Next to being informed about landing a job, many candidates find the end of an interview and the relief of doing well to be the second best feeling. Given all the preparation and stress that goes into interviews, this is completely normal. While the sense of relief is immense, it is important to complete a few minor steps post interview that could separate you from other applicants and set you up for success.
Note what went well and what did not – Do this straight after your interview as you’re very likely to forget the details of your interview as time passes by. This is normal given the amount of preparation you would have gone through, the pressure or nerves during your interview and the feeling of ‘being in the zone’ in terms of your performance, all now being in the past. Write down questions that gave you trouble so you can work on them in general or if you have another interview lined up.
Reflect on how you would have changed the interview if you could such as time of day, opening remarks, listening, enthusiasm, your questions, your answers. Achieving the right mix with all these variables will result in your best interview performance so it’s worth understanding what works best for you (eg some people function better in the mornings than in the afternoons and vice versa).
Plan follow-up activity – Write a post interview thank you letter. This is a must! With many recruitment interactions now being on various digital platforms where a click or an emoji can be commonplace, a thank you letter can be very important in conveying to the hiring manager or recruiter that you remain interested in the role and have the right motivations.
If you are not offered the job, politely ask the person you interviewed about what factors went into the decision, if there is anything you could have improved in your performance or anything you should learn from the decision that might help you with other potential employers. Also ask whether there might be other leads or people to talk to about other positions. Let them know you would be interested in other jobs within the company should they arise.
While it can be challenging to look past the disappointment of being unsuccessful for a particular job, it is vital to be able to move on to the next application and not wallow in disappointment. There are many factors that go into securing a job, a lot will be out of your control. Be open to feedback and if you think it’s valid, look at it as something you should work on.