It can be pretty demoralizing not to get a second interview, especially since you believe you did so well in your initial interview.
Don't be too hard on yourself. I know from my experience in hiring people that sometimes other things come into play that have nothing to do with your qualifications for the job or how you did during the interview.
For example, the CEO's nephew really needs a new gig and so the CEO decides his nephew is the best fit for the job. Not you. Or, the head of the department is relatively new to the job, and so she decides she needs someone with more experience for the job since she really needs all the support she can get. Another reason: They don't see you in the job. You're a free-wheeling kind of person, and love the blue streak in your hair and the tattoo of Sponge Bob on your neck. But the company is very conservative and so are its clients.
Those are some of the things that you can't control and so you can't sweat not getting a second interview.
But.....there are things you might be doing wrong in a first interview that are affecting your ability to get a second interview. Some things to consider:
- You weren't prepared. Maybe you're trying to finish your last semester of school or your current job is crazy. The point is that you just didn't spend enough time researching the job and the company and so you weren't really ready with great answers in the interview. When they mentioned the CEO's name, you said "Who?"
- You clammed up. An interview should really be a conversation. They will ask you questions, and you will need to respond with more than "yes" and "no." You don't want to be long-winded, but be prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses (and how you're working to overcome them). You also should ask questions or otherwise the employer may believe you're not really interested in the job or the organization.
- You were dumb. You showed up late, you weren't dressed properly, you kept looking at your phone (it should have been put away and turned to mute) and you never said "thank you." This is basic stuff -- you need to show good manners and good sense or the employer will quickly pass you over for someone easier to deal with, no matter how skilled you may be.
The best way to get a second interview is to do your homework for the first one so that you do your best. If you don't get a second interview, think about how you can improve and then don't worry about the things beyond your control.
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