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When one goes through a technical interview, the interviewers sometimes give the following feedback:

Great qualities for the interviewee,
skills didn’t meet the requirements for the position.

Assuming the interviewee has the technical skills required but still got such feedback from a technical interview; what are possible reasons/meaning behind such feedback from technical interviewers?

  • Interviewee overqualified?
  • under-qualified?
  • The fact that the interviewee got the interview without an internal reference?
  • ....

I am searching for feedback from professionals who have experience in interviewing technical candidates.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim G., jcmeloni, CincinnatiProgrammer, jmac, atk Oct 22 '13 at 22:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • How certain are you knowing all the skills required for the job, explicitly stated and implicitly meant? That would be an assumption, I'd challenge. – JB King Oct 18 '13 at 22:52
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    The skills I mean here are the soft skills like how do you converse, do you assume things rather than ask questions, and what kinds of details are in the conversation. The key here is to have the conversation and notice how well are these used rather than ask and get a stock answer. Most people would say they have excellent communication skills, strong interpersonal skills and so forth, thus these have to be evaluated in a different way. I wouldn't say companies require a local resident but they may have a strong preference for local candidates would be my understanding. – JB King Oct 19 '13 at 1:58
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about you. Questions on this site are supposed to be generic enough for many people to learn from – atk Oct 22 '13 at 22:50
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There's really no way to know exactly why you weren't hired. The letter you received is almost certainly the same letter sent to every rejected candidate. Some companies are primarily looking for specific experience. Some are more interested in personality. Others are searching for passion or talent.

Here are some reasons why software engineering candidates are rejected.

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    +1 - But also consider that the job OP applied for may already have had a hired applicant when the job was posted. Some states require that in order for a company to hire for a position they have to publicly post it. It's entirely possible the "interview" was a formality and OP never had a chance of landing the position in the first place. – Joel Etherton Oct 18 '13 at 23:01
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"But as I said, the position required skills X, I was asked about skills Y (not related to that position)"

It has already been said, you can't know the reason why you weren't hired. In fact, we can't be sure about anything of what the interviewer was thinking, so it's all speculation.

But, if I was interviewing....

I would ask about your personal projects to try to see how you learn on your own. I would ask you about skills different than the required ones because I'd like to see how you approach solving problems you don't know the answer to. I would ask you questions you don't expect to be asked because I want to get answers that weren't predictable and void of information.

Of course, the merit of these interview approaches could be debated, but that is what I would do.

It comes down to the fact that the interviewer has to make a tough decision about who he should higher. That isn't a straight forward process at all. Therefore, assuming the interviewer had decision making power and had intelligence, the real reason you weren't chosen for the position is because they decided it would be best for the company to do something else.

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