September 11, 2008

Seeking Interview Feedback

Interview feedback is one of the most important parts of the interview process. If you are interviewing internally for a promotion or position within your current company, receiving interview feedback is relatively easy. Feedback from an external interview is hard to come by especially when managers and companies are frighten by horror stories and threats of lawsuits.

Regardless of where you interview or with whom, I recommend asking for feedback. If interviewing internally, interview feedback is a must. Ask to receive your feedback in writing in the form of an IDP or Individual Development Plan or other document. Even if you don't get offered a position, show them you mean business and have some follow through.

Don't limit your development to company specific activities. If you are in need of leadership or management experience and your company doesn't offer an official program, think outside the box. Join a club or lead a team of volunteers at a local nonprofit. This opportunity does double duty providing you leadership experience also with valuable networking at the same time.

Sign up for mock interviews. Most often when we interview and are under the gun, we tend to ramble and lose focus. I recommend attending a class at your local vo-tech for a nominal fee allowing a professional to give you real life feedback.

Speak publicly every chance you get. When interviewing, it's essential to be able to speak on your feet. Hiring managers love to throw wild interview questions the candidate's way shaking them off balance. Join a public speaking group like toastmasters to give you valuable public speaking experience.

Get a mentor. Find a seasoned professional in your field either at your current company or another and plan to meet with them formally at least quarterly to discuss your professional development. A lunch meeting or quick conference call is a great way to get refreshed, refocused, and back on track.