Job Interview Autopsy

How To Conduct A Job Interview Autopsy


We’ve all had that awful job interview where either we bobbled a question someone tossed at us (Like, “If you could be any animal, what would you be?”), or we gave a bad answer and smacked our foreheads afterward because we realized we could have given a much better answer.

Watch: 2 Steps To Being More Likable During Interviews

I talk to a lot of people who are very stressed out about interviews and loathe them because they’ve had bad ones. Many say they would rather go have a root canal than go through the painful examination of an interview.

But you know what?

Interviews are actually good for you.


Think about it. They put us on the spot in a way we usually don’t encounter on a daily basis. An interview actually is a very powerful experience because you learn how you react under pressure.

If you really want to get over those jitters, you’ll need to do an autopsy to discover what you need to know and/or work on to improve your skills in these situations.

How To Conduct A Job Interview Autopsy

Here are some tips on becoming more comfortable and at ease:

1. Interview Often

Practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the more it’s like staying on your bike. And if you do happen to fall, it’ll be a lot easier to get back on again.

2. Dig Into The Interview And Autopsy It

What did you do well? What did you do wrong? What did you expect? What happened that was unexpected? Did you feel prepared or totally unready?

3. Write Down The Questions You Can Remember After The Interview

By keeping a running list of real interview questions you’ve encountered, you can gain skill in knowing what might be coming your way the next time you meet an employer.

4. Do Your Research

Did the employer field a question to you that had something to do with the company? If you had done your research, confidence comes with knowledge and even buy you some time. Sometimes, even deflecting those questions with similar but different detailed information can help you wiggle out of tight spots.

5. Trust Your Gut

Trusting your intuition is important… if you are feeling not-so-great about an interview and your performance in there, there might have been something perhaps non-verbal the interviewers were exuding that put you off. If you aren’t walking out pumped up and energized, is this really the right opportunity for you?

If you don’t take the time to truly examine how you performed in an interview, and don’t dissect the pieces you did well versus the ones you had an #epicfail on, you won’t learn about yourself and you won’t learn what you can do better for next time. In your lifetime, you’ll have a lot more interviews than job offers, so mastering the knowledge of your strengths and weak points is incredibly important to your career… otherwise, what you don’t know will hurt you.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions
Top 3 Tips For Phone Interviews
How To Ace The Panel Interview

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Dawn Rasmussen

Dawn Rasmussen is president of Portland, Oregon-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, which provides resume, cover letter, and job searching assistance.


  1. Great article. I always make a list of questions and think of the best answers I can before interview. If I get hit with any difficult questions I will prepare a good answer for next time. Not only will your interview technique improve, but your confidence will also develop a huge amount as you will no longer be stressed about what you will be asked.

  2. Brilliant headline. I absolutely agree with the importance of debriefing after an interview. There is a reason professional athletes watch footage of themselves in action. Playing your interview back lets you see where you fell short. It lets you see where you can improve. There’s nothing worse than repeating the same interview over and over, like a nightmarish groundhog day. Go for a coffee and madly scribble down everything you can remember immediately after the interview. Chances are you’ll also remember some relevant tidbits. You know those awkward moments where you answer with something completely lame but you have your epiphany moment right after you walk out the door? Write it down – it might score you a smile when they read it on your thank you note, post interview.

  3. I deftinly like the post interview preparation.It Is really important. Sometimes your are faced with questions that u would’nt even think they would through at u. I think these times are very helpful and usefully.I will use them for my next interview thank you.

  4. I really liked this suggestions: 3. Write Down The Questions You Can Remember After The Interview

    By keeping a running list of real interview questions you’ve encountered, you can gain skill in knowing what might be coming your way the next time you meet an employer.

    It makes such good sense.
    Preparation and followup are both important.

    • I like it about having people to write down questions after an interview it help you understanding things better. I guess keeping down things about interview so you will know what happen when the next time you go out for an interview.

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