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Reasons why job seekers are not invited to interviews

Why is it unpleasant when not invited for an interview

The situation when an applicant sends a resume for a vacancy, being sure that he will be invited, and the employer is “silent”, causes discomfort with its uncertainty, so the applicant tries to find the reason why the employer does not look at the response or looks many times, but does not invite to interviews and does not even call.

Unfortunately, there are so many possible reasons why an employer can ignore a job application that there are almost no chances to figure out which of them led to “absentee refusal”, especially since some of the reasons for the employer’s “silence” are has nothing to do with the applicant applying for the vacant position.

I will list the reasons known to me, I will be grateful to my colleagues if they add to my list in the comments.

The vacant position is already taken

A candidate for a vacant position has already been selected and should start working, but the vacancy is not removed from publication. This happens when the employer insures itself against the fact that the new employee will not come to work, and the search will have to continue. Unfortunately, there are situations when the applicant is interested in receiving an offer only to “squeeze out” favorable conditions from the old employer and continue working. Some employers stop posting a vacancy only when they are confident that the new employee will successfully pass the probationary period.

The position has not yet become vacant

The employee has not yet been fired, but they are looking for a replacement. The manager is dissatisfied with his work, but the decision on dismissal has not been made, or the employee himself is looking for a new job, and the employer wants to start searching in advance. In any case, the position is occupied, the date when it will be vacant has not been determined, but the vacancy is already being published. The recruiter will not invite applicants if there is no deadline for closing the vacancy.

The employer “changed his mind” to hire an employee

It happens that responses to a published vacancy remain unanswered when the employer’s plans have changed and the vacancy is no longer relevant. The employee changed his mind about quitting, the opening of the branch was postponed to the next year, the reorganization of the service was canceled, the valuable employee was persuaded to stay because during the search period they did not see a single worthy candidate, the employee who went under threat of replacement “corrected himself”, the budget was cut, and new positions were not introduced, the head who ordered the search was fired – there are many reasons why a vacancy may become irrelevant.

The vacancy is “off”

Sometimes positions can be vacant for years. If it is not a salesperson or a driver, whose absence from the workplace is critical for the business, the search for an employee who can be dispensed with can take a very long time. A manager who does not really need an employee can consider the candidates presented to him for weeks and months, the recruiter also sluggishly invites applicants for interviews. Or does not invite, if he knows that the decision will be delayed indefinitely, especially if the manager does not have the desire to make it. Sometimes a manager is not even interested in hiring an employee – it is more profitable for him to divide the salary provided for a vacant position between those who “overwork”. It happens that a vacancy “dissolves” – the employee is not hired, the search is stopped. This happens when the search seems to be underway, but the employer has not fully decided which employee he needs and whether he needs it at all.

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The vacancy is published “just in case”

Often, high staff turnover does not allow predicting when a position will become vacant. The situation is also unpredictable with the invitation to interview applicants. If the position is occupied – the responses may not even be seen, if it is free – work is underway to “close” the vacancy. Over time, this approach discredits the employer in the labor market, but this does not prevent some companies from practicing this method of recruiting.

Requirements for applicants do not meet the requirements specified in the job description

It happens that the requirements for the knowledge, skills, and experience of applicants in the description of a vacant position do not correspond at all to the requirements for “weeding out” applicants, so the applicant cannot know that he does not meet the employer’s requirements, although he is sure of the opposite. The job description in the publication on the site may differ from the “real” one for a variety of reasons – from the employer’s desire to get the maximum number of responses, without holding back applicants with strict requirements, to conducting a hidden search in such a way that the job description makes it impossible to guess which company and for what position he is looking for an employee.

Long-term consideration of candidates

Sometimes the procedure for considering candidates, especially one that includes several interviews and tests, is so delayed that the recruiter does not invite anyone because he is waiting for the results of consideration of already submitted candidates. Indeed – why lengthen the deadline for the recruitment work – we have to wait until the managers/customers decide on the first pool of candidates submitted for consideration. To “launch” new applicants into this long cycle is to further “stretch the pleasure” from such a burdensome job. A recruiter is also a person, he doesn’t want it.

