Five things to do when you fail an interview
Do not be too disappointed if you do not clear an interview. Interviews are rarely a ‘black and white’ process of knowledge and experience assessment nor are they any judgement on your knowledge and experience.
Interviews are only meant to discern if you are the ‘right fit’ for the available job.
Many factors lend themselves to your success at an interview. IBNLT your resume layout/details, actual relevant experience to the vacancy, your ‘fit’ in the team, your presentation.
Even simple non-verbal elements will be judged for example maintaining eye contact and calm in pressure situations.
Consider failed interviews as opportunities to learn how to improve, this might help you crack your next interview.
Here are the top five things we suggest you do after a failed interview:
Scrutinize and update your resume
Mismatched information and misspelt words will instantly grab the interviewer’s attention. Check your resume thoroughly for any mistakes and correct them immediately.
Tweak your resume to match the position/company you are applying for. For example, if they are looking for a senior tech lead who is a team player, then mention an instance or key point where you’ve led a team and worked with other people.
Try to avoid overused buzzwords like ‘self-starter’, ‘go-getter’, ‘passionate’ etc. Experienced recruiters see right through self-praise and exaggeration in resumes and filter such candidates out.
Also, avoid the use of out-of-place formatting and fancy fonts in your attempts to ‘stand out’. Use conservative fonts like ‘calibri’, ‘arial’ or ‘roboto’.
Ruminate the actual interview session
Did you look the interviewer right in the eye, or if it was a panel, have you kept an open body stance so that you engage all of them? Irregular eye contact indicates dishonesty, lack of interest and distraction.
Slouching, weak handshakes and defensive body postures are signs that make you look less able and diffident.
You have to stand/sit tall and avoid any kind of fidgeting. Along with an open and firm body posture, ideally, maintain constant eye contact with the interviewer(s).
Avoid signs of nervousness which could be interpreted as attitude such as repeating yourself, or speaking out of turn or giving your answer before the interviewer has completed the question.
Nerves can be dealt with easily if you accept the interview for what it is; only a professional conversation to get to know if you fit the job, and not a personal interrogation.
Objectively evaluate the questions and your answers
Retrospect the interview and try to find improvements in both your answers and their delivery at the time.
An alarming number of IT candidates seem to struggle when asked non-technical questions that test basic communication skills.
Remember that for such questions there is no right/wrong answer so speak freely and honestly. At IT firms like LiteBreeze, soft skills and good communication are as important as technical skills.
Even if you are a highly skilled programmer, without good communication skills, you wouldn’t survive the highly interactive modern IT work culture.
Get in touch with the interviewer for an honest feedback
The recruiter(s) that interviewed you can surely help pinpoint areas of improvement.
Should you be interested in honest feedback for improvement, get in touch with them within 72 hours of the interview (while it’s still fresh in their minds).
Ask them for tips that you could use in your next interview. You could even request them for a connection via LinkedIn, for it could be beneficial in the future. This could be a professional mentor-mentee relationship in the making.
Experienced recruiters, especially at LiteBreeze aim to mentor those candidates who are willing to improve themselves at any cost. You could additionally review another article on 10 questions to ask your interviewer.
Find your silver lining
No matter how bad the interview went, in hindsight, there will be some things that were positive. Find out those factors that went well in your interview and try to replicate them next time.
These silver linings are probably your strengths that you can bend according to your will to balance your weaknesses.
Every failed interview is a learning experience if you are willing to put aside your frustration, disappointment and initial anger so as to think deeply, honestly and evaluate your performance transparently.
Take time to learn from them and you will surely get through another interview for a job that is best suited to your specific knowledge and experience. All the best!
As proposed by Jack Bergstrand, CEO of Brand Velocity, it is important to find your workplace strengths like knowledge-work productivity, envision strength, design strength, and operate characteristic which will improve your chances of finding the perfect position/company for you.