12 Ways to Tell You're Not Going to Get a Job Offer

waiting for an answer after an interview

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One of the worst parts of job searching is not hearing back from employers, even after an interview. Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm these days rather than the exception. So you might consider yourself lucky if you hear anything at all during the interview process.

When you do get input from a hiring manager or if you ask about where you stand, you often won’t get a straight answer. If you’re lucky enough to get feedback, here are some of the things that you might hear from a hiring manager when they don’t want to hire you but don’t want to come right out and say it.

12 Ways to Know You're Not Going to Get a Job Offer

In a few cases, it could be true and a job offer may happen at some point in the future. In others, you probably aren't going to be getting a job offer if you hear one of the following statements from a hiring manager.

  1. We need to consider a few other candidates before making a decision. You are probably out of contention for the job. Telling you that the company is going to interview other applicants means you’re not a top candidate.
  2. I’ll keep your resume on file. There are few things that get filed these days and your resume probably isn’t going to be one of them.
  3. The position has been put on hold. Funding for the position has been put on hold. Perhaps the employer is holding off on filling the position, but they most likely aren't going to be hiring you for it.
  1. We're going to move forward with other candidates whose qualifications are an even stronger match. Although you are qualified for the position, we've decided to select another candidate. This is a nice way of telling you that you’re not the right person for the job.
  2. We have decided to move in another direction. Another nice way of saying that you don’t have the qualifications the hiring manager is seeking.
  3. We've decided to keep the position open, but we are not moving forward at this point. It's not an outright no, but it's doubtful you will hear anything more from the employer.
  1. We aren’t going to be filling the position right now. There’s a chance this is legitimate, and you might still have a chance at the job, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting. In many cases, you’ll see the job advertised again.
  2. This job doesn’t seem like the best fit for you. You may be able to salvage the opportunity if you can convince the employer you are a good fit for the job, but it’s a long shot.
  3. The job seems to be too junior for you. This job isn't big enough for you. When you’re told that the job isn’t the right level, the hiring manager thinks you’re overqualified and won’t stick around if you’re hired.
  1. We have filled the position with an internal candidate. We have promoted someone from within. Maybe they have, and maybe they haven’t, but in either case, they aren’t hiring you.
  2. We feel like you wouldn't be stimulated enough here, and I would hate for you to be bored. Even if you didn’t think the job would be boring, you’re not going to have a chance to find out.
  3. It came down to two candidates, and her skills were slightly more in line with what we're looking for. You didn’t get the job, but at least you were close.