The conclusion of a job interview is never an easy experience to deal with. No matter how well you thought the interview went, you’re still left in limbo: you might be offered a job, but there’s no way of knowing until you hear back from the company you interviewed with.
If you’re applying for your first job out of college, you will likely find the post-interview period extremely difficult to process due to lack of practice. You will probably find yourself running through the interview multiple times in your mind, trying to ascertain if your answers were good enough and if their response was positive. All of this can be helpful – and especially if something went wrong, which you can hopefully rectify in future – but it often overlooks the most crucial question of all:
“Do I want to work for this company?”
On the surface, this seems like a strange question: of course you want to work for the company. Isn’t that why you applied for a role in the organization – because you think the company could be good to work for, and they have a position that is suitable for you?
In a perfect world, yes, the described scenario would be the case – but unfortunately, the experience for many first-time job searchers is rather different. Often, you are likely to find yourself applying for roles with companies that are unfamiliar to you; perhaps even companies you had never heard of until you read their job advert.
Hopefully, you would have gone some distance to rectify this earlier on in the application process, as you went through the crucial step of researching the company in anticipation of interview questions. However, there’s a difference between what you can research about a company and what you experience.
It’s therefore helpful to ask yourself a few questions during the post-interview period:
- Did I like what I saw of the company?
- Were the people I spoke with polite and personable? Did I enjoy the experience of talking to them, even though I was nervous?
- Did the company look like a good place to work?
It’s important to assess the reality of a company rather than relying on your research, and this is one area of life where using your gut instinct can be beneficial. If, on reflection, you feel that the working environment was good, then that’s a positive sign. However, if you look back and think it didn’t seem so great, then that’s something to take notice of; the unfortunate truth is that many companies do have issues, as you can learn if you view online information about the prevalence of workplace accidents or the statistics regarding the percentage of workers who dislike their job. Given these realities, assessing what you experienced at the interview is vital.
The interview isn’t just about the employer assessing you The interview is also a chance for you to assess the company, to see if you could envision yourself working there and whether you felt comfortable spending time on the premises. So while you wait for the all-important phone call, assess your overall interview day experience, and ask if that company is a good fit for you – and if the answer is “no”, then you can resume your job search immediately, rather than waiting for the phone to ring.