Top 5 Reasons People Fail Their Interviews

We spoke to our employers to find out the main reasons why people fail their interviews

As a digital recruitment platform, we think we know a thing or two about getting people hired.

DigitalGrads sits between employers and candidates, so we hear complaints from both sides.

Candidates will usually complain that employers don’t give them feedback after an interview or application – that is unfair, we agree with you.

But employers have their complaints about you, too.

We asked our clients, the people that employ graduates through us, for the top 5 reasons why people fail their interviews.

Employers reject people for all sorts of reasons, but we think it all comes down to professionalism.

1 – Maturity

“Often candidates come across as immature, like they are still at uni – they just aren’t ‘on it’ enough.”

This one comes down to confidence and experience.

You have to realise that this is your time to step up and shine in the workplace.

You’re an adult now and the people interviewing you want to employ someone that looks, talks and acts like one.

The best way to do this is to be confident. Don’t be scared of employers or see them as an authority figure – they could be your colleague soon. Try to talk to your interviewer like a friend – remember that an interview is just a conversation you have while wearing a suit.

Our blog on business etiquette is also a great place to learn more about coming across fantastically in interviews.

2 – Passion

“We want candidates to be passionate and determined – they should convince us of this in the interview.”

We hear this one a lot.

The interview is your opportunity to convince your employer that you’ve got what it takes. So, be prepared to do that.

Take examples of your work to really show your skills – it’s an old trick, but a physical example is so much more persuasive than a digital one.

Employers are looking for enthusiasm, determination and passion, so be bold and eager. Convince them that you’ve got what it takes and that you’re ready to learn more.

3 – Work ethic

“Generally young people have no idea about work ethic. They come out of uni not knowing that they have to show up on time or do something they say they will do.”

This one might hit close to home, but it’s a complaint we hear a lot.

When you commit to something you have to follow through – it’s just not okay to let people down. This is part of being an adult.

This is so important in the workplace.

In your interview you need to prove that you’ve done enough research to know what you’re signing up for. Some people commit to a new job and end up leaving within weeks – employers hate that.

They’re looking for initiative, proactivity and motivation – prove this, and they will know that you have a fantastic work ethic.

4 – Burning bridges

“Candidates who don’t turn up to my assessment days don’t realise how much they mess up the whole day for everyone else. Every interview slot is booked. Lots of people’s time has been booked. If a candidate doesn’t turn up, they are on my black list forever. It’s a shame for them, as they never know when they are going to meet you again. I’ve rejected applicants later in their career at a different company because I recognised them as a drop out from a previous assessment day”

You might think this is a hard line for an employer to take, but just imagine someone wasting your time like this.

By not turning up, you prove to employers that you just don’t care. You waste company time and money, and burn all the bridges that could have set you up for an excellent career.

Employers want to interview you, they want you to get the job. They are on your side, until you mess them around.

5 – Unreliability

“It took us 8 weeks to recruit a role because candidates kept dropping out of the interview process or not turning up. We almost gave up until we found DigitalGrads.”

On a similar note, just dropping out of the recruitment process is really flaky.

It looks bad on you, it looks bad on us and it looks bad on the recruiter organising your interview.

The best thing you can do if something goes wrong before an interview is communicate.

You won’t fail your interview if people find out in advance that you can’t make it or you’re running late. Make sure you get in contact with everyone involved as soon as you can and they will understand.

People fail interviews for all kinds of reasons, but we’re here to help you succeed. For more handy interview advice, check out our free Remote Work and Interview Training.