Waiting for a response from the “super seeker”

It happens that the employer’s expectations are so high that “live” job seekers seem to him unworthy of his “supervacancy”. Therefore, the responses remain unanswered. Of course, someday you will have to part with the dream of a “superseeker” and hire someone, but for some time the vacancy will be published, while applicants will not be invited to interviews.

Loss in comparison

There are no two applicants whose knowledge, skills and experience would be absolutely equal. Full compliance with the requirements stated by the employer does not mean that all applicants will be worthy of an invitation to interview. By comparison, the “best” will be selected, and the applicants will never know about many of the criteria used for comparison.

Limiting the number of candidates presented to the manager/customer

As a rule, the manager/customer expects that he will spend time choosing from a limited number of applicants. If there are five candidates, there won’t be enough room for someone. Even if the applicant meets the requirements and is not significantly inferior to his competitors in the labor market, he may not be among those selected to participate in the competition.

End of the competition

It may turn out that the applicant sent a resume when the employer is already preparing to decide on negotiations with other applicants. It is possible that he is not ready to consider new candidates. The recruiter is not interested in revising the results of the competition, especially when the manager/customer is already ready to accept his work.

Strict adherence to the requirements for applicants in the job description.

An applicant who does not have two years of experience in wholesale cucumber sales runs the risk of being eliminated if this requirement is specified in the job description. And the fact that he sold potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini for three years will not increase his chances of getting the position he is looking for. Also, there will be no chance for someone who sold wholesale cucumbers, but not for two years, but only one and a half years. Applicants may have to wait until everyone who wants to fill this vacancy sends their resume, and among them, there will not be those who fully meet the stated requirements. Then, perhaps, the employer will revise the requirements or continue to search for someone who will 100% meet the stated requirements.

“Wrong” gender, age, nationality and place of registration

The law prohibits an employer from declaring his preferences regarding the age, gender, nationality, or place of residence of prospective employees when posting a vacancy. Therefore, you will not see illegal requirements in the job description, but it will not hurt not to invite applicants who do not meet the unspoken requirements for interviews.

“Wrong” marital status

The presence or absence of a family/children, depending on the gender of the applicant, may unpredictably affect the decision to invite the applicant. Having a family/children can either endow a job seeker in the eyes of a recruiter with such qualities as responsibility and a desire to provide a stable income or carries the potential risks of long “children’s” sick leave and the inability to work overtime. The lack of a family for applicants aged 35-45 can also be interpreted ambiguously – either as a factor that a potential employee is focused on work and career and therefore will be successful or as the fact that the disorder in his personal life can negatively affect work and relationships with colleagues. It is clear that this is speculation, but they influence the decision to invite/not invite for an interview.

Frequent job changes

Also, it is often interpreted not in favor of the applicant. If the applicant has changed his place of work every 3-6 months over the past 10 years, then the reason to suspect him of a “flyer”, otherwise everything depends on what the person who considers the resume considers a frequent change of work. For some, often – once every 3 years, for someone once a year and a half is not a crime.

Incomplete education

The applicant may be invited for an interview, because he is promising, wants to gain experience, and his requests are lower than those of an experienced employee, and may not be invited if his absence from work during the training session and the likely priority of education overwork will be regarded as disadvantages overlapping the previously listed advantages. The future specialty may also matter – it is unlikely that an applicant who is studying to be a lawyer or financier will be seen as a promising sales manager. But sometimes it doesn’t matter – for example, if the average term of employment of a sales manager in the company is significantly less than the time remaining for the applicant until graduation.

Entrepreneurial Experience

Employers do not like to see the words “freelancer”, “entrepreneur”, “own business”, “founder”, etc. in the resume of applicants. It is believed that an employee who worked for himself is then not able to work for hire, obeying the regime and the requirements of the employer, he will always strive to return to “free bread”. This is not a factual stereotype, but it influences the decision to invite a candidate for an interview.

