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I've been getting three to five interviews per week on a consistent basis lately. Usually, I'm contacted by recruiters and they submit my resume to hiring managers. About 90% of the time, hiring managers express interest in having a phone interview.

I state my accomplishments, skills, experience, and education on my resume as accurately and detailed as possible--I pretty much lay it out clearly. In phone interviews, when I explain my accomplishments and skills, I provide answers that are as detailed and relevant to the job descriptions as possible while staying concise. I even have to prevent myself from giving over-detailed answers because I have a ton to say about the projects I've worked on previously. There are URLs to a GitHub portfolio, PowerPoint presentations on technical domains, and a Tableau Public profile easily accessible at the top of my LinkedIn profile.

Colleagues at my current job have written recommendations on my LinkedIn profile as well. I also focus on being as personable and conversational as possible.

However, I'm not being chosen for the jobs I'm interviewing for, and based on feedback, I don't explain my skills and accomplishments well enough. Or there might be a set of skills that a hiring manager has detailed questions about (sometimes, as a surprise), that aren't listed anywhere on my resume or the job description.

What is the best way to get around this issue? I'm having a difficult time understanding why these hiring managers want to interview me, yet I'm being rejected so nonchalantly.

Am I being invited to interviews that are a waste of time?

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    Also, a lengthy explanation is not a good one. Maybe you can be more direct to the point, in the meantime try to read a few books about communication, it's a skill can greatly help your career, best luck – jean Feb 14 at 11:45
  • Jean, thanks for the comment, I've read more than a couple of dozen books on communication, persuasion, marketing, and interviewing techniques. Are there any you would recommend? – TechnicalTim Feb 14 at 11:46
  • Perhaps get a few practice interviews in - whereby you get feedback that is not filtered – Ed Heal Feb 15 at 11:54
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You've answered your own question

based on feedback, I don't explain my skills and accomplishments well enough.

This.

I'm having a difficult time understanding why these hiring managers want to interview me, yet I'm being rejected so nonchalantly.

Again, what you said previously. Because they like the look of your resume or the sound of what you are capable of based off what recruiters are saying but you need to work on your interview technique. Being able to do everything technically doesn't get you everywhere professionally.

As Joe said why would they waste your time when they likely have hundreds of other applicants/candidates to get through. You're wasting your own time by going to interviews unprepared without proper technique.

  • Could you elaborate on what you mean by proper technique? I've practiced answers to questions multiple times with recruiters before interviews and they don't point out major problems that I don't correct. I've read many books on interviewing techniques as well. I implement the STAR technique as much as possible. When describing achievements, I elaborate on the negatives of problems before I solved them, and the positives of the outcomes after solving those problems. What proper techniques are you referring to that I can start immediately using? – TechnicalTim Feb 14 at 11:43
  • I'm not a recruiter nor an interviewer, but if the feedback you have received is that above I would recommended accepting the advice rather than seeing the interview as a waste of time. You would have to talk with other recruiters potentially even email the people who gave you feedback and get them to elaborate on what they meant. On top of this without an example of your interviews it's almost impossible to judge what you're doing wrong hence emailing previous interviewers. – Twyxz Feb 14 at 11:48
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    I mostly agree, but I would add that the OP can't expect to get truthful feedback about his interview performance. He needs to be evaluated by someone that can give him direct feedback. A hiring manager will almost never do that after an interview. – teego1967 Feb 14 at 12:22
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    Teego1967, thanks for your input. I'm going to use the services of an interview coach in the next couple of weeks--after trying another interview coach three weeks ago who didn't specialize enough in mock interviews. Maybe that's a viable solution to this problem I don't know how to resolve using other means. – TechnicalTim Feb 14 at 13:33
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    @TechnicalTim: Recruiters often don't have the background to actually understand the words coming out of your mouth when they conduct these pre-interviews. All they care about is that you don't sound like an idiot. You need to find a few people in your field to role play an interview with you (preferably ones that are managers). Hopefully they can give you a bit of honest feedback in where you are failing. – NotMe Feb 15 at 2:50
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Good hiring managers interview enough people to find somebody to hire. It may be that the first person they interview is the ultimate winner, or it could be the last person they interview, or somebody in the middle. Sometimes corporate policy may dictate a minimum number of people they have to interview.

Less effective hiring managers never pick a person to hire. They are in a constant cycle of advertise, gather resumes, do phone interviews, do in person interviews, decide nobody passed the test, and then start over.

What is the best way to get around this issue? I'm having a difficult time understanding why these hiring managers want to interview me, yet I'm being rejected so nonchalantly.

They interview you becasue you do well on the resume review. You meet the keyword check, and you seem to have enough years of experience. They reject you becasue compared to the others they interview you are not standing out.

The fact that you mention feedback means that you are getting details that other people on this site beg for. We have many questions about candidates being ghosted, and wanting some feedback,,,any feedback.

Deciding how to rack and stack the candidates isn't done nonchalantly. They hope it is easy to make a decision, but many times there are too many good candidates.

Am I being invited to interviews that are a waste of time?

No they are not doing it to waste your time. It is not cost effective to bring extra people in for an interview, then pay 5 current employees to spend an hour with each candidate just for fun.

