I met with an intelligent and accomplished job seeker the other day. When I asked how many interviews he had been on since beginning his search (approximately 6 months ago) he told me 4-5. I then asked how many of those interviews turned into second interviews with the company. His reply…0.
This is the interview conversion. Most companies will conduct 2 or more interviews with candidates. This is important to know. Your conversion rate, ideally, should be 1 for 1. In other words, each interview should result in a second interview.
The job seeker said he had gotten a lot of good feedback on his interviewing abilities and that at least once he had heard that he was the company's second choice. While this is good information, it probably isn't 100% accurate. Or it may mean that technically he has good skills but he is lacking the certain something that would make him desirable. Passion? Enthusiasm? Drive?
DO PEOPLE SAY YOU ARE GOOD AT INTERVIEWING?
It isn't enough to have people blowing sunshine. You will want to ask for more specific information. But be careful who you ask this of. It is not the company's responsibility to provide you with feedback. Find a mentor or use a networking contact to review your interviewing style. Provide them with some good interview questions (here's a list).
ASK FOR MEANINGFUL FEEDBACK
Instead of asking, "How did I do?" or "What did you think?" Consider asking these questions. Remember, asking for feedback from the HR department or hiring manager after the interview is not what I am suggesting here. This feedback would be elicited from people you respect.
- Did I come across as sincerely interested in the position?
- Did the answers I provided make you want to learn more about me?
- Did the stories/examples I used seem relevant to what you know about the company I am interviewing with?
- Could you give me one example of something that stuck in your mind as memorable?
- Can you provide me with one suggestion of what would improve my interview?
Practice, practice, practice. And definitely let your enthusiasm for the company show!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.