What Does ‘You Are Not a Good Fit’ Really Mean?

By: Kyriaki Raouna

If you are searching for a job then you probably have heard this before. It is one of the things that you definitely don’t want employers to tell you. ‘You are not a good fit’ is something that employers often choose to include in their rejection email as a very generalized explanation of what went wrong and why you didn’t get the job.

While hearing from an employer that you are not good fit for the job, can hurt and leave you feeling disappointed, it is important to understand that most of the time, it has nothing to do with you. If employers can’t come up with a definite answer as to why you didn’t qualify for the job – and as such not give you enough feedback about the interview, then it means they are simply trying to say no without going down into too many details.

In fact, “you are not a good fit” is a vague, all-purpose statement that employers use in any rejection email they send out and it says ‘thanks, but no thanks’. Still, you are left there looking at an email and trying to decode the meaning of the text, trying to explain their every word. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this is that you think you must have done something terribly wrong if nobody wants to tell you what it is. But that’s not ever the case.

To help you understand what employers mean by this, I am encouraging you to think about it the other way around. Have you ever thought a job wasn’t right for you? Did you ever admit to yourself that this job is not what you need after all? Perhaps you thought you were not a good fit for the position because you didn’t think you would fit into the work environment or wouldn’t get along with the people working there or even the company culture.

Well, employers are also thinking about the same thing and this doesn’t make you any less of a desirable candidate. Just like any form of rejection, not getting picked for a job, has more to do with the circumstances and the other individual’s needs and wants. It might mean that the person who made the call didn’t think that getting you on board was in any way beneficial for you or them.

So what does being a poor fit really mean? When employers tell you that you are not a good fit for the job, it has nothing to do with your qualifications and skills or how good you are for the job. It is simply used to explain how employers perceive you and what they think about your personality and cultural fit. So judging from the answers that you give in the job interview or – even what you post on social media, employers can get a pretty good idea of who you are, what you want, how long you are going to stay in the job and how happy you are going to be in it.

The best way to figure out if you are fit for a job for the recruiters is to determine whether the employer is a good fit for you or not. This is about not letting employers take the shots but allowing yourself to decide what’s best for you. Before you apply for the position, make sure that you spend some time researching the company and learning more about the employer.

Also, while you are at the job interview you might want to ask the following questions:

How would you describe your organizational culture?

If you could change one thing about the work environment here what would it be?

What does it take for an employee to succeed in this position/company?

These questions should give you the information you need to make your own decisions about a job so that you don’t have to waste your time fighting for – or getting upset over a position that is not right for you anyway.

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