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based on feedback, I don't explain my skills and accomplishments well enough.

and:

I'm having a difficult time understanding why these hiring managers want to interview me, yet I'm being rejected so nonchalantly.

What have you tried to do with the feedback you have received?

Have a look at examples of "me in 30 seconds"

I have used and adapted the idea of me in 30 seconds successfully many times.

During the phone interviews, are you asking them questions as well?

Read the job advertisement well, prepare a couple of questions to ensure you know exactly what they are looking for and then guide that to your answers as well. Make sure at the end of the interview you ask if there is anything they would like you to explain further.

Interviews are a 2-way street, learn how to make it so...

  • Before these flurry of interviews, I read more than a couple of dozen books on communication, persuasion, marketing, and interviewing techniques. Since receiving feedback, I hired an interview coach, but he did not specialize in mock interviews so I had to discontinue sessions with him. I'm going to try another interview coach who is local to me in a couple of weeks. Additionally, I purchased two highly-rated audio books on interviewing, and one of those books was helpful. – TechnicalTim Feb 14 at 13:24
  • Additionally, I always have a few standard questions to ask in any interview--usually about the team I would work with, the challenges I would help solve, the qualities of employees who succeeded in similar roles for the company, tools I would use, etc.. And I often think of at least a couple of questions highly relevant to the role and the department of the role. Thank you for the "me in 30 seconds" resource. – TechnicalTim Feb 14 at 13:29
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    @TechnicalTim try and apply the me in 30 seconds concept for each part of your CV as well. Usually the me in 30 seconds is more of a resume type of presentation, so as you are in the interview try and use the same for each part, it just helps you ensure that you prepare the right thing for the interview. Good thing You have done some preparation for interviews, I usually don't go all out with interview coach but instead try different things myself, not everything is applicable in every job – fireshark519 Feb 14 at 13:35
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However, I'm not being chosen for the jobs I'm interviewing for, and based on feedback, I don't explain my skills and accomplishments well enough.

As others have indicated, this suggests that you're probably not explaining your skills as well as you think you are - or, at a minimum, that hiring managers' perception of how the interview is going is very different than yours. Personally, I can think of several cases where I thought that an interview went great only to find out that the hiring manager thought that there was a communication gap.

For better or worse, communication is a two-way street, so you always have to be mindful of how the other person is receiving the communication.

I'd strongly suggest doing some mock interviews so that you can get detailed feedback on ways to improve. Toastmasters can also be very helpful to people in this regard (it was to me).

Or there might be a set of skills that a hiring manager has detailed questions about (sometimes, as a surprise), that aren't listed anywhere on my resume or the job description.

Yeah, sometimes job descriptions aren't too thorough.

What is the best way to get around this issue? I'm having a difficult time understanding why these hiring managers want to interview me, yet I'm being rejected so nonchalantly.

Most people don't like rejecting candidates, but the fact is many hiring managers have to do it a lot. Many jobs have quite a few candidates applying to them, and they can generally only hire one person. For example, if a hiring manager phone-screens 10 candidates, they'll eventually have to reject 9 of them.

Also: most hiring managers don't like the hiring process. They just want to get through the process as quickly as possible and hire them. Recruiting is expensive for companies, and the longer the process takes the more expensive it is. Having unfilled roles can be expensive and painful, too (especially if it means that they have a hard time getting work done as a result). That being said, I wouldn't take it too personally if they reject you nonchalantly.

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It's not in a Hiring Managers interest to waste people's time - especially their own. They have better things to be doing running a department - they're only acting in the capacity of Hiring Managers when they're recruiting.

Too much information, or repetition of information that's already known, will come over as unclear (or not explaining well enough) in the same way too little information would. You mention you run through the accomplishments , skills, experience and education on your resume. They already know this.

A Hiring Manager will have some specific questions that will let them know whether they want to move to an in-person interview. If a candidate doesn't answer these questions, or answers questions that haven't been asked, this will make the idea of an in-person interview less appealing.

Telephone interviews should be short. They're long enough for the Hiring Manager to know whether they want an in-person interview, which is your objective at this point. If you spend a telephone interview trying to sell yourself for the job, you run the risk of getting ahead of the process.

If you answer the questions they ask, and ask a few short questions yourself that show you understand the role and the company, an in-person interview will be a lot more likely.

There's a lot you're doing well, but it looks like there might be a possibility you're coming over as trying too hard. It's the Hiring Manger's job to steer a telephone interview, and your best bet may be to follow their lead.

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    Of course they waste people's time. Ask people to do code tests and then don't bother to reply to you. Not common but it happens. – dan-klasson Feb 16 at 5:27
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    @dan-klasson - fair point. Editing. – ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Feb 16 at 10:14
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Using your other question to put this into context, you also said this in one of your comments:

about 95% of the interviews get are as a result of recruiters contacting me

If one were to take 95% literally it suggests that you've had at least 20 interviews in quick succession.

Your CV is doing its job, it is good enough to get you in through the door but there is no easy way you can properly prepare for this many job interviews in quick succession (especially as you already have a job) so I'll offer you the same advice here as I did on your last question:

Filter out the ones which you are not suited for and aren't suited for you with telephone interviews..

And then:

Prepare properly for the ones you attend.

Work on interview technique, how to answer questions using relevant examples and putting them into context of something they are looking for in their job description.

Good luck Tim.

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