by Lisa McGrimmon
After a job interview there are two very important tasks you need to complete - writing a job interview thank you letter, and making notes about all aspects of your job interview.
Most people are aware of the need to write an interview thank you letter (even if very few people actually write a thank you letter); however, few people realize the importance of making detailed notes after a job interview.
Making notes after the interview can serve several purposes. Interview notes can help you to:
You should write your interview notes immediately after the interview, before you write your thank you note. Do not put this task off because you will very quickly forget the details of the job interview.
Take note of all of the interview questions you were asked (or, at least as many as you can remember), and write down ask much detail as possible about the answers that you provided to those questions.
Note any feelings you had during the interview and any questions you had difficulty answering. Also, make note of any important information you feel was not discussed in the interview If there are crucial skills you didn't get to mention in the job interview, you can draw attention to them in your thank you letter.
If you had any concerns during the interview, perhaps your clothes were uncomfortable, you had difficulty answering a specific question, or you felt unprepared in some way, make note of that and form a plan to improve those things for the next job interview.
Similarly, if there were things you thought you did particularly well in the interview, make note of those things so you can give yourself credit and remember to repeat those things at your next interview.
It is very tempting to want to forget about the interview and relax immediately after what is usually a stressful event. However, the notes you make after a job interview can be extremely valuable if you find yourself stuck at the job interview stage of job searching.
I have worked with several clients who were consistently able to get invited to job interviews, but after the interviews, they would not be offered a job.
As we talked about their job interviews and the kinds of answers they were providing to specific questions, it was almost always easy to pinpoint exactly where they were going wrong in their interviews. Because they had made notes on their past interviews, we could assess their answers and determine exactly why they weren't getting hired and how to improve their answers.
Without exception, once clients revised their answers to the problem questions, they were able to get job offers. If they had not made notes as part of their job interview follow up, it would have been much more difficult to pinpoint the weaknesses in their past interviews.