Sent your resume, maybe got the chance to pass a first interview and nothing… Just a cold email from the hiring manager thanking you for your time but unfortunately the decision was taken not to pursue the process with you. Truth is I can’t tell you exactly why you didn’t get the job BUT you might want to check if you neglected some of the following details during the recruiting process – it could totally justify why recruiters decided not to go further with you.


1. Spelling mistakes, wrong data information, informal tone, missing attached documents

I’m sure you’ve heard it thousands of times but once again it is paramount that all application and emails are professional! “Cola-Cola is a compny I would love to join”, old phone number instead of the new one, “hey there” to start an email, no resume attached, are all examples of someone seriously lacking attention to detail and who recruiters don’t want to hire as the new face of their company – take time to proof read all documents and emails you send and don’t hesitate to ask a trustful person to check it for you if it’s not in your native language.



2. You didn’t use the ‘reply all’ button

It’s by far one of the most annoying things you can ever do to a recruiter – if they took the time to copy someone in the email you received, it must be for a good reason. So please make sure you always pick the ‘reply all’ button – it will certainly show you understand how effective communication works.



3. You took days to answer an email or return a phone call

Come on guys, if you are looking for a job, you should be raring to go for it! You should monitor your emails daily (hopefully 2 or 3 times a day at least) and answer within a few hours – I’m sure you want the recruiter to sense how motivated you are.



4. You arrived late to the interview…

This should never even happen! Always plan to arrive way ahead of time at the hiring company office. Note: a one hour margin is essential so that even if something unexpected happens, you can take a cab and make it on time to the interview.

(If you have a Skype interview, follow this check list to ensure you’ve prepared it well)



5. … or way too early

I mean, of course you should arrive way before the interview but you also want to let the hiring manager prepare and not be pressured by you waiting in the hall. Just wait in a coffee shop nearby, review your notes, refresh yourself and show up 5 – 10 minutes before the scheduled time.



6. Your dress code wasn’t appropriate

We never say it enough I guess so here we go again: yes you should dress up for an interview – this is the first impression you will give the recruiter and believe me you don’t want it to be wrong. So guys, a suit is a must (if you’re applying to a startup, feel free to skip the tie) and for girls, be elegant and professional – avoid showing too much skin and no messy hair or makeup allowed. Try to check the company culture online to assess what would be suited for the company and remember it’s always better to be on the formal side



7. Your phone wasn’t turned off

Back to basics here: your phone must be on silent mode (if not turned off completely) – and not on the table please! Interviews are made for the recruiter and candidate to connect so any distraction must be avoided.



8. No printed CV brought

This one might not be that essential but it’s definitely a nice gesture as it shows you’re empathetic with the hiring manager and you prepared the interview.



9. You didn’t take notes during the interview

You will observe that a recruiter always takes notes about the candidates they meet and as an interview is a two-way seduction process, you also want to demonstrate your interest in the position. Taking notes is an easy way to do this, not to mention it will help you best prepare for the next rounds of the recruiting process.



10. Your body language was negative

A limp handshake, no eye contact, no smile, hands under the table, crossed legs, are all manifestations of a closed mindset and not of someone who is ready to share and receive. Remember that the majority of communication is non-verbal so make sure to relax and shake your body before the interview and be ready to fully engage yourself, showing an acute awareness.



11. You talked about salary, holidays or working hours during the first interview

These topics, as important as they can be for you, are just logistics. You can’t ask for it until you know that you and the company are mutually interested in working together, otherwise you will look demanding and kind of superficial. You should instead focus on the company’s missions, strategy, and culture to enhance the interview and show you are applying for the right reasons – not for the big compensation or the 5-week holidays.



12. You talked very badly about your previous employer or blamed colleagues for failures

A good professional always turns things around so they look positive, meaning that even if some experiences weren’t that good, you focus on what you learned from them and how they’ve shaped your next career goals. Never ever blame others for poor performance or even failures.  Take responsibility for it instead.



13. You clearly didn’t prepare for the whole recruiting process

Imagine a date where you call the girl Jennifer instead of Pauline… She won’t be happy at all and I guess you won’t hear much more from her. Same goes for the company – spelling names correctly is essential. Your profile introduction should be well prepared with a good storytelling, a real script (don’t sound like a robot though) and clear insights about your previous missions and achievements.


You should also prepare some questions about the company, its culture, and the next steps of the recruiting process. It will demonstrate that you can assert yourself and are really looking forward to what’s next, making sure you’re fully prepared for it.



14. No thank you email sent

It’s a classic but no matter the company you are applying to, a nice thank-you (same as before) email received after the interview will always make the best impression. It’s also a nice way to send further information about your profile, portfolio or previous experiences. We recommend you to send it the day after so it’s not too pushy and yet still early enough to be relevant as a thank-you note.



A recruiting process is the part where you’re supposed to show the best of you, meaning somehow perfection is expected. From the very first contact you have with hiring companies, ensure you make a good impression in every interaction. Details are almost the only way for you to stand out in such a competitive job market and eventually get hired.


Last but not least, experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes: first impressions definitely matter.



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