What do you do after you have completed an interview? If you are like most people, you just want to shout “Thank goodness it is over” and consider it a task completed. Landing an interview is a big accomplishment and worthy of a little celebration; however, there is more work to be done. This is the time to gauge your performance, evaluate the opportunity before you, and prepare for future interviews. Here are 4 questions to help you.
1. What answers do I need to improve? No matter how much you prepare for interviews, it seems there is at least one question that takes you by surprise. Reflect back on the questions that you are asked and write down the ones you were not prepared to answer. Think through more suitable responses. Preparing now will increase your success for the second interview or even interviews with other organizations.
2. Can I see myself working in this job for this organization? Interviewing is a 2-way street. Just as the organization is evaluating you, you need to evaluate them. Visualize yourself in the job at the company. Is it a good fit for you? You may need to do further research to make your decision but don’t wait until an offer comes to do that research. Now is the time to remove yourself from the process if the organization or the job is not what you envision for yourself.
3. Would I enjoy working for this manager? Employees often quit jobs because of their managers. If you have serious suspicions you are going to be working for a bad boss, think twice before going forward. It is better to continue your search and find someone that you can work with than accept a job you are unhappy doing.
4. How will I follow-up? A thank you note is the minimum follow-up. What can you do to go above and beyond? You may want to consider sending a sample of your work or perhaps something you discussed in the interview. As an example, you told the interviewer about the excellent comments your previous boss wrote in your review; so after the interview, you send a copy of the review with your thank you note. This serves to substantiate your answer and helps you to stand out from other applicants.
After every interview, a manager will reflect on the candidate in order to make a decision on what to do next. You, in turn, should also reflect on the interview. By doing so, you will not only improve your interviewing skills, you will also make better decisions regarding your career.
Stacy Harshman, founder of Your Fulfilling Life, brings her experience as a recruiter for a Fortune 500 corporation to her work as a career coach. In addition to helping people discover their passions, she also provides clients with insight into the mind of a recruiter, unlocking the secrets of what employers look for in potential employees. Stacy offers career coaching in person and by phone to those seeking positive change in their professional lives.