Is It Okay to Ask Why You Didn’t Get the Job?

Is It Okay to Ask Why You Didn't Get the Job?
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You’ve applied for a new position at a company but haven’t heard anything back. What should you do next? Should you send another email or call them? Or maybe you shouldn’t bother calling after all?

When you apply for a job, you want to show off your skills and experience. If you don’t hear from the employer within a reasonable time, you may wonder whether they liked your application.

You can do some things to improve your chances of landing a job. For example, you might consider sending a follow-up message to the hiring manager, asking if he or she has had a chance to review your resume.

If you’re still waiting on a response, it’s okay to ask why. Here’s what you need to know about asking why you didn’t get the job.

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What Are Some Reasons People Don’t Get Jobs?

The most common reason people don’t get jobs is that their resumes aren’t good enough. But there are other reasons too.

1. They Were Overqualified

Sometimes employers will reject applicants because they feel they have more than one candidate who is better qualified. This could happen when an applicant applies for several positions with a single employer, so the employer needs to choose between them.

2. The Applicant Wasn’t Credible

An employer may not be interested in someone who doesn’t seem like a reliable person. For example, if an applicant comes across as overly aggressive or intimidating, this could make him or her less attractive to potential employers.

3. The Application Went Unnoticed

Sometimes applications go unnoticed by the people reviewing them. In these cases, the applicant may never even receive a rejection letter.

4. The Company Just Had Too Many Applications

Some companies have too many applications to process. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll probably have to wait until the next round of hiring.

5. The Position Was Already Filled

Some positions are filled before they are advertised. If you’re applying for a already filled job, you won’t stand much of a chance.

6. Your Resume Wasn’t Read

It sometimes happens that an HR representative skims through your resume without actually reading it. If you think this happened to you, don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong with being rejected based on an incomplete resume review.

7. The Interview Process Was Difficult

Sometimes interviews are difficult to schedule. If you were unable to interview for a particular job opening, you may not stand any chance of getting hired.

8. The Interviewers Took Time Off

Sometimes interviewing takes longer than expected. When this happens, it may mean that the interviewer isn’t available right now.

9. You Were Late

Even though you arrived early for the interview, the interviewer may have left earlier than expected. If this happens, you may be out of luck.

10. You Were Not Honest During the Interview

This is something that’s hard to avoid. However, if you did lie during the interview, you should expect to be fired.

How to Ask Why You Didn’t Get the Job

Asking “why” is perfectly acceptable. However, if you want to sound polite and professional, here are some ways to phrase your question:

  1. “I’m sorry I wasn’t selected for the position.” You might add “but I am very excited about working at “.
  2. “Why haven’t I heard back from you?” You might also say “Please let me know if I can do anything else to help you select my best possible match”.
  3. “Could you please tell me why I wasn’t chosen for the position?” If you use this approach, you might want to include a few examples of what makes you a great fit for the company.
  4. “Can you explain to me how I didn’t get the job?” If you ask this question, you may need to be prepared to hear that there is no logical reason.
  5. “I would really appreciate knowing why I didn’t get the position.” In addition to asking questions directly, you can also look online for answers. Some websites offer career advice and tips for job seekers. These sites often contain information about common mistakes made by job hunters.
  6. “What could I do better to improve my chances of being selected for the position?” This is a good way to show interest in the company without sounding needy or desperate.
  7. “Did I miss something important in my application materials?” You can always check the job description and cover letter again to make sure everything is correct.
  8. “Would it be okay if I asked someone who worked in the department to give me feedback about my application materials?” This will help you find out whether you missed anything important.

When to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection

If you’re looking for feedback after a rejection, you’ll need to decide when to ask for it. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Don’t ask immediately. Give yourself time to process the news.
  2. Wait until you’ve had time to reflect on the situation.
  3. Avoid asking too soon.
  4. Make sure you’re ready to take action before contacting the hiring manager.
  5. Do not ask for feedback more than once per week.
  6. Be careful not to over-analyze the situation.
  7. Remember that most companies don’t mind giving honest feedback.
  8. Never ask management to intervene on your behalf.
  9. Keep an open mind.
  10. Always thank the person who gave you feedback.
  11. Thank them again if they were helpful.
  12. When you feel like you can handle the feedback, thank the person again and ask for their input.

What to do if you don’t get the job?

If you didn’t receive an offer, you have two options: wait or keep searching.


It’s completely up to you whether or not you choose to wait to see if another opportunity comes. If you want to pursue other opportunities while waiting for a new job, go ahead. Just remember to be patient.

Keep Searching

On the other hand, you might want to continue your search even though you didn’t get the first job you applied for. This is called’searching on’ instead of ‘waiting’. The pros and cons of each option are listed below.

Pros of Waiting

  • You’ll have more time to prepare for future interviews.
  • You’ll probably have more time to research the employer.
  • You won’t lose any momentum.

Cons of Waiting

  • Your resume might become stale.
  • You might not know what else to apply for.
  • You might lose focus.

Pros of Searching On

  • You’ll learn from your current experience.
  • You’ll build confidence in your ability to land a job.
  • You’ll get additional practice interviewing.

Cons of Searching On

  • You may not find another job right away.
  • You might get discouraged.
  • You might not get as much training as you’d like.

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It is perfectly fine to ask why you didn’t receive an offer for a new job. Try to accept the fact that the outcome is likely fixed regardless of what you do.

For instance, if you submitted an application for a position at a major company but heard nothing back, there could be a number of causes. Maybe your application was overlooked because the person tasked with reviewing it never got your resume, or vice versa.

In any case, you’ll have to accept the fact that you didn’t land the job. And now that you’ve learned how to ask why you didn’t get the job, you’ll be ready to move on and find a better opportunity.

The success of your job search will depend heavily on the quality of your resume. That calls for a flawless execution! Don’t worry, though; our site is loaded with advice that will help you craft an outstanding resume.

Our professional resume writers can help you craft a document that will catch the attention of hiring managers. So go ahead and check out our services today!

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