Denied for a Job for Unknown Reasons

Deb Headshot square GradientDear Deb:

I interviewed for a position recently, only to receive an email stating that they went with a candidate who was a “better cultural fit” for the role. I don’t understand what that means, and I would like to reach out to the hiring team for clarification. Is this advised? What is “cultural fit”?

Sincerely,

Mauricio

Hi Mauricio:

“Cultural fit” is a catch-all. What I mean is that you can ask, but you’re not going to get any substantive response, assuming you receive one at all. What “cultural fit” really is, is a nice way of letting you down. It’s more polite than saying that the hiring manager didn’t like you, or that the VP’s nephew got the job, or that you were awesome, but someone else was even more awesome. In other words, you’re not going to get any answers to your question. Your best bet? Cross this opportunity off your list and move on. There are other companies and other hiring managers that are going to think that you are awesome and a highly-skilled candidate. Focus on them, and not on the ones that reject you.

All my best,

Deb

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