I write a lot about interview prep, and the things that you should do before an interview. In terms of getting the job, what you do before/during the interview matters more than what you do after… but a little post interview homework is important. While it can’t change the past it will help you learn for the future.
Here are 5 things you should ask yourself and jot down after every job interview (oh, and feel free to download our free job interview recap worksheet too):
1. What questions did I answer really, really well… and why?
First of all, give yourself a little credit for the things you did well! Was there something you said that really seemed to resonate? A story you told that got a positive reaction? These are things you will want to remember and potentially draw from and/or repeat on future interviews.
2. What questions could I have done better on? What could I have expressed differently that would have made me seem like a stronger candidate?
Don’t beat yourself up if you got tongue tied on a question or two… but acknowledge that it’s an area you should spend some more time preparing for in the future.
3. Overall, how confident do I feel that I’ll move forward? (Use a scale of 1-10)
This one is important. Here is something I see ALL of the time. A client goes on an interview and they feel great after.
Then, a few days go by and suddenly they’re playing everything over in their head and think they bombed the interview (sound familiar?)
Meanwhile, on the other end, the recruiter may have taken a 3 day vacation, or a crisis came up and the last thing on people’s minds is that job you interviewed for.
My point is that a few days passing shouldn’t change your perception of how well you did (or didn’t do). Look back on this “rating” when you’re feeling anxious and remind yourself that hey, I walked out of there feeling pretty good – a few days going by doesn’t change that.
4. If I were to get an offer, should I take it? Did I feel like the job, team, and overall environment was a good fit for me?
This is where you have to get really honest with yourself before you get tempted by an amazing job offer. Ask yourself if you would really be happy working at the company, with the people you interviewed with, and doing the job you interviewed for. When the interview is fresh in your mind, jot down your gut reaction, and then trust it. This will help ground you when other murky details enter the picture (a high salary, your desperation to get out of your current situation, etc.)
5. What did they mention about timing and next steps in the process?
I always recommend asking this question at the end of an interview “do you have a sense of what the next steps in the process might be and the general timing of them?”
That way you’ll know if the company is going to spend the next 2 weeks interviewing other candidates or if you can expect a call tomorrow to hear more. Having as much knowledge up front will help avoid that sitting by the phone panicked feeling.
Hope this convinced you to take a few minutes after your next interview and do a recap. Again, if you’re interested feel free to download our free interview recap worksheet!