Learning from Your Job Interviews
Job interviews can be equal parts excitement and stress. Most candidates go into an interview anticipating the prospect of a new job, but sometimes not getting the job can be the bigger lesson. Interviews, like other areas of life, are a learning opportunity. The ability to improve with each job interview is dependent on knowing how the interview went and the ability to assess what needs to change or improve before the next one. Reflection can boost future efforts and help you understand who you are and what you want.
Tips for Making the Next Job Interview Better
Find a quiet place for self-reflection. This doesn’t need to be a lengthy process, just five to 10 minutes will do. During the process, answer the questions below as a neutral observer. If you didn’t know this person (you), how would you answer the questions?
What felt good about the interview?
Would you do the next interview in the same way?
Did you demonstrate your positive attributes and skills?
What interview questions went well?
Now for the more difficult and honest part. Were there areas of the interview that didn’t go as well? Times when you wished you had a question prepared or maybe a moment when you stumbled in an answer? The point in determining what made you happy or unhappy about your interview is a mental exercise. Just as you exercise your body to make it stronger, practicing and refining job interview skills can improve how well you will do.
The most important thing to remember is that you are who you are. You have unique skills and achievements. You’re not meant to be like anyone else. By remembering this, you’ll understand that how you answer the interview questions should in part be informed by who you are and what’s important to you. Trying to memorize answers you think will impress a recruiter could potentially backfire if it’s not the point you want to get across.
Create a Conversation
Think of an interview as a way for you and the recruiter to get to know each other better. Candidates who go in prepared knowing about the position and how their skills apply to the job can differentiate themselves in the interview process. By doing this, you’ll have a better chance of building rapport with the staffing recruiter and they will be able to assess the best fit for you and your skills.
Practice is one of the best ways to find a comfort level with this process. Sit down with a friend or family member and have them ask you some interview questions. You can Google “practice interview questions” online. After each practice session, ask for feedback in how you answered the questions, your body language, and the ability to create a conversation and maintain eye contact. These are the steps that will improve how a job recruiter sees you and ultimately increase your chance of interview success.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City. A full-service employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and contract employment placement services in the Overland Park, Johnson County, and Kansas City Metro areas.