YOU FINISHED YOUR INITIAL PHONE SCREEN with HR and/or the hiring manager and have a lot of thoughts and feelings rushing through you. That’s normal. But what also is normal is that, with time, a lot of the ideas you are thinking of so vividly now will dissipate with time and have no influence over your future interviews, let alone participate in your decision about a particular job.
When I speak with someone before an interview, I encourage them to take a little time after the interview to debrief themselves AFTER they’ve sent their thank you email to each person they’ve spoken with.
Here’s what I want them to write about and save:
Why do you think you can do the job?
It’s important to acknowledge that you can or cannot do the job you are interviewing for and why. If you have the opinion you are incapable of doing a job at the highest level or that the job is way over your head, you probably shouldn’t take it. If it is a role that you can handle in your sleep, you probably shouldn’t take it. After all, you probably will go to sleep doing the job, be unchallenged, and revert to mediocre performance and resentment within time.
No matter what your answer is, keep interviewing. This question is “a first pass” at thinking about whether you see yourself working for the firm.
What about the job or position is “attractive to you?”
At this point, you are able to see what your biases are about the job by answering this question. My thinking is that after one interview, particularly if it was done by telephone, if you are feeling exuberant about the job, it is probably a case of “irrational exuberance. Reserve any excitement for after your first in-person interview.
What “red flags” came up during your interview?
Sometimes that are things HR or the hiring manager says that signal a reason for you to be concerned. Maybe they spoke about the need “to make a commitment to the work” signaling they expect you to work long hours seven days a week. Maybe there was something that one of the people on staff said about the hiring manager that suggested that they were less than enamored with their boss. Take note of it here. It will be something you will want to investigate on subsequent interviews.
What questions do you need or want to have answered?
Some interviewers conduct interviews like an inquisition (that should be a signal, too) and don’t afford job hunters much of an opportunity to have their questions answered. If you have questions based upon what you’ve heard or seen so far, jot them down so that you remember to get answers to your questions in future interviews.
Do you want to keep interviewing?
I don’t believe in “one and done.” I believe that you should keep interviewing if you have only had one interview so that you can explore more and learn what you can. If you believe the same thing after two interviews and certainly after three, stop interviewing. I don’t believe you should interview until you receive the offer if it is a job that will put you to sleep. Better to make room for someone else.
Completing answers to these questions will help you keep clear about one job vs. another so that once you receive an offer from firms, you do not become confused while interviewing, insure you obtain the best information you can for you, and keep you from making a bad decision.
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2015
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has more than 40 years of headhunting experience, is the author of 8 books about job search, one about hiring, the host of Job Search Radio, No B. S. Job Search Advice Radio, No B. S. Hiring Advice Radio and the creator of more than 1900 YouTube videos about job search and hiring.He has written about the job market since August 2001 and coaches people into correcting their job hunting mistakes.
Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.