How Did You Do??

“Just wanted to say thanks, I got offers from both”

My niece went on 2 interviews a few weeks back and received offers from both companies. We all celebrate when people get employed in this environment. However I sometime think of the people that were also in the mix and did not get the offer.

When someone wins in the job hunt, someone also “loses”. As they say life is not always fair. So what happens when you are in the running and you are not chosen? If you are not chosen, evaluate how you did on the interview.

How did you do?

As part of your career planning process, one step that should be added after each interview is a complete debrief with yourself. This process will enable you to review each step, each question and each response: both yours and the interviewer.

Did you notice that your answers may have created a positive reaction as well as a non-reaction?

Job Interview Debrief

In any sport contest, there is always a review of the past contest. Everything is analyzed and put under the microscope. The formal name for this process is called debriefing.

The term “debriefing” refers to conversational sessions that revolve around the sharing and examining of information after a specific event has taken place. In your case it is the interview and the conversation initially is with you.

If you have a qualified peer, it is also good to have a similar session with them to discuss the event.

Some key points that you may want to build into your interview debrief:

• Confidence. State of mind is obviously a key to success in a job interview. Did you feel confident before and during the interview? A reasonable amount of adrenaline sharpens the mind and keeps you on your toes. Do you think you were too nervous? Is so how can you combat that next time

• How did you do? How do you think you did? Extremely well…pretty good…not so good…or terribly? Be specific.

• Were you prepared. Do you believe you were well-prepared for the interview? Did you know about the job you were applying for? Did you do any research about the company beforehand? Think about how you would prepare differently next time.

• Oops!! The spoken words are the most important tools in a job interview. Did you say anything that you wish you hadn’t? What didn’t you mention that you wish you had? If you could go back, what would you add or subtract.

• Trick questions. Were there any question asked during the interview that caught you completely off-guard? If they asked a surprise question, try to come up with a better answer than the one you gave. If they hit you with a surprise quiz, how could you be better prepared next time? Prepare and answer for those type questions.

Your question? You must ask important question? Never ask a question that you could have found online. Do you know your industry? Do you know their competitors? What were their annual sales? Did you listen to their last earnings call? Earnings calls are given every quarter by senior leadership provided it is a public company. This call can give insight as to how the company is doing financially. A treasure trove of information can come from listening to the call.

• Resume Review. Were they impressed by it? Were you asked about any gaps or inconsistencies? How did you answer questions about your work history? Do you think you showed value?

• The close. Your goal in every job interview is to sell yourself to the employer. Which means you have to know how to “close,” i.e., ask for the job persuasively. Do you think you closed strongly or did the interview just kind of fizzle out at the end? If you don’t have one prepare a closing statement and rehearse it over and over. Try and convey to the interviewer how much value you would bring to the job and their organization. If you listened well they will have said something that you can use in your closing statement.

“The major challenge of this role is…….”

Your response could be: “The major challenge that you spoke about reminded me of a past job that I faced the same issue. My approach to that challenge was………………….. The outcome was ………………………..

You have to show in your closing that you have the skills to not only do the job but why you should be hired.

• Dress to impress. Let’s turn from technique to image. If you had a second shot at the same job, would you dress the same way? How were the employees that you came in contact dressed? Do you think you were overdressed? It is OK to ask what the dress code is if you are going in for a face to face interview.

• Thank you. Finally, when you get home from a job interview, the first thing to do is send out thank you notes. Send them to each person who interviewed you.

My daughter went on a job interview and she was selected for the job. When she started, the manager told her that both of the people interviewed for the job came up about even. But the nice note that they received from her tipped the odds in her favor. That note made the difference. Email thank you is OK, but I think a nice card it better.

The interview debrief is just as important as the job prep. Use each encounter to analyze how well you did.

Master this step of the job hunt process and you may not have to use it for a while.


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