We all hope that the job search process will not be long and drawn out; that our first interview is for our dream job; and that we will nail the interview and get offered that fabulous job! This can happen. Still, you must prepare yourself for an extended job search that will include multiple interviews with different employers and decisionmakers. The more you reflect on the job search and interview process, the better you wil get.
Below are some questions to ask yourself after your interview, thinking about both what you said and how you presented yourself (content and style). Your interview self performance review doesn’t have to be this formal, but you should at least take some time to think about what you are doing during interviews as you go through the job search process.
Interview content questions to ask yourself:
Did you demonstrate your research and preparation for the interview by citing specific company issues that you uncovered in your pre interview research?
Were your comments positive and relative to the interviewer’s needs?
Did you cover all of the essential elements of your background while keeping your comments concise and focused on the organization’s needs?
Were you able to provide specific, quantifiable accomplishments to support general capability areas?
Did you stay away from past company acronyms and jargon?
Did you attempt to defer salary discussions? If pushed, did you ask the interviewer for a range?
Were your answers to sensitive questions non defensive and brief?
Was your rationale statement for leaving your previous employer understandable and positive?
Did you answer any behavioral based questions with specific work related examples that highlight your capabilities?
Did you demonstrate your can do/will do abilities, specifically as they relate to the organization’s needs?
Interview style questions to ask yourself:
Was your entrance positive and confident?
Was your appearance professional and appropriate for the interview?
Did you stay away from negative body language … inappropriate posture, avoiding eye contact, shifting in chair, folding arms, tapping feet, fidgeting with pencil, inappropriate handshake, lack of smile? (Be honest!)
Did you listen well? Did you interrupt the interviewer at any point? Did you miss any cues?
Was your pace appropriate?
Were you able to ask your questions during the interview process to ensure a comfortable give and take conversation?
Did any question cause you to have a negative non-verbal reaction?
Was your voice steady and easy to understand?
You could probably think of other questions to ask yourself. The main take away message is that the only way your interview skills will improve is if you take some time to reflect on how things went, what could have been improved, and what really worked. The better prepared you are for the interview (in terms of doing your best to get to know the company or organization and its needs relative to the position your are interviewing for and knowing yourself well enough to point out how you could meet those needs) the better you will do. A good interview is only as good as the job offer that comes out of it. That’s the ultimate measure of success.