As soon as possible after each interview, take time to review exactly what happened. Your purpose isn't to rate yourself or find fault with your performance. It's to learn, understand the real dynamics of the interview process and sharpen your skills for the next meeting. Whether you ultimately get the job or not, there's worthwhile experience to be derived from every interview. Make certain you reach out for all the values each meeting offers you by thinking through and analyzing what really happened. Ask yourself: 1.
What are the employer's real needs? Did you prove you have the right strengths to meet them? 2. Did you position yourself as a problem-solver? 3. Did the interviewer have any objections to what you said, or any reservations about you? Did you respond to them? Did the interviewer accept your explanations? 4. Was there information about the company that you didn't know, but should have? What research should you do if you get called back for another meeting? 5. What is the prospective employer's corporate style? Did you show that you fit in? 6.
What kind of person is the interviewer? What motivates him or her? Did you share the interviewer's interests? Were you able to communicate on a friendly, personal basis? 7. Did you ask meaningful questions that encouraged the interviewer to talk? 8. What questions should you have asked? If you didn't have a written list of questions for the interview, would you have benefited by having one? 9. Did you smile? Did you shake hands firmly? Were you dressed and groomed impeccably? 10. Were you confident and poised? 11.
Were you positive and enthusiastic? 12. Did you tell the interviewer you saw the position as a great opportunity, and that you were definitely interested in it? Be certain to make notes about the interview, so you'll be able to refresh your memory about your experience with the company if you're called back. While it's vital that you review each meeting when it's over, don't count yourself out no matter what you said or did.
Almost every job-seeker has a story about the interview she thought went spectacularly well, but somehow didn't produce a callback or a job offer. In another often-repeated story, the job-seeker left the interview feeling it went awkwardly, yet the interviewer was actually very enthusiastic about the candidate, and made an offer. The interview that made you feel ill at ease may well have been a result of the interviewer's clumsiness, not yours, and the interviewer was really quite impressed with you. Or perhaps you weren't as smooth in the interview as you'd have liked, but your enthusiasm and knowledge made you far more appealing than slicker candidates who came across as mostly sheen, and little substance. Hang in there. As the venerable Yankee ball-player Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over.
Bruce J. Bloom is a respected writer on job-hunting and career opportunities. He is a contributor to the hard-hitting career strategy website "Fast Track For Women," http://www.winyourcareer.com. His career manual "Fast Track To The Best Job" was published by Blazer Books.