One thing you should always take away from a job interview

Interviews are usually quite a nerve-wracking experience. You always hope you have prepared and that the interviewer won’t catch you out on anything. The trouble is that these days, people no longer get made an offer after just one or two interviews. The whole process usually constitutes anywhere between 3 and 10 interviews. This creates even more opportunity for nerves and as you progress through the rounds, and so nerves mount up.

There is of course another way of looking at this whole drawn out process. You need to objectively say: “If I go through x amount of rounds of interviews with this company and end up not getting the job, as a consolation what can I actually get out of it?”

 My answer would be contacts.

Yes good, solid contacts. View an interview as a great opportunity to extend your network. You may not get the job now but if found you got on with someone particularly well in the interview, get his or her business card and LinkedIn details, and keep in contact. This shows that you are proactive and flexible, and most importantly willing to go the extra mile – prime example of differentiation.

This exact scenario played out with me at a company in Canary Wharf, London. I went through three interview stages. The final stage involved interviewing with four people. I happened to get on well with one person in particular from HR, and got his business card. A week later I found out that I did not get the job. I phoned this person from HR to ask in a nice way why they had not chosen me, but most importantly re-affirmed my interest in working for the company, and told him the areas that were of interest to me. We kept in contact by email on a weekly basis, and 3 weeks later, he set me up for another job interview in a different department. I did not end up getting that job, but that is beside the point. The point is that by engaging people and making that extra effort, you create for yourself a greater probability of landing that job.


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