Finding yourself unsuccessful after an interview can be a frustrating experience, but stop your disappointment there! Even if you do your best and still find yourself sending out applications, it’s important to remember that you can learn a lot from even the most seemingly fruitless interviews. Here are some of the things you can still take away, even if one of those things isn’t the job itself:
- Practice. It’s no secret that the key to great interviewing is practice, but reciting your elevator pitch and running through possible questions can only get you so far. Real, one-on-one interviews that may not have panned out the way you wanted are never a failure—rather, they’re a great opportunity to review the experience after the fact and decide what you did well and what you can improve on. Pay attention to each question and answer and how you handle them and, of course, how your interviewer responds.
- Connections. Even if you feel that the interview didn’t go the way you would have liked it to, you should always consider asking the interviewer if you can connect on LinkedIn either before you leave, or in your follow-up email. This is a great way to keep you fresh in the interviewer’s mind— if not for this position, then maybe for other opportunities. At the very least, you could make a great connection for the future and add to your growing professional network.
- Research skills. If you prepared thoroughly for your interview, then you most likely did quite a bit of research on the company. The research skills it takes to job search, acquaint yourself with various companies, and ready yourself for whatever might come your way in the interview are valuable in most positions. What’s more, the more you go through this process, the faster and more efficient you’ll become at it. You’ll be better at preparing for interviews when that job you qualify perfectly for comes along.
- An idea of what kind of culture you fit best in. Not every office or workplace is the same, and oftentimes, too many candidates jump into a job offer before deciding whether or not the environment is right for them. This can be prevented if you ask the right questions and pay close attention to the atmosphere around you. The more interviews you go on, the better you’ll become at discerning which environments best suit your professional style, and the less likely you are to make a misinformed decision in the future.
- Examples of different interviewing styles. Every interviewer is different, and as a result, no two interviews are the same. Each interview you go on gives you a new perspective into what to expect and how similar questions can be approached from different angles. Furthermore, and possibly most important, you’ll learn how to adjust to different interview settings and styles for the future.
The job market is flooded with candidates and more are being interviewed per position than ever, so don’t expect to land the first job you interview for. But should you find yourself discouraged after several attempts, reflect on the above knowledge you’ve acquired and apply them to your next interview. Eventually, with your new repertoire of interviewing skills, you’ll shine in comparison to your competition.