Getting called in for a job interview is a step in a positive direction on the road to landing a job offer. At that point, someone has already vetted your resume and cover letter and determined that you're potentially a great candidate for the role at hand.
But what happens when that initial interview doesn't turn into a second one? If that occurs once or twice, it could be that other candidates managed to edge you out. But if it happens repeatedly, it could be that you're making a few critical mistakes that are stunting your progress toward a new job. Here are a few reasons you may be struggling to land follow-up interviews.
1. You don't prepare enough for your initial interview
It's one thing to have a strong resume with the right experience and skill set. But if you don't make an effort to research the companies you're interviewing with, you'll give the impression that you're not serious about the opportunity or that you're not willing to put in the effort to get hired. Coming in prepared with different talking points based on research could be just the thing that gets you a callback.
2. You don't ask enough questions during your first interview
In the course of most interviews, you'll asked be there's anything else you'd like to discuss. If you fail to offer any questions, it'll send the message that you're not really interested in the job or company at hand. Rather than give that false impression, come up with a list of questions -- about the job or about the company in general -- before attending that first interview so that you're more likely to snag a second one.
For example, there's nothing wrong with asking a series of questions about what it's like to work for the company. Is the environment collaborative? Are employees encouraged to run with ideas and work independently? Asking these questions will lead your interviewer to believe that you really want a shot at the job.
3. You don't follow up
Some interviewees hold back on following up because they don't want to seem too aggressive. But actually, not following up sends the message that you don't particularly care if anything comes from that initial interview, so rather than go that route, stay in touch. At the very least, send the person you interviewed with a thank-you note within 24 hours of that meeting. Doing so by email is perfectly acceptable. Then follow up a few business days later if you don't hear back.
If, during an interview, you're told that you probably won't hear anything for a number of weeks, then it's OK to sit tight during that time. But you should still absolutely send a thank-you note after your first meeting.
If your interviews seem to be going nowhere, a few strategic adjustments on your part may be in order. Ideally, they'll do the trick in helping you move forward in the interview process so that you ultimately land the new job you want.