Unemployment Blues: 5 Reasons You’re the Ideal Candidate Who Can’t Land the Dream Job

Friday, April 2, 2021
As our job search narrowed to a handful of candidates, we began the process of in-person interviews. On paper and in their initial presentations, one candidate stood out to me more than the others: more confidence, more poise, and a veteran resume that put him head and shoulders above the crowd. We had also recently served in the same organization—although in different brigades—and likely shared some common connections. These were the interviews I relished because they allowed for a more relaxed conversation rather than a by-the-numbers back-and-forth.


After exchanging introduction and a few perfunctory questions, we settled into my preferred interview battle rhythm. “I saw on your resume that you were on 3rd Brigade staff during the initial invasion. Do you stay in touch with any of the rest of the team?” I asked. “No, not really,” he answered. “We kind of drifted apart.” Fair enough, I thought. It happens. The others on the search panel followed with a couple of innocuous questions before it was my turn again. “Tell me about the writing award you won in the Command and General Staff College. What did you write about?” To me, this seemed like a good question to get him comfortable and talking. “It wasn’t a big deal,” he replied. When it was clear he wasn’t going to elaborate, I added, “What was your subject?” “Leadership,” he answered curtly while shifting a bit uncomfortably. This was going nowhere.

Follow up questions were asked and answered in brief bursts with little or no elaboration. Either he’s really uncomfortable or something’s not right, I remember thinking. “I want to ask you about your last job,” I said to him. “How would you describe your interactions with your supervisor?” His former boss was an old friend and one of the most well-liked leaders I know. “We got along okay, I guess.” That’s it? Just okay? He had nothing else to add. The interview continued that way until we finished. Short answers. Curt responses. No real engagement with the committee members.

After he departed the conference room where we staged the interview, I looked at the others and said, “Was it just me or was something off about that interview?” We all agreed that this wasn’t just a case of nerves. The candidate we’d seen on paper and presenting to us in a group setting was not the same person who arrived for the in-person interview. For him, it would have been a dream job. But it didn’t happen. Our unease was enough to scratch him from the list. It was a gut call, but one of the smartest ones we made that day.


Unfortunately, this experience is not at all unique. The situation itself might change from person to person, but I’ve heard more than my share of similar stories where someone walked into an interview as the ideal candidate and left without a job offer. It happens for different reasons, but it happens. And it’s often our own fault. It’s not particularly complicated, either...

Full Article @ https://news.clearancejobs.com/2021/03/23/unemployment-blues-5-reasons-youre-the-ideal-candidate-who-cant-land-the-dream-job/