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How to get the most out of an interview

How to get the most out of an interview

Julia Farthing

After several unsuccesful interviews you may be asking yourself what went wrong and what else can you do to improve the results.

The answer is that you may or may not be doing anything wrong. Interviews are a part of a competitive process and it may be simply that the successful person had more experience than you, or had a particular skill or knowledge that you don't.

Or, the interviewers might have had a better feeling about another candidate-the reasons for this are often hard to explain.

However, feedback might provide important information that you can use to make future interviews more effective; this can sometimes be uncomfortable and/or confronting so an open mind is essential.

Use these tips in order to get valuable feedback:

Contact the person who interviewed you, or the chairperson if it was a panel, as soon as you find out you were unsuccessful. This is usually done by phone.

Seek Advice: on how you might present yourself more effectively-tell the person you are happy to hear constructive negative feedback. Ask: specific questions rather than waiting for the person to provide information.

Avoid: any temptation to argue, even if you think he or she is wrong. It's too late to do anything about it now and you may ruin any chances for the future with that organisation.

Note Down: key points during the conversation, and summarise these back to the interviewer to make sure you have heard everything correctly. This also tells them you are genuinely interested in what they had to say.

Reinforce: your interest in the role.

Check whether there may be more positions, similar to the one you applied for, coming up in the future and if you would be considered for these- this is a great way of finding out whether or not you were ever really in the running.

Thank: the person for taking the time to talk with you.

Julie Farthing is an author of career texts and operates a career-life consultancy, Career Dimensions >> more: or or ph: 0412 555 305. >> For a career counsellor in your area, visit

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