Monday, July 29, 2013

Being Rejected for a Job in the Modular Home Industry

“I thought the interview went great so why didn’t I get called back?” “What do you mean the job description has changed and they are now looking for a different skill set?”

If you have ever felt this way or thought these thoughts, you are far from alone. Interviewing for a position can be difficult at best, not to mention extraordinarily frustrating.  When you (and your recruiter) feel you would be a ‘great fit’ for the position but the prospective employer doesn’t appear to concur, it can be disheartening. Even depressing. But never give in and never give up…just keep sharpening the saw.

If you feel like this could be speaking to you and you want to know how to avoid the above scenario, listen up. If the truth be told, sometimes you can’t. With that said, quit beating yourself up for something that is out of your control. Perhaps the prospective employer already has another candidate in mind as his/her choice and it is no reflection on you or your skill sets. 

We are all aware that getting the interview is half of the battle. Once you get your foot in the door it is important to make a positive impression so that you will make it to the second interview. Here are a few things you should NOT do so that you keep your momentum going forward.

1. First thing out of the gate, do your research. To many of you it may seem like common sense but it is amazing how many people do not look up the company they are interviewing with to understand their history. Study the website to understand the company’s background, key players in the company, and their mission statement, etc. Be able to make a strong case for how you can benefit their company and what a great fit you would be for their company’s culture and climate. You can only do this by getting a flavor of the culture of the company you will potentially be working for.

2. Coming across as obnoxious or overly confident. Believe it or not personality is a major consideration when someone is looking for a good ’fit’ for the position they are filling. You may have skill sets and credentials that will blow a potential employer out of the water but if your personality isn’t personable (meaning you are abrasive), they will wonder how you will truly fit in and play nicely in the sand box with your co-workers? You don’t want to knock yourself out of the running. Be gracious.

3. Speaking negatively about former co-workers or your boss. Bad idea. A prospective boss may think, “If they’ll say this to me, they’ll probably say it about me!” Try to come up with something positive that you took from your previous positions. There has to be something, right?  Also, another word to the wise is to never say, “I was just so stressed I had to get out of there… I’m looking for a less stressed environment.” This can truly backfire on you, especially if you are applying for a position like the one you had.  If you were a Sales Manager for one company and stressed to the max and take another Sales Management position, what makes you think that will be any less stressful? Think before you speak.

4. Not acting excited about the position. Do not sit there like a bump on a log. Don’t be a fake version of yourself but if you aren’t normally an enthusiastic person, try and ramp things up a bit anyway. Show some consideration and enthusiasm. Take notes, ask a few ’really great’ questions. Act like you’re happy to be there. It’s the respectful thing to do.

5. Pricing yourself out of a position. This is another area that would benefit a bit by entertaining a bit more humility, especially in the economy we are presently in. It is one thing to say that you need to make at least $75K to support your family if you move to a different cost of living area. It is quite another thing to say, “I deserve to make $75K; I’ve been in this industry for five years and I won’t settle for anything less!” If you are asking for $15K more than they are willing to pay, you won’t make it past the first interview and everyone has wasted their time. Also, keep in mind that with that attitude a Recruiter may not even consider submitting you in the first place, if you have priced yourself out of the prospective employer’s salary range. Negotiations are acceptable and expected. Highly inflated salaries are not.

6. Not being able to explain employment gaps or able to do the skills you said you have on your resume. If you cannot do something, do not say that you can. You do know it will catch up to you down the road, right?  Also, we've been in an era of downsizing. We’re all aware of this. It is what it is. Explain the gaps in your resume as truthfully as you can. Maintain and stay on good terms with former employers as they will be a valuable asset when you need them the most.

7. Wrong picture with your resume. A lot of candidates have wonderful resumes and tons of experience but when they send their information to the factory’s HR department by email, they include a picture of themselves which don’t show you in the best light. A picture of you with your buddies on a fishing trip drinking beers is not cool. Consider including you at a job site or with one of your current builders.

Hopefully some of these tips will strike a chord with you to help you to up your interviewing game. We understand it can be frustrating and daunting to be at the whim of a prospective employer. However, if you go in prepared and do your home work in advance you’ll have the confidence and the edge , to edge out the competition.  Never give in and never give up … just keep sharpening the saw.
Cathy Sage is President of Robert Sage Careers, LLC., an Executive Search Firm and Job Board Publisher that specializes in the Factory Built Structures Industry. Cathy can be reached at 727.504.5350 or please send your resume, in strictest confidence, with salary requirements and location preference(s) to  


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