Essential Job Search Tool:
The Interview Debrief Form
Your interview went great – or at least it’s over! Now what?
If you have ever worked with a recruiter, you will notice that recruiters invariably request a debriefing shortly after your interview. When I was job searching, I always valued these calls rather highly, because it was helpful to hear the recruiter’s perspective and also have a chance to “hear myself talk” about the opportunity. At the same time, I knew that I needed to have room to think in my own quiet space, without any external influences.
If your first step after your interview is talking to a recruiter (or anyone else, such as a spouse, friend or parent), also make notes for yourself while the meetings are fresh in your mind. Sometimes we lose our train of thought once new information enters the picture, such as questions from others or re-entry into the mix of a current job situation.
If you do not have time to make written notes within the first few hours after the interview but do have the opportunity to record yourself (e.g., in a recording app on your phone), I highly suggest you do the latter and transcribe your notes, or at least email the recording to yourself for safekeeping. You will want to have these notes in front of you when you return for additional interviews and while evaluating (if applicable) multiple offers, and you may even want to keep them for future job searches.
While we all want our job search to be quick and painless, sometimes we get called back months after the initial interview.
Are you sure you will remember what you said and to whom?
Points to include in your debrief are:
- Your Overall Impressions
- Thoughts About the Interviewer and Company
- Points About You to Emphasize in Future Interviews
- Points About the Employer or Role to Emphasize in Future Interviews
- Any “Bottom Line” or Potential Stocking Points on Compensation, etc.
- Further Questions to Have Answered
- Further People to Meet
- Pros and Cons vs. Other Potential Roles
- Areas of Improvement for Future Interviews
- Additional Thoughts or Concerns
Click here for a sample interview debrief form that you can use for informational interviewing and job interviews. You may wish to compile all of your forms in a single place, whether it is electronically or in a physical binder, so that you can compare and contrast opportunities, have them as a refresher if your “dream job” does not call back for six months and reinvigorate your job search if you have a break and restart (or find a job and then head out into the market again at a later date). We all think we will remember everything from our interview, and invariably we do not. Having these notes available will add depth and continuity to your personal knowledge bank, thereby enhancing your position as a candidate and accelerating your search.
Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, author, resume strategist and member of Forbes Coaches Council. She is the author of Master the Interview: A Guide for Working Professionals (available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and through local booksellers) and Know Yourself, Grow Your Career: The Personal Value Proposition Workbook.
The above article is an excerpt from Master the Interview.
Images: Adobe Stock.