It sounds cliché but, as a jobseeker, it really is important to see every missed opportunity as bringing you one step closer to the next. Interviewing is a skill like any other, meaning practice is important – so, take every rejection as a learning experience. Instead of dwelling on the result, ask yourself: how can I improve in order to get a yes next time?
Let’s turn the tables here. We’ve put together some questions to ask yourself after the fact, which might just help you learn something, gather valuable interview feedback for yourself, and truly embrace the phrase, “rejection is redirection”:
1. How well prepared was I?
It’s no secret that adequate prep can truly make or break your chances of getting the job. Be honest with yourself in answering the question above – the answer could simply be, not well enough.
Alternatively, although you may have felt prepared, it could be that something unexpected came up. Which questions did you struggle with? Which questions had you not anticipated? After each interview, note down where you were thrown off and prepare even harder for these next time.
It might be that you didn’t know enough about their business; perhaps you focused on experience X too much, when they wanted to know about Y or Z. Perhaps it was a case of not knowing your own figures thoroughly or having enough achievements in mind beforehand to draw upon throughout. Take the positives and the challenges from this interview, and give yourself a more all-encompassing, overarching prep to draw from in the next.
2. Did I listen carefully to each question and provide a relevant answer?
Think back to each question you were asked – was the answer you gave entirely relevant?
What we mean by that is that sometimes, we can mishear or misunderstand a question – which leads us to giving a slightly off-piste answer. After each interview go back over your answers to ensure they made sense, were relevant to the question being asked and consider any occasion where you may have gone off on a slight tangent.
Further to this, think about how well you answered the questions. When we’re talking about our own experience, it can be easy to assume that the person interviewing knows exactly what we’re talking about; sadly, not always the case. If you’re interviewing with HR, for instance, they may not understand the technical jargon or intricacies of your role. As such, make sure that your answers are understandable to all – and your relevancy to the role will improve as such, along with your chances of success at interview.
3. Could this person provide me with useful interview feedback directly?
This one couldn’t be more important. Whilst it may feel somewhat awkward or outside your comfort zone, asking for feedback from your interviewer directly is an incredible way to understand what could be improved upon next time.
This person has experienced your interview technique themselves. Each interview you attend is an opportunity for genuine, real-time feedback – what you did well, what you could improve on, the reasons you were unsuccessful. All of this is truly tangible feedback which you can use moving forwards; if you didn’t ask during or at the end of your interview, don’t be afraid to send a friendly email thanking your interviewer for their time and asking for any constructive pointers (when it’s appropriate to do so, of course).
Better yet, if you’re interviewing through a staffing agency, have us ask on your behalf! Interview feedback is a key part of the jobseeking process, and truly the best way to improve your interview skills, whether you’re self-learning or asking for it directly.
We talk a lot about the services we at NLG offer to clients, but our job is two-fold; we represent our candidates with pride and want to give you the best chance of success at interview. From arranging and organizing to prepping and interview technique, our consultants are adept in helping manufacturing talent secure their next position in the industry – if you think we may be able to do the same for you, get in touch with our friendly team today.