Great Interview! So Why No Internship or Job Offer?

  1. You did not follow up after the interview. When I ask job candidates why they didn’t follow up, answers include, “I didn’t know how or when to follow up.” Following up is critical, and shows that you care. If you did not follow up, the employer might have questioned your level of interest in the job and/or the company. When I say follow-up, I am talking about a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview, and a final email about two weeks later (if there is no contact from the employer) expressing continued enthusiasm and interest in the company and the position. Please note that many interviewers will not appreciate a follow-up phone call during business hours, although a follow-up voice mail after business hours is acceptable if you have little confidence in your writing ability.
  2. There was a more attractive candidate — maybe someone who may not have been as talented as you, but was better able to sell himself, or came highly recommended (a good possibility).
  3. You did not have excellent chemistry with the interviewer. If you are interviewing with the hiring manager, chemistry is often the deciding factor between candidates. In fact, a lesser qualified candidate who establishes chemistry will usually get the job offer over a better qualified candidate. Be sure to show your personality! Many international students act like robots out of nervousness or remain quiet out of respect for the interviewer’s age or position.
  4. Someone who did not meet with you made the final decision.
  5. You said something on the way out that was a turn-off to the interviewer. Don’t let your guard down for a second until after you leave the building.
  6. At least one of your references did not give you a strong recommendation. You can avoid this by carefully selecting your references, and by coaching them before they are contacted, “Steven, I just had an interview with Steinfeld Industries. They were particularly interested in my analytical skills. If you could focus on my skills in this area when they contact you, I think it would be very helpful.”
  7. Social Media gave negative information about you or did not match with what you said on your resume or at your interview.
  8. You did not show enough enthusiasm for the company and the job.
  9. You are an international student who made an issue out of your visa status when discussing long term interest in the company. Do not mention your visa status unless asked. When asked, have a good answer and be able to explain the visa process.

For the best interview answers to common questions, and for hundreds of job search strategies, answers, examples and tips, please check out 3 Steps to Your Job in the USA – International Student Edition (Amazon, Kindle, iBooks) or 3 Steps to Your Best Job Ever! (Amazon, Kindle).


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Steven Steinfeld

Steven is the owner of Steinfeld Coaching. He is an acclaimed career and job search author, speaker and coach to professionals, including new grads (3 Steps to Your Best Job Ever – 2nd Edition) and international students (3 Steps to Your Job in the USA - Go from F-1 to H-1B). His seminars and workshops are sponsored by more than a dozen colleges and universities, as well as many career services organizations. He also currently provides one-to-one career and job search coaching to the Fast-Trak and Executive MBA students at Northern Illinois University and the international students at InternshipDesk.