10+ Managers Share Things That Make Them Say No To Potential Employees

Getting a job is not easy.

The world is brutal out there. Getting hired by a good company can be quite a challenge. Why are you constantly being rejected? What is it that you’re doing wrong?


Well, we have the answers now. 10+ hiring managers have shared the qualities in potential employees that make them immediately say “No.” You might want to give these a quick look:

1. Googling answers.

For phone / skype interviews: don’t Google every question I ask you to get the ‘right’ answer. It’s a dead giveaway when after every question there’s 10 seconds of umming, and then a textbook answer. You’ll be surprised how often this happens.

2. Be on time.

Showing up late for an interview already puts you in the hole. Not addressing it or apologizing for it will make it complete. Turn a negative into a positive and show you have accountability. Not addressing it shows you don’t have respect for me and my time.

3. A few tips.

Check your grammar and punctuation over and over. Correspondence via emails should be professional, too. It’s not a time to use shorthand, like you would in a text message to friends. Bad grammar in emails usually catches my attention right away (in a negative way).
There was a young woman interviewing for a position with me who was very creative and extremely qualified. However, her written correspondence was so poor with me that I knew she’d do the same thing with external clients and she didn’t get the position because of this.

I’ll usually hire someone who is coachable and has a great attitude over someone who might have more experience, but doesn’t get along well with others. One’s attitude really is a game-changer and I’m more prone to hire those with a positive outlook on life.
If you want an “in” with a company – don’t always go straight to the top. Maybe reach out to a lower-level employee and learn from them and get tips. I always take a look at candidates referred to me by internal employees, no matter how high they rank in the company.
Be genuine and authentic. I love candidates who straight up tell me: “look, the last few years have been really hard for me. I jumped around jobs and looking back, I realize I could have stuck them out longer. But I learned from the experience and I want to do better.” We are humans, too. We get that life can be tough, so I appreciate people who are real and authentic.
And lastly, don’t be an excuse maker and go on and on about issues. This makes me think you’ll do the same in our corporation; during the interview process, be open and authentic, yet to the point and matter-of-fact. I believe every question can and should be answered in 30 seconds or less.

4. Don’t lie on your resume.

If you put it on your resume, I’m going to ask you about it. So don’t add filler.

5. Be respectful.

Treating everyone but the hiring manager disrespectfully.

I was in a management position in fast food. I didn’t do the hiring, but one minor responsibility was accepting applications that people brought in and answering any initial questions. The hiring manager ALWAYS listened to the other managers initial impressions of the applicants. So many applications were thrown out of the stack without ever being considered because the applicant didn’t think anyone mattered but the person that made the final decision. I even had one lady come in and basically tell us that she would definitely be hired and be placed over us in management and that she planned on “cleaning up our act”. We had a good laugh with the hiring manager before tossing her app in the trash.

6. Honesty and self respect.

I just look for honesty and some self respect . The roles I hire for and fairly entry level so you dont need to be amazingly qualified or anything . I get a lot of young people for interviews and what annoys me the most is when they arrive dressed in casual clothes , I dont disregard their application over clothes, but I do sit and wonder why their friends or parents or partners let them come to an interview in such sloppy clothing.

That said, I did have a weird one, i hired a guy from a group like session , as he was probably the best and most confident person on the day. After hiring a few weeks in he starts to become unreliable with his late finishes. When I ask him what’s up with that, he comes in one day on his day off and says he needs to speak to me. He then tells me that he will be resigning becuase he cant make the later working hours , and that hes sorry for letting me down and appreciates us giving him a chance , then he lifts up his Jean leg and shows me a electronic tag on his ankle . Turns out he was released from prison 2 days before my interview, and said he never brought it up becuase in a room full of people why would anyone employ the ex con.

When I thought about it , hes probably right me and my colleague who were interviewing probably would have influenced our decision on him if we knew and he said he just wanted a fair chance .

So the tag prevented him from being outside his home after 7pm as he was charged for supply when younger . I ended up calling the parole officer and the HMRC and eventually altering his curfew on the basis that I said he would have to be jobless if they didn’t and if you dont allow him to have a legitimate job , what are the chances of him re offending gonna be.

Ended up being one of best employees for a while.

7. Please don’t be weird.

Talking about your broccoli and chocolate diet to improve your telekinesis.

This happened about 15 years ago.

8. Ignoring other people.

When the interviewee ignores the person who asked the question and instead talks to the person they “think” has the most power in the room. This has happened in entry level positions, but I also helped interview for a position that would be working at my same level, as a partner. My manager told me the decision was ultimately up to me, because I knew what I was willing to work with, and what was needed for the role. I had a man come in and he wouldn’t look at me, didn’t shake my hand, and every time I asked a question, he looked to my manager for approval. Yeah… Hard pass. I don’t want to work with a guy who has no respect for me.

9. Hiring just anyone.

I’m reading this thread as a hiring manager for more or less janitorial position and we are so badly hurting for employees at that spot that we’ll pretty much hire anyone that applies so long as they clear the background check and drug screen.

Raggedy clothes? You’re hired Don’t really have great answers to questions? You’re hired Can’t really explain or give a reason for the stuff on the application? You’re hired You physically showed you to the interview? Hired.

It’s crazy that the people that interview the best, show up dressed as well as they can be in their means, and clearly want the (any) job are more often than not the ones that get shot down because of background.

Sucks that the ones getting hired over them quit two weeks in because they don’t like cleaning things up.

Edit: it’s not my idea to have the drug screen, and it is a one time thing

Edit 2: it’s no minimum wage. It’s not the best, but it’s competitive for the area

10. Respond thoughtfully.

The biggest one for me was always whether they were responding thoughtfully and specifically to prompts or just using vague interviewy language.

11. Being too casual.

We were looking for engineers, and we had this guy apply.​

He had a pretty sizable amount of relevant experience to the job despite being a fresh graduate and had experiences and training in other fields related to the production industry.

I asked him what position he was applying for and offered him the Assistant Production Engineer based on his credentials alone. He looked at me with a disgusted face, like I just insulted him. I asked him what was wrong, and he replied “Nothing really. It seems like a pretty good position, but I want something better, because I can clearly see you are impressed by my resume”

I took the bait, and partly also due to our immediate need for engineers, asked him what his preferred position would be. He immediately answered that he wanted a supervisory position, like the General Production Manager. I asked him why he wanted such a position.

His reply? “Seems like one of those jobs where I can sit in the office and play games on my phone all day without having to actually do anything”

I quickly gave an excuse to end the interview right there and just told him we would call him. We didn’t

Moral of the story? Never tell your potential employer you just want to sit on your ass all day and do nothing.

12. Smoking weed.

Being stoned. Don’t smoke weed before interviews. It doesn’t relax you. You just look and sound weird.

13. Dirty clothes.

People that showed up to an interview in dirty sweatpants and a hoodie or whatever, and had no idea what the position really was. (Pharmacy Tech/Assistant) It happened more than once.

14. Struggling with basic questions.

If you have something on your resume, it’s fair game for me to ask you about it. If you struggle with basic questions about it — game over.

15. Ending on a lighter note.

From a post on 4chan I saw once:

“Be me, hiring manager. First thing I do when I get a stack of applications is throw half of them in the trash. I don’t want any unlucky people working here.”

Have you done any of the above? Do you have any tips for people that are going to give their interviews? If so, let us know in the comments below.


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