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 Flickr.com