Most people feel a huge sense of relief after coming out of a job interview. You've done it! The pressure is over, you've done the best you can and the rest is out of your hands. But before you put your feet up, take some time to reflect on your interview. How did you come across? More importantly, how did the company come across…?
Your Interview Performance
Reflecting on how you answered the interview questions and thinking about how you carried yourself is an important part of the process. Introspection can help you improve for future interviews and help you judge how likely you are to get the job.
How long did the interview last?
Traditional wisdom has it that if your job interview was over an hour long, that's a good thing. But it varies by job and by business. Try and get an idea of how long the interview should take from your recruiter to best judge this. The longer is always the better.
Remember, hiring managers are extremely busy people, so if they are happy to invest time in you at the interview, chances are they like you.
Was there a sense of engagement from the interviewer?
Were you having a conversation, or were you giving prescript answers to expected questions? A natural conversation with your interviewer is a sign that you have built up a successful rapport with them. Not only does this demonstrate your interpersonal skills, it again helps the interviewer foresee you working for them.
Body language is another dead giveaway. Your recruiter should have given you some guidance on how to appear open and engaging, so turn that knowledge on your interviewer. Body language gives a lot away about the feel of an interview. Movements including leaning forwards, smiling, nodding in agreement or uncrossed arms are all a sign that the hiring manager is feeling positive towards you.
How did the interview end?
What closing questions were you asked when the interview came to a close? Questions about future interviews coming up, your potential commute and your notice period are positive. They show that your interviewer is interested in your immediate future.
How much of the workplace did the interviewer show you on the way in or out? If the interviewer is interested in you, they may give you a tour of your new workspace! As the conversation comes to a close, you may be informed of what the next stage would be. This instantly shows that you are in with a chance and your hiring manager does not want you to lose interest.
The Company's Performance
Being offered a job is exciting, but before you make a snap decision, take some time to reflect on the company and how they presented themselves. It can tell you a lot about what they are like to work with. Culture match is so important to successful hiring, and that works both ways.
Does the company culture suit you?
Before the interview, your recruiter will have ascertained your ideal fit in terms of values, culture and job role. This is to make sure that the company you interview for shares those values.
It can be tricky to get a feel for a company’s culture in one interview, but try to think back to how the interviewer described the business and team. They might have used words such as “close knit” or “sociable”, giving an indication of the dynamic you would be walking into.
When thinking back on your interview, ask yourself whether you agree with the culture the business presented. Did you buy into their vision, and feel passionate about working here?
How did they sell the job?
What drew you to the role in the first place? You may have been attracted to the scope for progression, and the diversity of the work involved. Now you have been to the interview and found out more, can you honestly say this opportunity would push you to your full potential? How does it fit in with the career plan and objectives you first set out when you embarked upon your job search?
Did the interviewer cover all the aspects of the job you care most about? Anything that is glossed over is likely to not be of importance to them, which might not align well with your personal needs.
It may be the case that during the interview you realised the role was different from what you expected. While your recruiter will endeavour to make sure you're the right fit, the only way to know for sure is to speak to the interviewer directly.
What does your gut say?
Trust your intuition. If it feels right, it probably is right. If you walked away from this interview feeling more excited than when you walked in, even though certain boxes in your “perfect job” criteria remained unchecked, that’s your instincts telling you that you can make this a perfect job in time. Remember, a job interview isn't everything, but if it feels right, take the plunge!
Having considered all of the above, you should now be feeling clearer on whether you truly want to accept this offer or not. If you do, be sure to confirm that you are still interested in the role with your recruiter, and ask them to pass this message on via a thank you email to the interviewer. Once you've done that, all you have to do is cross your fingers and get ready to start a brand new journey!