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Asked by ray on March 3, 2017

A recent interviewer asked why I thought I had not been hired yet because I have been interviewing for the last 4 months since graduating college. How do I answer that question in a positive way?

Answered by Dean, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on March 7, 2017

Hi, The first step is to honestly evaluate why you have not been hired yet.  Job searching after graduating in the fall semester is always more difficult as it does not align with the normal college recruiting timelines for intern opportunities and entry level positions. Did you double up on classes to graduate early, did you change majors making it more difficult to fit the intern timeframe, or were you heavily involved in some other type of project or program that demanded your focus and attention.  Once you have determined the why, then you can state what you accomplished that maybe was above your peers or how you overcame an obstacle.  As always do not let your problems define you, but how you overcome your problems will define you.
Best of Luck! 
Dean

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Answered by Bret, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on March 8, 2017

Thank you for the question! A long time to find a job is not uncommon, especially depending on the industry and role you are looking for. So don’t be disheartened, keep at it and you will definitely find the right role and company match for you.

In an interview, it is always best to be honest. If the ask that question, be truthful in your response. Is it because you are applying for roles beyond your experience? Is it because your interpersonal skills in the interview aren’t reflective of your capabilities? Is it because you are in an ultra-competitive industry? It is difficult to answer this with specific not knowing your personal situation, but it’s always best to be authentic in your interviews.

The last point I would make is to observe and listen deeply in each interview and interaction. They people you interview with may not give you direct feedback (but feel free to ask!), but their body language and responses to your interactions should give a clue as to what topics, what types of responses or interactions are deterring you from being the preferred candidate.

It may very well be that the previous companies you have interviewed with aren’t the right fit for you and that isn’t a bad thing that you didn’t get those jobs.

Good luck!
Bret

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Answered by Tony, Hiring Expert at Hill-Rom, on August 23, 2017

Hello and great question! First off, I wouldn’t get discouraged as finding a job can take a while at times especially when looking for your first position out of college. I think it is important to take a step back and find reasons why you think you haven’t been hired yet. Are the positions too senior? Was the role not something you were passionate about? Did the interview not go well? Finding out the why can help you answer honestly because you want to be truthful but also need to learn from your past interviews. Use each interview as chance to hone your interviewing skills. Observe their responses/body language to your interactions and if things don’t go well feel free to ask for feedback as to why because this will help you adapt in the future. Keep your head up and stay positive because the perfect fit is out there.

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Answered by Rachael, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on August 25, 2017

I would be honest – not knowing your background it’s difficult to say. Maybe talk about how you haven’t found an organization that was the right “fit” for you. What are you doing in the interim? Are you working? Volunteering? Taking some professional development / continuing education? Highlight those and talk about how you’re working to improve yourself.

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