The hiring process can be and often is an intensive process. In recent years, the selection process for many organizations has grown to include a variety of methods used to assess candidates such as customized application forms, take-home tests, personality tests, and so forth. This of course has made the selection process more competitive for candidates.

For candidates who get to make it to the shortlisted stage, the hope is always that they will get hired, and for some, this ends up being the case. However, when one finds themselves being in the shortlist for different organizations several times and never getting hired, it’s fair to wonder what might be the cause of that. If you have experienced that, below are four reasons that explain why that may be happening to you.

1. Strong candidate pool – This is the most obvious reason. Different criteria set by the hiring team determine who the best candidate is; how they conducted themselves throughout the selection process, how clear and concise a candidate communicated, whether they connect to the vision of the organization, and so forth. Consistency in all of this matters because the hiring team uses all the stages of the selection process to make an informed decision. A candidate may have appeared great in the first two interviews, but showcase blindspots in the last interview or interaction with organization team members that the hiring team may not overlook, such as how their communication style to team members does not align to the culture of the organization, as will be discussed in point three below.

2. References done were not as optimistic as the candidate – Usually the last stage in the selection process, sometimes the referees you provided might provide the hiring manager with details that raise concerns about your candidature. At this point, the hiring team has to weigh your application against other candidates into consideration. Such concern may not necessarily be dramatic such as past conflict or poor performance. It could easily be something like a candidate needing a lot of supervision, and in a role where one may be required to work autonomously, this may be a problem and therefore, your chances of getting hired may reduce depending on how the cons in the reference checks weigh against the pros.

3. Incompatibility in culture fit – Many organizations hold this criteria in high regard because it determines how well a candidate may fit within the organization, how they will interact with the rest of the team(s), and how committed they are to the achieving the goals of the organization. Depending on; the managerial style you prefer, whether or not you prefer too much structure or can navigate little to no structure, results of your psychometric test if any, the kind of questions you ask, etc, the hiring team is able to establish whether or not you’re able to succeed in their current set up.

4. It has nothing to do with you – Yes this is also true a lot of the times! Sometimes, things such as the salary budget being allocated elsewhere, withdrawal of huge funds or sudden loss of revenue, your potential immediate supervisor resigning thus you not having anyone to guide you through the new role among other internal changes. Certain organizations may be transparent with you and inform you that they suddenly lost revenue/funding, or that they are undergoing/underwent a restructuring that eliminated the role. In conclusion, sometimes, it absolutely has nothing to do with you, and it does not take away from your qualifications and fit for the role. And while it’s not easy to believe that this may be the case, always live room for the possibility that it was not your fault that you were disqualified. This will allow you to approach other opportunities confidently and with optimism.

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