There are three broad reasons for rejecting candidates after an interview. These are:
- Personality: will the candidate fit in with the team?
- Skill and experience: can they do the job?
- Knowledge: has the candidate researched the role and the organisation?
The first two reasons for rejection are generally outside of the candidate’s immediate control, though a little research would help. A lack of knowledge through poor or even no research is inexcusable, and has become a common reason for rejecting candidates.
If you are applying for a role at any level, you should know about the organisation.
- Who are their customers (consumers, members, constituents, clients etc)?
- Who are their competitors?
- What are their current plans and what is their turnover?
- If it is a third sector organisation, what is their governance structure like?
- What issues is the organisation and sector facing?
- What will the organisation want you to do with the role so that you add value?
- How will you make the role a success?
These are just a few of the questions you should be considering, because there is a good chance you will be asked about them in interview.
You should initially analyse the Job Description and Person Specification, the job microsite or job pack if there is one, and the organisation’s own website. Can you find an annual report or strategy document? Then you can look in other places such as the Audit Commission, news websites, newspapers, magazines and search engines such as Google to provide current conditions. Don’t limit yourself though, and don’t forget to talk to friends and colleagues who might be able to help.
If you do your research you might not get the role, but if you don’t research, you are guaranteed to fail.