Learning the lessons from the interview experience, our weekly column from various newspapers around Ireland

So, you did the interview, and got the verdict from the interview panel, either a Yes or a No.

But how did you perform?

How did you actually perform?

Just because you didn’t get the job doesn’t mean you did a bad interview – there could simply have been a better candidate. Or someone who was already doing the job got promoted, which meant the job was more or less gone in the first place.

Or it might have gone to a nephew of the boss.

None of us should be so naive as to believe that doesn’t happen.

Equally, just because you got the job doesn’t automatically mean you did a good interview – it might have been a strong endorsement from one of your referees that got you the position, for example. Or you may have earned the role by being a part-timer there for the past year.

Or they may have been a dearth of good candidates.

Therefore, it is important to continue to learn from the interview itself so that you can fine-tune your interview style, regardless of the outcome.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

Did I dress appropriately?

Did I shake hands firmly, if the opportunity presented itself?

Did I talk clearly and distinctively?

Did I establish good eye contact?

Did I remain relaxed and composed?

Did I communicate job objectives to the interview panel?

Did I express work values, explaining why the job is wanted?

Did I make known abilities relevant to the job at hand?

Did I relate past achievements to the skills needed for the job?

Did I demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for the job?

Did I answer the interviewers’ questions with confidence?

Did I neutralise weaknesses and / or turn them into positives?

Did I ask relevant questions about the job or work organisation?

Did I avoid flat ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to questions?

Did I show an awareness of the organisation’s needs?

Did I give the impression of being comfortable with the job at hand?

Did I make a final case for my selection?

By carrying out an honest appraisal, you can really put the interview to good use. Too often, we derive all our evaluations from the result (i.e. we did or didn’t get the job).

It is important to understand that the job of getting a job is vastly different to the job of doing the actual job. The interview is a very different arena, and the onus rests on you to turn it to places where you can show your value and worth.

In my experience, many people skimp on detail in interviews. People take their expertise for granted. As a general rule, it is good to dive down into detail because, ultimately, detail proves. By detail, I mean examples of what you have done, when you have used your skills, the results you have achieved, and so on.

If you want the interview panel to know something, tell them. Don’t presume they have digested everything on your CV. In fact, don’t even presume they have read your CV.

Your interview performance must stand on its own two feet.

Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com) have offices in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, and Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. Their services include CV preparation, interview training and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/cv. If you would like their Job-searching Checklist, email getthatjob@slinuacareers.com with ‘Job-searching Checklist’ in the subject line.