I spoke to a candidate recently who interviewed for a role he really wanted and didn’t get.
He explained to me that he had asked for feedback from the interviewer. Initially, he took the feedback on board. However, after a few days and having had time to reflect, he changed his mind.
Now the feedback was unjustified. The interviewers were incompetent. It was their fault for failing to see what a good fit he was for the role.
How many of us have found ourselves in this position, either having been the candidate, or the recruiter having to manage this situation?
Whilst an interview is a two-way process, it isn’t the interviewers’ responsibility to uncover the qualities that they need in a hire. The candidate needs to use the interview as a platform for demonstrating their capabilities for the role. Of course, self-esteem can often skew our thinking when it comes to rejection. It’s important to understand in this situation that the candidate either wasn’t right for the role, or perhaps didn’t do a good job in convincing.
With this in mind, here are some of my top tips for acing your interview:
- Ensure that you ask for a full job description before attending interview. Take a highlighter pen and read through, marking off some of the key aspects or the essentials for the role.
- Next jot down on a piece of paper examples from your career where you can demonstrate experience and knowledge in those areas. Have these examples in your mind should you be asked.
- For each role on your CV, write down three main achievements. Think about time saved, money saved or earned, efficiency increased. Anything that could be tangible are all great examples. If not, think about the positive impact that you had on the company by being there.
- Think about your strengths and your areas for development. Your strengths should tie in hopefully to point one above. Your areas for development should also be turned in to a positive where you can. For example, describing one of your weaknesses as “being too much of a perfectionist” is also a positive to many, particularly if your role requires a high level of attention to detail!
A key tip is to always ensure that you ask the interviewer before you leave the room “do you have any questions or concerns that I haven’t overcome”. This is a great opportunity to clarify any points BEFORE your time is up. If you don’t manage to ask, send a follow up email direct thanking the interviewer for their time. Always give them an opportunity to ask more questions if needed.
Not everyone is always going to be right for a role and there will be rejection, but it is how we learn and develop from this that will undoubtedly help the next time around.