In talking with job seekers, interviews are the most stressful part of the job search. Not only are the interviews themselves stressful, but the impact they have on you and your continued search is often overlooked.
For example, you’re busy with your job search and you get the call to come and interview for a position you applied to previously.
Depending on how much preparation you’ve already done, you now focused all your attention on that one job and the impending interview. You start to research the company, the position, maybe network to find insider information, start preparing your answers to interview questions and coming up with your own list of questions.
This one interview, admittedly very important, becomes all consuming, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. When the interview is over, all that energy and emotion you expended to get ready for, and through, the interview leaves you quite anxious, drained and your job search stalled. – This is the post interview crash.
Dealing with the anxieties and picking up the pieces of your stalled job search, when your in this frame of mind, is tough to do. As with almost everything else some preparation before hand will help enormously later.
Remember that after your interview you still have all the other opportunities to get back to. Before you redirect any energy to the interview, look at your list of activities and prioritize them. Plan your time between now and the day of the interview, and even work a few extra hours to prepare for the interview and allow enough time to keep the important search activities going.
One of the best pieces of advice I heard, to get you beyond this post interview crash, is to perform a review and wrap-up session, (you can do this solo or with a friend) and mentally put the interview out of your mind. Unless you have access to insider information to tell how things are going with the selection, there is very little you can do about what will happen next, so dwelling on it won’t help at all.
The review and wrap-up starts with sending out the thank you letters, and are best done later that day. Then looking back at the interview, make notes about areas where you feel you could have done better and how. What activities do you plan to do if they call you back for a second interview? Create a calendar event to follow-up when you agreed and call your references to keep them in the loop (a quick call now will come in handy later).
Avoiding the post interview crash may be impossible, but dealing with it is your next best strategy.