Asking yourself this question will help your chances of securing an offer and build your confidence to overcome potential concerns of a hiring manager.

Why would I not get hired for this position?

Are you asking yourself this question at least a day before an interview?

You should be! Not only is this a great question to ask yourself, but it is also a great question to address with the recruiter helping in your job search. Questions for your recruiter may include, “Do you think there are any skills I’m missing or lacking that might put me at a disadvantage?” and “What could prevent me from getting an offer?”

The goal is to reflect on this question, identify risks that might prevent you from getting an offer and then determine how to overcome those risks. Potential risks may include:

  1. Missing a skill listed in the requirements section
  2. A large gap in employment on your resume
  3. Several short-term contracts
  4. Job title history that does not include the one you are applying for
  5. Interview anxiety
  6. Heavy competition against other candidates

Keep in mind that most managers will typically have one interview concern per candidate. Help your chances of securing an offer by putting yourself in the Hiring Manager’s shoes. Then try to identify what your “candidate concern” or “candidate red flag” might be first.

The next step is to try to combat that concern! Let’s look at some example strategies for each of the six risks mentioned above.

Potential Candidate Red Flag/Risk:

Mitigation Strategy:

Missing a skill, technology, tool, etc.

Take 1-2 hours of training prior to the interview. Communicate your strong interest in learning to the Manager and express the training you have completed.

Gap in employment.

Practice your explanation around the gap to a trusted friend, mentor, or recruiter and seek feedback. Gather a few strong, quality reference letters or LinkedIn recommendations from past Managers that reinforce your candidacy for a similar role.

Short-term contracts.

Use the same solution above. Also practice your answer to, “Why I’m looking for a long-term career.”

Never had that job title.

Get references and recommendations that share strengths related to the core tasks involved in that type of role. Outline your relevant and transferrable experience and practice your 30-second “Why me” elevator pitch!

Prone to anxiety and nerves during an interview.

Remember practice makes perfect! Do a mock interview with someone you trust. Practice your answers to 10 or more common interview questions that are related to the role.

Heavy competition.

Get at least three or more strong recommendations to print and provide during the interview. Do a mock interview and work on providing a non-proprietary example of your work.


If interviewing for a Programmer/Software Engineer role, work on a code sample to provide, using a technology used by the firm where you are applying.

If interviewing for a Business Analyst or other role that involves documentation, provide a writing sample.

As part of your interview preparation and practice for each interview, remember to do our candidate risk identification and mitigation exercise. It will help your chances of securing an offer and build your confidence to overcome potential concerns of a hiring manager.