dec 27, 2014
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20 interviews and no offers
by: Anonymous

I got laid off almost six months ago and since then I've had over 20 interviews and either got turned down or never heard back from every single one of them. Even at my age (26), I've been starting to wonder when, or if, I'll ever find a job again.

Jun 30, 2014
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Desperate jobseeker
by: Maru

I am in that same boat. at the age of 50, with tones of experience, I have had about 30 in person interviews during the last year, where some companies interviewed me twice and even three times, everything looks good, but got to the point to believe that my age is the factor for not being hired.
One problem could be the salary expectation, which I have been decreasing from time to time, I even try asking what a recent grad will get paid, but the offer is not showing up.
What is wrong with the job market?
I am a team player, with business management degree, with project management and HR background, lots of contracts administrator experience as well,
At this point I am in need of a job, and to the point to start applying for retail minimum wage positions to see what happens then.
Today, I am an interview expert, and not very proud to be.
Desperate jobseeker

Dec 31, 2013
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Tons of Interviews But No Offers
by: BG

I in in the UK, & I have also had many interviews, about 18 in the past 6 months, and no job offers. Out of them, I only performed badly once. It is definitely to do with your age, I am 49.

In the UK it is illegal to ask questions about your age/marital status/children/ and sexual orientation. Yet, I have been asked many times " how old are you", or "are you married", or "how many children do you have", or " do you smoke ". These is totally unacceptable questions. Yet, I have to answer these questions instead of challenging the interviewer.

It's an employers's market but one day these very people will be of of a job and they will have to drink their own medicine !

Mar 28, 2013
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Tons of Interviews But no offers
by: Anonymous

I have found myself in the same situation. I am sure it has to do with age. I am 62 years old, with 15 years. I have been on tons of interviews. I am sure age is the issue because when I send in my resume, I have removed all dates from my education. I believe that is how I was selected for the interview. Once I have am interview, I am ask to go on line and fill out their application on Taleo. As we all know Taleo ask for date of birth. One time after interviewing with a hiring Manager, I was told "you sure don't look 62 years old" So, this statement has proven to me that “age” do matter.

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