Doh! Guess why you were not selected?

It’s always about winning isn’t it? … but winning isn’t easy. I have 8 reasons that just might explain why you weren’t selected for the job.


Do you occasionally remember those days when you were growing up?


Remember those times when you were playing cricket or soccer or footie with the mates or neighbours. It was the same scenario each time. Two people were selected to pick teams.


You always knew the person that was going to be selected first and typically the person that would be selected last. If I was asked to do the selecting I remember that I always looked for the most athletic, most capable player to pick first. I always wanted the biggest and strongest people on my team. The poor guy who hadn’t hit puberty was usually the one that was picked last.


It was pretty simple when we were kids. In sports, no one cared if you were the smartest guy, and we certainly didn’t really care if you had the the best personality. You also didn’t have to be best friends with any of the guys in my team. I just wanted you if I knew you could play well. The rest was irrelevant. The whole selection ritual was about one thing. It was about winning.


Things have changed, haven’t they? Picking your team for work is definitely more complicated and difficult than selecting your childhood pick-up sports teams. Those that are typically engaged to help, the Hiring Managers or recruiters, have a bit more on their hands. The face of recruiting and hiring constantly changes. Recruiters don’t look for pure strength (or the best skill set) anymore and they certainly couldn’t care less if you were the favourite guy at Uni or High School.


These recruiters are looking for something much more… I know what you might be thinking now and I would not be surprised if I get a number of emails again with complaints about hiring rookies or black sheep recruiters. But, this blog is not about them. This blog post is about you!


You may think you have it all. You have the skill set, you also have the education, and you have worked at some really cool companies. So, why the heck where you not selected? I am going to give you a few simple and possible reasons. For those of you who read my blog posts, you know I am not one to beat around the bush.  I pretty much say it like it is, because I was taught that what you think is what you should say and what you say is what you should do and what you do is what you should be.  I guess you know what I mean.  I believe honesty is the only way you can improve and that’s why I like to say things the way they are.


I want to see you succeed. So, here it is. Maybe, just maybe:


  1. You are a bit overconfident
  2. You don’t show much enthusiasm
  3. You are inflexible with hours, remote work, or relocating
  4. You are a bit set in your ways
  5. You are asking for or you want too much OR too little money (yes, it is possible to shoot yourself in the foot on this)
  6. You come across like you wouldn’t mesh well with the team
  7. You lack confidence
  8. Your ex-co-workers and/or referees don’t have much of the good stuff to say about you


You see what I am talking about? – I am talking about the intangibles. So next time you go on an interview you have to realise that just having the skills and experience is NOT ENOUGH anymore. You really need to be a good fit with the organisation.


Are you sick of the word “culture” yet?  Well, it’s getting worse. If you don’t live behind a rock, you will have noticed that more and more of the successful businesses value culture over strategy, knowledge, experience and all the other ‘sometimes’ overrated rest. It really does not matter if you have tonnes of it. If you don’t fit the culture you are likely to lose out.


Culture is a huge part of it! People want to work with people that they will get along with and that will fit in well with the dynamics of the company.


When you go into an interview, be prepared. Know everything there is to know about the company, the position, and the key decision makers. You also have to go to the interview with a big smile, shined shoes, and a genuine and fantastic attitude.


If you do these things, and if you embrace the intangibles, you are definitely improving your chances to be selected for the team.


Oh, and one more thing. Please don’t compromise yourself. Don’t tell them what you think they want to hear just to get the job. If it isn’t the right fit for YOU, then you shouldn’t take the job anyway. YOU SHOULD BE interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you! You know what I keep saying – so good luck and hunt wisely!