First aid after a job interview: reduce stress & get the job

Application tips

07 Nov 2019
Phew! Your job interview has come to an end. What a relief! Maybe you are (in)secure, (dis)satisfied or perhaps you have feelings of despair? This is absolutely normal. It is even normal for these feelings to change when mentally reviewing your job interview.

But now it is up to the recruiter and his or her colleagues. Together they will judge your application. In this article, you will discover useful tips on how to minimize your stress and optimize your chances of success after the job interview.

The recruiter as an advisor

After your interview, the recruiter will evolve from an evaluating role to an advisory role. So treat the recruiter as an ally, not as an examiner. Make proper agreements and ensure accurate communication. Help the recruiter, so he or she can help you!

A recruiter will hardly ever be the only decision-maker in an application process; this is usually done in consultation. It will be the responsibility of the recruiter to provide feedback to you and the company and to follow up on your application. And you are the one who can help with that!

job fairsFor example, when a recruiter is asking for additional information, such as a copy of your diplomas, an additional reference or an extra motivation, this will likely be to support your application and not because the recruiter is having doubts about your knowledge or skills.

Clear communication will make a good impression

Make sure you always communicate in a fast and accurate manner and inform the recruiter when you are no longer available. Honest and accurate communication is professional and … you never know if you will ever need this recruiter again.

To avoid nail-biting and sleepless nights, it will be useful to make clear agreements at the end of the job interview about the time period in which you can expect feedback. Agree on a specific time or at least a fixed time period. This way, you will not need to harass the recruiter on a daily basis with your calls and e-mails. Less is more!

There is no such thing as negative feedback!

Everybody is entitled to feedback! Both positive and negative feedback. But is there really something like negative feedback? Some tips on how to deal with ‘negative’ feedback:

Don’t consider ‘negative’ feedback as criticism but as advice that may help you in the long run. Although the initial message (you have not gotten the job) can be negative, the explanation does not necessarily need to be so.

Negative feedback is actually a positive thing: the recruiter wants to help you. So, therefore, don’t immediately start to defend but take a step back and try to identify the learning points that can help you in the future.

keep eyecontact during job interviewDon’t blame the messenger!

‘Negative’ feedback is no reason to become angry with anyone. Not with the recruiter and not with yourself. Applications are not about you! The job interview is used to find the most suitable candidate for a particular job. If this is you, then that’s a bonus!

Maybe this time another candidate was slightly a better fit. Try to accept this and appreciate the arguments and tips the recruiter gave you. Consider this as free advice. It will make you stronger if you put it to good use.

Dare to ask questions

If you get to hear a negative result (you have not gotten the job) and receive not enough feedback, then feel free to ask questions. However, apply these questions only to yourself and not to other candidates.

Questions like “Where should I pay more attention to in the future?” are best not asked immediately after the interview. This can make you look insecure. Ask these questions when you get (possibly not enough) feedback from the recruiter.

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Follow up on the company’s activities

It is wise to also keep in touch with the recruiter after the job interview and keep yourself informed about future job openings at the company. You never know if your profile will qualify in the future.

Stay optimistic!

Did you not get your dream job this time? Don’t worry. Make sure you convert the feedback immediately into action points. Get started and learn from every experience. This can make you stronger but it can also pull you into a downward spiral of doubt.

Do you still remember how you learned to ride a bike? You often fell but eventually, you learned how to ride because after every fall you climbed on again as quickly as possible. In the same way, try to keep up the momentum in your applications. Go right back to work!

calling and leaving voicemail for job interviewHello Mr. President?

Maybe you are outraged by the attitude or performance of a recruiter. At such times you might want to speak to a ‘higher authority’. This is your right, but be careful … you might hurt the feelings of the recruiter which could reduce your chances in the future. Again, your recruiter is your ally. Treat each other with respect.

And finally: Money, money, money…

If all the steps of your application process went well, you may expect a salary proposal from the company. Your salary will usually be formulated by the recruiter or an HR employee.

A salary proposal is usually realistic in the context of a specific job at a specific company. One might consider your skills and experience, the budget of the company and often your position in the company. If you feel disappointed about the salary proposal, then keep your emotions under control and think about the following:

Don’t compare apples and oranges!

A salary proposal can contain several elements such as a company car, medical insurance, meal allowance, etc … So, evaluate the bigger picture and when you received another salary proposal then make sure to compare both proposals carefully.

Don’t fixate on salary calculations on job websites. There are many individual aspects (of yourself, the company, the sector, your intended position at the company …) determining your final salary. Salary calculations on job sites are often very general. Therefore consider these calculations as average indications and don’t fixate on the amounts you encounter there.

Consider all the factors

When evaluating, consider all the factors that determine your personal happiness. Perhaps a less paid job will offer a better work-life balance, reduced travel times, a better work atmosphere, more opportunities for training and growth. Do you want to work to live or live to work? Make a choice that suits you well.

Don’t compromise your application

Do not set unreasonable demands and be honest in your negotiations. If you don’t do this, the company might pull back. Poker bluff sometimes works, but you will be disappointed most of the time. So be honest and develop realistic expectations.