Valuable Lessons Gained from Each Interview

Kimberly Hoover Frey
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You spent days rehearsing your introduction, your elevator pitch and thoughtful, spot-on answers to the inevitable “provide an example of your greatest career success/failure” questions. You read nearly every page of the organization’s website and all of its social media channels to become more knowledgeable about your potential employer. You had additional copies of your resume printed on the good paper at your local copy shop. You even had your best business attire professionally dry cleaned.

You left the interview feeling cautiously optimistic that you’d make it to the next round. Except you didn’t advance to the next round and now you wonder whether the collective hours you spent preparing for this most recent interview—and the dozens that preceded it—have been worth the effort (physical, emotional, and psychological).

In short, yes, it was worth the effort and it will continue to be - if you keep these key takeaways in mind.

  • Congratulate yourself for making it to the interview stage. You impressed the hiring committee enough to make it out of the jungle of submitted resumes and cover letters.
  • Appreciate the opportunity to review your own performance. Mock interviewing is a helpful exercise, but nothing beats the real deal, and self-refinement is never an exercise in futility. With each interview process you complete, you gain an opportunity to fine-tune how you present yourself on paper, online, and in person.
  • Remember that you’re now in their system. Though you weren’t the ideal match for this most recent position, you may be "the one" for a future opportunity at that same organization. Many organizations maintain an actively-managed candidate pool for sourcing already-vetted and -interviewed candidates for future openings. So, keep your head high, your manners intact, and be gracious for the opportunity to have been interviewed.
  • Think of the interview as a test-drive. You’ve now gotten a taste for the organization and the type of work. Maybe you’ve long-dreamt of working for this particular organization or in this particular role only to realize (from this interview process) that maybe you should tap the brakes and reassess your expectations for your next employer and position.

Whether you just completed your 7th or 27th interview, keep calm and carry on with integrity, perseverance, and confidence that every completed interview brings you one step closer to an offer letter.

Photo Courtesy of Mindfield Group at


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jacquelyn W. thanks for your comment. So sorry they wasted your time. At least you know that you don't want to work for that company! Maybe it was a blessing in disguise!

  • jacquelyn w.
    jacquelyn w.

    I recently had a weird interview as well. The person interviewing me wasn't EVEN employed by the company. She was a friend "helping" the owner out. She was a bit! She said nothing but positive either. It was all about why I didn't want a job there. I would have liked to talk with owner to let him know that his friend is a nut job.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Vickie B. thanks for your comment. It's unfortunate when something like that happens. But it's good also. Any interview is a good practice for the next one. And it's good that you recognized that this was not a person you would care to work for. That's what is good about a job interview. Not only are they finding out if you are a good fit but you are finding out if you want to be that good fit!!! So chalk it up to practice.

  • Vickie B.
    Vickie B.

    I recently interviewed with a company in Flower Mound, Texas. I could tell the moment I walked in that one of the managers was probably not very skilled in interviewing. I continued to keep a positive spin on things, however, left the interview feeling that he was not someone I would want to be around and work around all day everyday. His manner in which questions were asked and my answers interpreted were not on a positive feel. I am a positive person and always very supportive of my peers, team members and management. This was a total waste of my two hours yesterday.

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