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How to Improve Your Performance in Future Interviews

By Gerald Walsh ©

One of the best ways to improve your performance in upcoming interviews is to dissect how the past one just went.

If at all possible, you should try to obtain constructive feedback from the interviewers or recruiter. For example, not long ago, in response to a candidate asking me for feedback, I told her that she might consider not relying on her notes so much as she came across as scripted and lacking in spontaneity. She appreciated the feedback and said she would adapt in future interviews.

I suggested to another candidate that he give fewer examples from his volunteer work and more from his paid work experience. I felt this would have been more effective in demonstrating his skills. He understood how this could improve his job interview performance in the future.

Often an employer will not give feedback but that shouldn’t stop you from doing a critical self-analysis to determine if there is anything about your answers, dress, impression or questions that you could have done differently.

Think of how professional athletes and their coaches watch game film over and over. They are trying to figure out what worked well and what didn’t in order to improve their performance in the next game. Since you don’t have game film to watch, how can you conduct an effective post-mortem?

Here is a little self-scoring tool to evaluate your own performance. Now, I realize you’re not exactly objective but don’t be self-delusional. Tricking yourself into thinking you did well – when you didn’t – won’t get you anywhere.

Rate each of these statements on a scale of 1 – 10 and add any comments that will help you in future interviews:

Being completely honest with yourself will help you isolate your interviewing strengths and weaknesses so that you will only get better at future interviews.

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This week I lost a very close friend, Neville Gilfoy, to cancer at the much-too-young age of 63. Neville was a tireless promotor of entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada but most of all – a really good friend to many. We spent a lot of time together, over dinner, coffee or just chatting in the street. Every time we parted, his final words to me were always “Be cool.”

Here’s a photo of us at the finish line of the Blue Nose Marathon a few years ago. This is the only time he ever beat me. Boy, was he proud of that!

I will miss you, Nev. Be cool.

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Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and writer. During a 25+ year career, he has interviewed more than 10,000 job candidates, completed hundreds of successful searches for a range of organizations and guided many individuals – from young professionals to senior executives – to successful career change. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career.” You can follow Gerry on Twitter @Gerald_Walsh and LinkedIn