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Rachel Serwetz
Rachel Serwetz
September 22, 2022

25 Questions To Reflect on After a Job (Interview) Rejection

25 Questions To Reflect on After a Job (Interview) Rejection

If you get a rejection after doing an interview, ask yourself these questions so you can reflect, learn from it, and improve for next time. (Note: This is for post-interview rejections. If you are seeing rejections after initial online applications, refer to our resources to learn job search best practices and how to get your foot in the door).

  1. What did I do well?
  2. What could I improve on?
  3. In your gut, what do you think was the key mishap or area for opportunity? How will you work on improving for next time?
  4. Did I pause before I dove in to speak? If not, how can I improve my habit and tendency to pause before speaking? (i.e. restate the question to buy time, mention “let me think about that for a second,” or jot down thoughts before diving in to start your answer)
  5. Did I ask clarifying questions before answering?
  6. Did I organize and structure my thoughts?
  7. Did I comprehensively share my knowledge or did I leave things out? If the latter, what can I do to be sure all important considerations get shared in the moment?
  8. Did I give relevant stories often?
  9. How was the pace of my speech? Did I need to slow down? If so, how can I practice and improve my pace?
  10. How was my tone? Did I need to sound more energized and enthused? (Note: If you’re not enthused by the role, you might be applying for the wrong things! See career exploration to help).
  11. How was my level of distraction/focus? 
  12. What interview questions do I need to practice more out loud?
  13. What interview questions was I not sure how to approach?
  14. How did I approach questions where I have not yet “done that” before?
  15. Did I speak for too short or too long per answer? 
  16. Did I follow the STAR method when giving a story? If not, how can I get more comfortable using STAR?
  17. How did I feel before/during the interview? What can I do in the immediate few minutes before my next interview(s) to improve my feeling of readiness, calm, and focus?
  18. Did I have strong questions prepared and ready to ask them? Were my questions well-thought out to prove my fit, knowledge, and interest?
  19. Did I make it conversational? Was I building rapport? Was I acting authentically as myself?
  20. Did I learn anything in this interview about what I want to find in a role, company, or work environment? How can I adjust my direction accordingly?
  21. Did I learn anything in this interview about what I do not want in a role, company, or work environment? How can I adjust my direction accordingly?
  22. Did I clearly and effectively prove my knowledge and understanding of the role, team, company, and industry?
  23. Did I clearly and effectively prove my fit and alignment with the role, team, company, and industry?
  24. Did I prove my genuine interest in the role, team, company, and industry?  (Note: If you’re not enthused by the role, you might be applying for the wrong things! See career exploration to help).
  25. Any other areas where I need to get more support from a coach/mentor/peer to better handle for next time? Anything else that you haven’t yet reflected on above that needs attention?

For any of these questions where you need some extra practice, think about what you could improve on and exactly how you will work on improving in that area.

For mock interview practice or support from a coach, we’re here to help. Let’s chat on a free call or sign up for coaching today.

25 Questions To Reflect on After a Job (Interview) Rejection

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Rachel Serwetz’ early professional experience was at Goldman Sachs in Operations and at Bridgewater Associates in HR. From there, she was trained as a coach at NYU and became a certified coach through the International Coach Federation. After this, she worked in HR Research at Aon Hewitt and attained her Technology MBA at NYU Stern. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of professionals with career exploration and for the past 4.5+ years she has been building her company, WOKEN, which is an online career exploration platform to coach professionals through the process of clarifying their ideal job and career path. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Binghamton University and has served as a Career Coach through the Flatiron School, Columbia University, WeWork, and Project Activate.

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