Why Candidates Fail to Get the Job
Published on February 20, 2022

A lot of the work that AMRS does includes interviewing candidates on behalf of a client’s request to fill a vacant or new position. Over the years, we have found some of the following reasons to be common in candidates who fail to reach the next stage and get the job.

CV Exaggeration

We all like to place ourselves higher than where we really are in an attempt to stun our audience. This is a big no-no, especially on your CV. Don’t list skills or experience that you don’t have because the interviewer is trained to assess you on specific skills, competencies, and experience. As much as you want to advertise yourself as the best choice, be sure that you can always back up your statements with evidence.

Lack of Enthusiasm and Confidence

Before an interview, hype yourself up and get your energy levels high. As much as an interview can be scary, you must remember that it’s an exciting opportunity for you to market yourself and share your story with someone else. Show that you are interested in the job and excited about speaking to the interviewer and that you are confident and competent.

Wrong Attitude

Often we look for jobs that will do something for our personal gain; whether it’s a higher salary or an environment where you feel like you can shine. During an interview, the employer doesn’t want to know what they can do for you. They’re looking to fill a space and find a solution. Make sure that you always highlight what you will bring to the table and how YOU will contribute to the success of the company.

Not Highlighting Your Strengths

An interview is not the right time or place to be shy and hold back. During the interview, focus on highlighting your strengths and achievements and value. Since this is an opportunity for you to market yourself, make sure that you mention all the things that make you the right choice for the company hiring.

Not Establishing a Connection

As much as you want to focus on telling the interviewer about yourself, don’t forget that you are participating in a human and social experience. Try not to turn the interview into a solo performance. Engage with the interviewer as a person, not a test. Establishing a connection gives the interviewer more insight into your social and interpersonal skills which is important for any role.

Poor Company Awareness

You charm the employer when you can show them that you understand their business and the needs that they have. Do your research on the company that you are applying to and learn what the company has, wants, and needs and how your role will contribute to its vision and mission.

In addition to the above points, here are some more tips that can help you succeed in your next interview:

Prepare and Practice: Before the interview, research the company, the position, and the industry. Prepare answers to common interview questions and practice with a friend or family member. 

Be on Time: Arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time. This shows that you are reliable and punctual.

Be Attentive and Listen Carefully: Pay attention to the interviewer’s questions and answer them to the best of your ability. Listen carefully and ask questions if you need clarification. 

Be Positive: Show enthusiasm and a positive attitude throughout the interview. Avoid criticizing previous employers or coworkers, 

Follow up: After the interview, send a thank you email or note to the interviewer. This shows that you appreciate their time and are interested in the position. 

Remember that an interview is not only an opportunity for the company to evaluate you but also for you to evaluate the company and the position. Ask questions that show your interest in the company and the role. Good luck with your next interview!


Hazel is a compassionate and creative change-maker who holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science from the University of the Witwatersrand. Currently, she works as a Project Administrator, Creative Advisor, and Workshop Facilitator in the Consultancy wing of AMRS. With her expertise in Change Management, Customer Experience Training, and Performance Management Systems, she implements sustainable solutions in both developmental and corporate settings.


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