BusinessmanJob interviewing is one of life’s necessary evils. While I work with a lot of confident professionals and executives who welcome an opportunity to interview and believe strongly that if they just get the interview, they’ll land the job, that isn’t always the case. Obviously, only one candidate can come out on top, so just making it to the interview is not enough, no matter how confident you are.

That raises the question, especially for folks who interview well, why didn’t I get that job? There isn’t one pat answer to that question. When you’re interviewing you’re dealing with human beings who come to the table with their own opinions, biases and preferences. Sometimes you may never know why you didn’t make it through to the next round of interviews. But the following are three reasons that frequently hold a candidate back:

1. You didn’t make a good first impression. It takes just seconds for an interviewer to form a first impression about you. Make sure you’re dressed professionally, have a firm handshake and a good smile when you initially meet your interviewer.

2. You didn’t do your research. There’s no excuse for not having researched the company and even the person with whom you’re interviewing. In our Internet age with information at our finger tips there are several things that you must do: read the company’s website, look for the person and company you’re interviewing with on LinkedIn and Google, and you may even want to check out some financial websites for additional information. Remember, knowledge is power. Not only do you want to impress the interviewer that you care enough to learn more about the position, this is your time to determine whether it’s really a company that suits you as well.

3. You didn’t have any questions about the company or the position. Really, you’re looking at making a career move and taking a job where you’ll be spending at least 40 hours of your life every week and  you have no questions about the company or your duties? Interviewers want to see that you’re intellectually curious, that you’re interested in their company and that you have intelligent questions about your role within the organization.

Interviewing well is more important now than ever before. So remember, it’s important to primp, prepare, and practice.