Why a Job Candidate Would Say He Doesn’t Want the Job

When a job candidate says he really doesn’t want a position he interviewed for, after saying beforehand that he was the PERFECT candidate… and the hiring company says the candidate really doesn’t have the specific qualifications they are looking for, after saying beforehand that he was the PERFECT candidate, what’s going on? I was in the middle of one of these situations recently.

The prospect of looking for a job is daunting. The prospect of hiring a qualified candidate is equally so. It would seem that clarity on both sides of this equation would aid the cause tremendously. But people are people and quirks of all sorts pop up as they get together.

That’s normal, no big deal. What gets me is when people flat out lie about what they saw, what they said, and why the supposed match made in heaven doesn’t get consummated. Disingenuous comments that sound nice and cloud truth, dismissive attitudes that seek to elevate one party above another, brittle smiles that don’t conceal disappointment and in fact feel kind of creepy… these and other behaviors form a hiring rubic’s cube that has to be confusing for an awful lot of people. On both sides of the table!

Truth is tough to tell and tough to hear sometimes. But cutting to the chase in as diplomatic a fashion as possible saves everyone an awful lot of time. Although a lot of people seem to think that job seekers are fragile, my experience tells me otherwise. And although a lot of job seekers feel like companies have a callous attitude about who they eventually hire, my experience tells me that even in a time of “needing bodies,” they take some care to match candidates with positions.

What to do when faced with a hiring rubic’s cube, no matter which side of the table you’re on? Ask the questions that are on your mind. Answer questions asked of you thoughtfully and respectfully. When you see an obvious mis-match, be grateful for the interaction and the chance to meet someone new, but acknowledge the fact that there is no future between you.

Be gracious. It’s a very small world.

Categories: Business

About Susan Marshall

founder susan marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.