When Your Interviews Don’t Turn Into Job Offers

You’ve been putting yourself out there and you’ve even had a few interviews, but the job offers just aren’t coming.  You are starting to wonder if your interview skills may need some work.  What can you do to close the deal and convert your interviews into offers?  Here are some tips that may help:

Reflect on your recent interviews.  Take some time to sit down and think about your last two or three interviews.  How do you feel that they went?  How did the interviewers respond to you?  Did their behaviour towards you change during the interview or did it stay consistent throughout?  Was there any particular question or issue that they seemed concerned about?

Ask the interviewers for feedback.  Contact your last few interviewers and ask them for feedback on your interview.  Let them know that you’re still looking for a job and that you’re trying to identify any issues that may be standing in your way.  They may not be willing to share any feedback with you, but it’s worth a try.

Do practice interviews.  The best way to rehearse for an interview is by doing practice interviews.  There are lots of non-profit job search agencies that offer this service, or you could ask someone who works in your field.  Just make sure that it is somebody who can provide you with valuable feedback and who will be able to accurately assess your interview skills.  If possible, videotape the interview so that you can see for yourself how you look and and sound and make any necessary corrections.

Prepare answers to common interview questions.  Even though you may be exceptionally skilled in your job, it is possible that the answers that you provide in you interviews are weak.  Make a list of ten to twenty common interview questions and prepare your ideal answers.  Remember that a strong answer is specific, detailed and includes examples.  You don’t need to memorize the answers, but if you read over them before your interview, your answers will be stronger.

Re-think your interview attire.  How do you dress for interviews?  Are your clothes neat, clean and freshly pressed?  Do you look professional?  Are you clean and well groomed?  Find somebody who will be honest with you and ask them for their feedback.

It is not easy to get interviews, so you don’t want to go through too many of them before you get a job offer.  If you’ve had three or more interviews without a job offer then it may be a good idea to step back and reflect.  Most importantly, stay motivated and keep up your effort.  Once you start getting interviews, a job offer is usually just around the corner.

(Written by Karen Bivand)

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