After an interview, when talking to your recruiter, friends and family two of the first questions you’ll be asked is “so, how did it go?” followed by “if offered the role, would you take it?” It’s important to remember that you’ll probably be feeling drained, with a bunch of thoughts and questions going through your mind. It’s best to refrain from making fast decisions, go for a walk in the park or take some time to sit down in a coffee shop in order to reflect and gather your thoughts, maybe write down the pros and the cons. Below I go through the top questions to ask yourself upon reflecting on an interview.
1. Can you see yourself doing the job?
Try to remember what drew you to the role in the first place and whether you now feel more or less interested than you did before the interview. For example, you may have been attracted to the scope for progression, the stretch opportunities, and the variety of 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?
Another key indicator is how you felt when the interviewer was explaining the role in more detail to you. Did you feel excited, like this is the challenge you have been waiting for? Did you find yourself asking more questions about the opportunity? You may have felt slightly nervous and daunted by the increment in responsibility, as anyone does when stepping outside their comfort zone, but ultimately, were these positive nerves?
Remember why you decided to go to this interview in the first place – something is clearly missing in your current job. The question is, does this new role have what your current one lacks?
2. Is the company the best fit for you?
Before you attended the interview, you may have had an idea of what type of company you wanted to work for next, in terms of its purpose, values, culture and possibly even size. Now you have met with this organisation, how do they compare? Could you see yourself buying into their vision, and feeling passionate about working here?
What about the “personality” of the company, that is, the company culture? 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. Does this suit your personality? Perhaps you were even shown around the office or introduced to your potential colleagues. What were your first impressions upon meeting them?
Ultimately, could you see yourself integrating well with the company culture and values, and do you think you would be a good fit? Can you imagine yourself walking in there every day, ready to give your all?
3. How do you view your new potential employer?
Speaking of your future colleagues, how did your potential boss come across during the interview? This is important, after all, you would be reporting into this person on a daily basis, coming to them for guidance and support, especially during those early days on the job. Again, it isn’t always easy to get a clear picture of this from just one interview, but certain behaviours will indicate what this person is like to work for:
- Firstly, were they a strong communicator? Did they explain the job and their expectations for the role clearly? If so, this indicates that you would know where you stood with them if you were to report into them
- Secondly, did they listen to you? Part of being a strong communicator is being able to listen effectively. Did they listen to your answers, and were they encouraging and receptive to what you had to say? Did they answer all of your questions fully?
- Were they approachable and welcoming? Did you feel comfortable talking to them and asking them questions?
- Did they seem passionate about their job, their team and the company? Never underestimate the importance of a dedicated boss who loves their job, their enthusiasm is infectious and soon spreads within the team. Try to recall whether they seemed animated and upbeat as they spoke, or whether it felt like they were reading from a script
- Lastly, were they interested in your ambitions for the future, and what you hoped to achieve if successful in this role? If they smiled and nodded as you spoke, and asked you to elaborate further, this indicates that they are true people managers, that they care about the goals and progression of their employees, and that they would be supportive of you if you joined their team
4. Ultimately what is your opinion of the job now?
Your gut feel isn’t just a suspicion; it is your intuition telling you that a certain decision is for the best, even if it doesn’t make complete logical sense at the time. For you, maybe this position isn’t 100 per cent perfect, but your gut is telling you that it doesn’t matter; this is a risk worth taking. 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, then that’s your instincts kicking in and you should pay attention to them.
Our intuition knows us better than anyone, and it is important that we listen, especially when it comes to our careers. You should also be asking yourself whether you have any reservations about the role? Is there anything you’ve seen, heard or read that would put you off from taking the post? If not, even if it’s not ticking each and every box on your perfect list then it might just be the right place for you.
Having considered all of the above, you should now be feeling clearer on how you would answer the question: “So, would you take the role if they offered it?” If it’s a yes, 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. Fingers crossed the feeling is mutual, and the work you did in the interview to sell yourself to this company has done enough to convince them to bring you to the next stage. In no time at all, you will be accepting an opportunity that pushes you to your full potential.
For more information on your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Mark joined Hays in 1985 as a trainee consultant and has been in various roles, sectors and locations during his time at Hays. He is a Board member and in 2019 his responsibilities extended to Hays Ireland.