Why you didn't get hired

Flickr user Tess Aquarium

(MoneyWatch) No matter what condition the U.S. economy is in, looking for work is always incredibly stressful. In the past, I've tried to help by providing tips for honing your resume and passing your interview.

Almost without exception, you never really know why you didn't get a particular job. You might have sailed through the phone interview and face-to-face meetings, only to be called a few days later by HR with the message that you were not going to be offered the position. Recently, though, the blog Job Tips for Geeks listed the most common reasons people get passed over for positions -- aside from simply not being qualified, that is.

This list is pure job-hunting gold. After all, assuming you're an otherwise great candidate, here's a slew of things to consider to fine-tune your interviewing style and the way you answer interview questions. Do any of these sound like you?

Your experience is wide but shallow. Depending on your experience, you might be depicting yourself as a "jack of all trades, master of none." There are few opportunities for people with little practical, deep knowledge.

You seem to have a sense of entitlement. Be humble in all things. This has real, practical applications. For example, don't give the hiring manager or any peer interviewers the vibe that there are only certain technical areas within your domain that you are willing to work or that you will be very difficult to collaborate with.

You don't exhibit any passion. Be enthusiastic, both about what you do and the role you are interviewing for. Employers don't want to hire someone who is only looking for a paycheck; they want someone who is invested in their career and in the company.

You don't know how the rest of your organization works. It's important to know how the entire sausage is made. If you're asked questions about a process at your employer that you weren't directly connected to and can only say "I don't know," then you're not getting hired -- even if you are the enormously knowledgeable in your particular field. There's enormous collaboration in business today, and you're expected to understand at least the basics of everyone else's roles so you can contribute.

Your experience is not transferable. You might be awesome, but if you've spent a long time in a single role or company, it might look like your knowledge, skills, or experience won't transfer to the new company without considerable re-training. If that's you, prepare ahead of time to be able to speak to those kinds of concerns.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Tess Aquarium

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