Postmortem Of A Failed Interview

Unfortunately, you’re not given a report card or debriefing after your job interview; you have to figure it out yourself about your interview performance. Appearing to an interview can be a great hurdle for you, to avoid repeating the same mistakes; you have to post-mortem every interview of yours. So, take time to sit and self-assess your performance after each interview to overcome your most repetitive mistakes and polish your presentation skills.

When it comes to job interviews, there are lots of reasons why one must go with enough preparation. Some people are fortunate enough to stick to the same job or office for years and they don’t have to struggle much with the interviews. But many take a break in between their career for several personal reasons.

Regardless of the circumstances, why you’ve been turned down at the interview, the post-mortem report of the scene can give you some valuable inputs about your performance and help you identify opportunities to improve your interview skills in the upcoming years.

What is Interview post-mortem and why is it valuable?

A post-mortem is nothing but looking back at your performance at the job interviews.

To correct your weak areas and work on them, the same may be applicable for your job search.

The above process makes you a better applicant for your future job trails.

Post-mortem documentation: Why it’s important?

Maintain a separate notebook to note down all the questions posed at you and your answers to them. Check how relevant are they to the company? Do more research on those areas for your next interview?

How to Evaluate Your Interview?

  • Contact your interviewer and ask if they can give some feedback about your performance. You can do this follow-up after a few days of your interview or after you’ve heard that the job was offered to someone.
  • Instead of asking why you didn’t get the job, ask if the interviewer could offer any feedback on how you can improve to get placed in their company.
  • Match a list of experiences you wanted to highlight or that can fetch you a job. If you feel you cannot get through the interview, have mock interview sessions with your friends.
  • Take a look at the questions you asked your interviewer about the company and your position. They might have demonstrated something about your role and the company. This will help you know what you will be asked/expected from you.
  • Now research well about the company prior to future interviews and prepare a list of impressive questions to ask.
  • Compare your dress, age, and behavior to your interviewer, other interviewees, and employees you met during an interview. You should present them with the positive image that they’re looking for and don’t forget that the first impression is the best impression.
  • Consider other aspects such as your punctuality about an interview, the mood of the interviewer, your mood throughout the interview and other factors that will not affect the outcome.
  • Being on the job hunt means you have to sit through a lot of interviews. Even if it seems exhausting, the amount of professional growth you can achieve during the process is tremendous.

How To Fix The Weak Areas

Be Positive

The most important aspect of conducting an effective post-mortem is to have a positive attitude and be focused. Don’t be too negative to yourself.

Write A Recap

Write down facts about the company, time & duration of the interview. Try to adjust your timings for your interview. Prepare and Rehearse for your interviews with more than one person. Write down the discussion and interview questions. Maintain a questionnaire, that you’ve been asked.

Helps me identify trends, allowing me to craft and rehearse stronger responses when I encounter these questions in the future. Different companies have a different style of interviews. So documenting the process can help you spot trends and allows you to refer to the initial discussion if they call you in for a second interview.

Ask these three questions

When conducting your post-mortem, answer the following questions: What went well? What needs improvement? What can I do differently next time? The answers to these questions will help you grow as an interviewee. Be sure to address any situation you troubled through, how you spoke about your career gap, and how you spoke about your professional life.

Take Action

Use these insights to impact future interviews, here’s how:

Prepare and practice your responses to questions you didn’t answer correctly.

Did you skip because you couldn’t think of a good answer? Or because you could, but didn’t present it w

Well due to nervousness? If it’s the latter, practice your stories until you know them good.

If you feel bad discussing your career gaps, find out why? Write down a strong reason for your explanation then prepare it.

Refer Back

The reason to have a notebook is to make a note and refer it before future interviews. If carrying a notebook isn’t your thing, use Google Docs.

Even if you nailed the interview and you were offered the job, these lessons will help you grow in a later point of your career.

Treat each job interview as a learning opportunity; only that attitude will help you improve your interview skills and overall public speaking and presentation skills.

–       Jaswanth Vellanki

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