How to understand why you didn’t get your dream job?

All we want to do is to have a work of our dreams. But life is not always generous for such gifts: sometimes we can’t get a dream post. Why this is happening and how to avoid this, read in our article.


Here is one of the key days of your life – the day of the job interview in the company of your dreams. You have been waiting for a long time, read the information about the company and the interviews of the first persons. You reviewed your professional skills, stated requirements and were convinced that success is waiting for you.

You looked sure on the interview and did your best to give details of your achievements. But alas, you are denied.

You got the official version of a negative decision on your candidacy, but the real reason has remained a mystery.

This article is not about formal grounds (age, appearance, lack of the necessary experience and / or competences, bad recommendations and so on). It’s about the reasons which can often become the basis for a negative decision on the candidate, but not always are voiced by employer.


In this article you will find information about:

  1. The requirements of employers to the personal qualities of applicants.
  2. The informal reasons for refusal of the applicant.
  3. How to choose a suitable employer.

I work in HR for more than eight years. During this time, I had to select candidates for companies with different corporate culture. I’d note that the selection of a right person has always been a key objective.

What does “the right person” mean?

This is a candidate who meets the stated requirements for the vacancy and has the necessary personal qualities. Expectations of the employer directly depend on the corporate culture in the company, values and philosophy, as well as the approach of the leader.

The company’s values are a set of principles, norms and traditions influencing the behavior of the employee. The values should always be maintained and shown by the first person, otherwise they would be only described in the policy paper. The company’s values, shared by a majority of employees, determine the profile of the candidate.

So, let’s try to understand what qualities are most often required by employers and why you may not be employed.

The requirement for candidate Employee’s  Behavior Reason for rejection 
Focus on results Gives examples of his or her achievements in the previous company with his or her obvious contribution. In case of failure makes conclusions and searches for new solutions Can’t give examples of successes and failures, doesn’t make analysis of the results
Leadership Talks about personal actions and results. Gives examples of successfully implemented initiatives and projects In the most examples uses the pronoun “we”, gives no examples of implemented initiatives
Teamwork Gives examples of cross-functional interaction in the company, the involvement of other employees in projects In the resolving of work problems uses pressure, cannot argue his or her proposals
Stress tolerance In complicated situations, looks for new solutions, ready for changes There are examples of conflict situations on his own initiative, in the case of stressful situations is not able to make quick decisions
Willingness to do more Gives examples of initiatives to improve the processes in the company not related with core activities Ready to perform tasks only within the job description
Striving for development Gives examples of self-training, development within the company on own initiative Doesn’t take an active position in relation to own development
Motivation Tasks and role in the company are important for the candidate Doesn’t understand what he wants to do. Interested only in the income and comfortable workplace
Responsibility and honesty Is the initiator of the tasks, able to manage working time, aspires to independence. Gives detailed answers Can’t give examples from his or her experience, provides information that does not coincide with the CV

Very often, answering to the candidates, it is difficult to communicate the reasons for refusal, as they lie in the plane of corporate values. A person that doesn’t share the values of the organization can’t be effective, because his or her behavior did not initially meet the expectations of the company.

Is it possible to change behavioral characteristics if you do want to work for a company? My professionals answer is “no”. Your behavior is not a bad habit or overweight, from which you can get rid of with a strong motivation. Do not try to be who you aren’t, as in this case you will not be happy and will not reach the result.

How to find a right employer

5 Life hacks to find a suitable employer for you:

  1. Make a list of tasks that you are interested in and that you enjoy, in what you are effective, and a list of the tasks that you want to minimize or eliminate in your future role.
  2. Make a list of formal and informal requirements for the employer. Prioritize them.
  3. Estimate yourself: highlight your strengths and areas of growth.
  4. Considering vacancy read the core values of the company (the information on the main website of the company).
  5. Pass the interview and get the job of your dream!

Following these rules, you will be able to focus on proposals that meet your expectations, and to express yourself in an interview at your best. Remember that there are no bad employees, there are only people not on their places!


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