Don’t hesitate to evaluate

So you’ve interviewed for that dream job and before you’re even out the door, you know you won’t be getting a call back. Whether the hiring manager used words or expressions to tell you, the answer is “no.”

That’s your real time to shine. There are, however, many things that can give the wrong first impression. Sometimes you might have forgotten to smile, looked disinterested when you were actually just nervous, or stumbled over all your answers. Sometimes it’s something you said.

No matter the reasons, if you evaluate your performance there are lessons you can learn and apply that will help you rock your next interview.

First, pen some notes about your interview. How do you think you presented yourself? Were you dressed appropriately? Did you respond to questions thoughtfully and use appropriate examples to represent your portfolio?

Don’t forget to also make notes about the interviewer and the questions they asked you. Were you well prepared for the questions they asked?

Next, give yourself a rating for the interview. If you have notes from previous interviews, compare your performances. If things aren’t improving, take a good look at where you’re stumbling and why.

Overall, what do your notes say about how you present yourself? If you see something that can be changed, do it. Practise, practise, practise. Before heading into your next interview, make sure you have it down pat.

If you’re puzzled as to why you didn’t get the job, don’t be afraid to reach out to the employer for feedback. Most will be willing to take a few minutes to give you some helpful hints. Don’t be afraid to try — the worst they can do is say no.

Steps to improvement

• Pen your thoughts post-interview.
• Highlight your strengths and weaknesses.
• Focus on what you need to improve next time around.
• Reach out to the hiring manager for feedback.