The title of the resume contains several positions that differ in status and/or specialization

If the title of the resume lists the positions “head of the sales department, sales manager”, it is logical to assume that the applicant who has agreed to work as a manager will not stop looking for a job as a manager, which implies both status and salary higher than that of an ordinary employee. Recruiters can follow this logic by not inviting the applicant for an interview. The “multidirectional” search for an applicant, even if he did not indicate several positions in his resume, can be issued by, making a note under the resume that the applicant has more than one.

Job Seekers | Labour market information for Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford counties.


The reasons why a job seeker who is better than the one required to work in a vacant position is ready to apply for it can be very different. Nevertheless, in most cases, the recruiter assumes that the applicant is looking for temporary work because with his qualifications he will always strive to find another – more interesting and more difficult. And therefore may not be invited. Managers/customers are also not always ready to hire an overqualified employee – there is a risk of discovering their own incompetence and, by their own decision, create an unwanted “talent pool” for themselves.

The applicant lives far away

Of course, we can assume that the applicant carefully read the job description before applying for it, and appreciated how much time he will spend on the road. But experienced recruiters know that this is often not the case at all, so to save time, they avoid inviting applicants for interviews who live at a significant distance from their future place of work. The motive is, in general, logical – most people are interested in working closer to home. Of course, for some, the value of the job outweighs the time it takes to get to the job, but when compared to other job seekers, the “distant” will lose by default.

Missing cover letter

Yes, some recruiters have such a thing. A heartfelt declaration of love for the future employer must be attached to the resume. It’s good that not all recruiting specialists are ill with this, but the applicant should play it safe and drop a few lines at least according to the pattern.

Bad photo

Experienced recruiters are calm about a photo and can easily determine what its owner looks like without retouching, but nothing human is alien to them – a clear abuse of Photoshop or an inappropriate photo may well .irritate

Posts and photos on social networks

Recruiters don’t have much time to study jobseekers’ social media profiles. If they are interested, then most when it comes to hiring highly paid specialists and managers. It is worth remembering that information found on a social media page can easily spoil the image of the ideal job seeker, which was created with the help of a carefully crafted resume.

Incorrect horoscope sign

Alas, it happens. Astrology has not proved its worth as a predictive tool for hundreds of years, but this does not prevent some employers from selecting applicants by date of birth.

Inconsistency between the “market value” of the applicant and the employer’s salary offer

It is not difficult to assess the “value” of an applicant, that is, the amount of wages he can apply for, taking into account the offers available on the labor market. If the recruiter assumes that the job seeker, given his experience and qualifications, is clearly not “affordable” by the hiring company, the invitation for an interview will not be received.

Errors in resume

Spelling, syntactic, speech, stylistic. There are positions for which the presence of errors in the text of the resume automatically deprives the applicant of the chance to receive an invitation. Sometimes the presence/absence of errors in the summary text is a correspondence test. If you make mistakes while executing it, you may not wait for the invitation.

Inattention of the recruiter

It happens that it is not easy to establish whether the applicant meets the requirements of the employer. The content of the work is described not very well or “keywords” were at the very end of the resume. In general, the specialist glanced quickly at the resume and did not see what was needed. Therefore, I did not invite. It happens.

Change of status or specialization

If a job seeker has worked as a sales manager for the past three years, his track record for the sales manager position looks more preferable to a recruiter than that of someone who has diversified his managerial career with a managerial or sales manager. The same applies to the change of specialization – an economist who changed professions, leaving for a while as designers, will forever remain under suspicion.

Stale work experience

Experience and qualifications meet the requirements in the job description, but in the required position, field, specialty, the applicant did not work at the previous place of work, but 1-2-3-5-10 years ago. The experience of the last 3-5 years is considered “fresh” by default in different cases. If the experience is considered “stale”, an invitation to interview will not be received.

Low qualification of a recruiter

Alas, this also happens. The ability and willingness to understand both accounting, marketing, programming languages ​​, and even the specifics of the work of a dozen specialists are not given to everyone. Just as not everyone is given the ability to analyze search results and a willingness to critically assess their qualifications and motives of applicants. “God Syndrome” – absolute confidence in one’s assessments and decisions made and disrespect for applicants, expressed in negative reviews about them, makes the search and its results unpredictable, and the invitation of applicants is random.

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