You meet the criteria but don’t even get an interview. It’s ok and here’s why…

I recently recruited a position that was extremely popular. Over the first weekend of advertising I had around 50 applications. On the Monday I started reading through the applications and was really impressed with the quality of cover letters and resumes. As I continued to read more and more applications I started to realise I had a problem – about half of these applicants I would class as extremely good.


By Friday I had 80 applications and had booked in 5 to meet. All 5 interviewed well and I would have been happy to offer the job to anyone of them. I gave them all an additional task to complete and again all 5 performed at a level I would describe as “extremely high”.

The following Monday application numbers had reached 125 and so I removed the ad. The chosen candidate was offered the role and she accepted.


I’ve since received several calls and emails from candidates that were disappointed they didn’t get the job, or even an interview. I estimate that approximately two-thirds of my 125 candidates had the skills and experience to perform well in the role but unfortunately we only had 1 position.


Sometimes in recruitment (like in life) luck plays a role. I could quite have easily chosen 5 different candidates from the pool and the outcome would have been different.


Candidates – just because you didn’t get the job doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t good enough to do the job. As recruiters sometimes we are looking for the 1 best candidate in market, other times we are looking for the 1 best candidate amongst 1,000 good ones.


James Witcombe

The Candidate Coach

  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

© 2020 The Candidate Coach