New and aspiring instructional designers devote plenty of time to prepping for their interviews. But what about after an interview? Did you know that there are a few things you should do after an interview that can:
Increase your chances of getting the job and,
Help you rock your next interview even harder?
Most of your focus is probably on how you’ll showcase your talents and land your dream job. If you’re anticipating a big interview, or you just had one, I’ve got some helpful steps you should take afterward!
Tips for After an Interview
After an interview, it’s tempting to just relax for the rest of the day. You’ve earned it after all that time spent polishing your resume and preparing, right? Not so fast! The best way you can evaluate your interview performance to do better next time is by reflecting.
As soon as your interview is over, record everything you remember from the interview. For example, what questions did they ask? How did you respond to those questions?
For phone interviews, have a blank document open on your computer ready to go as soon as the call ends. For in-person interviews, stash a notebook and pen in your bag and reflect as soon as you find a private space. You can even record your reflection as a voice note. Of course, I don’t recommend doing this in the company’s lobby! Sit in your car or a coffee shop.
Reflection Prompts for After an Interview
Here are my favorite prompts for post-interview reflections. I designed these prompts to get you thinking while your memory is still fresh!
What did you do well?
Start with the positives! What were your strengths? Jot down questions you felt you had great responses to or were just plain well-prepared for. Anything that happened during the conversation that you felt good about, record it.
Were there any unexpected or interesting questions?
Any questions you didn’t plan for or thought wouldn’t come up are great to add to your practice list for next time! Or maybe your interviewer asked a particularly interesting question. Write it down, so you don’t forget it.
What improvements could you make?
I know it’s tough to dwell on any mistakes you may have made during an interview. But the best way to bounce back is to identify areas for improvement. Now that you have the gift of hindsight, how would you change your answers?
Write out your new answer, get it perfect on paper, and use it to prepare for you next interview. Now you’ve turned a mistake into an opportunity for improvement!
Did you represent all your skills well enough?
Your number one job during an interview is to sell yourself to your interviewer. Try and see yourself from their perspective. Would you hire you, based solely on that interview?
How well did you talk up the skills and experience you would bring to the company? Is there anything you forgot to mention? Spend some time brainstorming easy ways to mention your skills during standard interview questions. Find connections so that next time, no matter what questions you’re hit with, you’ll find a way to bring it back to what makes you the right choice.
What did you notice about the company’s culture?
There are plenty of ways for you to get clues about the company’s culture during an interview. What’s the office setup? How do people interact with each other? How are your interviewers dressed vs. how are other employees dressed?
For phone or Zoom interviews, you have to be a bit more perceptive, but you can still pick up on certain aspects of the company’s culture. Was your interviewer speaking very formally, or more was the tone more conversational? Did the interviewer Zoom in from the office, or does the company allow remote work? If there were multiple team members on the call, how did they interact?
Noticing things about a company’s culture has a few benefits.
First, it gives you a good idea if you actually want to work there. Everyone’s different, so a traditional office environment might be a great fit for one candidate while a more modern, open-concept office appeals to a different candidate. Where do you fall?
Next, noticing what pictures your interviewers had in their office or the books they had on their shelves was a great way to break the ice with your interviewer during your interview. Now, if it makes sense, you can reference that small talk when you send a thank-you note later!
How prepared did you feel?
What everyone wants to know after an interview, how did it go? Were you adequately prepared? If you were, great! Make sure you identify the steps you took to prepare so you can repeat the process for future interviews.
If not, don’t sweat it. Even a bad interview is a great learning opportunity. How will you change the way you prepare to make sure it doesn’t happen again? If you need some tips, check out this article.
Action Items for After an Interview
Personally, I feel like a great reflection is an action item. But, your post-interview breakdown reflection is just for you. There are a few other things I recommend doing after an interview to improve your chances of getting hired.
1. Plan for Follow-up
After the interview is over, but before you leave, ask your interviewer for the next steps (if they haven’t already outlined them for you). This might give you a timeline for when you should expect to hear back.
Also, try to get your interviewer’s contact information before you leave! You can ask them for their business cards. At a minimum, make sure that you know their name so that you can follow up with them on LinkedIn.
2. Send a Thank You
Within 48-hours of an interview you should email a thank you note to your interviewers. Thank them for their time, express interest in what you learned about the company (and your interviewers, if applicable), and remind them of your enthusiasm for being considered for the position.
Closeout by letting them know you look forward to hearing from them. If you made a personal connection with your interviewer (maybe you noticed you both went to the same university, or you had both read the same book), reference this in your follow-up! A personal touch could be what sets you apart from the other candidates.
3. Connect on LinkedIn
If you’re able to find your interviewer(s) on LinkedIn, you can request to connect with them now that the interview is over. Include a message with the request to remind them who you are, and they can choose whether or not to accept.
Even if you don’t end up getting the job, growing your network is an important part of starting out in any new field. Plus, that connection could come in handy later on when the company is looking to fill a different position.
4. Reach out to References
First of all, it’s a good practice to thank them for being a reference. You can also ask if the company you interviewed with contacted them and get a feel for how the conversation went.
5. Keep Putting Yourself Out There
As I’ve said before, after the interview is over, your work is not done! Even if you’re feeling confident, it could be weeks before you hear back. If things don’t work out and you haven’t been sending out more resumes in the meantime, what a waste!
Get back to work, keep searching for your dream instructional design job, and writing resumes that will land you more interviews. If you need help tailoring your resume to instructional design jobs, check out my free ebook for tips and samples.
Need more structured help to become a full-stack Instructional Designer & eLearning Developer, without getting another degree? Check out my 12-week immersive Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program.
The Testimonials are In:
Working with Shanwtay and Katie at the Instructional Design Company was a dream come true. Their creativity, expertise, and professionalism throughout the entire process was beyond top notch. I engaged them to help turn my first book into a training course, and I could not be happier with how the final product turned out. If you have an instructional design project and you’re considering which company to work with, you can stop your search and thank me later. They are truly the best in the business.
I joined the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program because I struggled to find jobs in instructional design beyond the development phase. I’ve done a couple of training programs with lots of random projects, but I was overwhelmed, not connecting the dots, and not good at structuring my writing to hit learning objectives. I was looking for motivation and direction at beginning a better Instructional Designer.
After taking the Instructional Design & Tech Certificate program and joining my fantastic team for support, I found the structure and approach to be what I need to take my next steps, evening improving my skills in the development stage.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I love how this course let’s you work at your own pace. I got great tips and learned many things. The ongoing support for multiple people and groups is what I love the best. You are never alone in this process. I have been able to adjust my resume and began creating a portfolio of work I’ve completed to add when applying for jobs. I use many of the PowerPoint skills in my lessons and trainings. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to become an instructional designer.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!
L&D Project Manager
The Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator certificate program is one of the most comprehensive ID programs out there for beginners. If you’re looking to grow your schools in ID and development then I highly recommend this program. Not only will this program give you an overview of theory, but you will receive a thorough walkthrough of how to apply what you have learned. Although I had already secured a position in Learning & Development when I bought this course, it helped me to move up into a new position as a Learning & Development Project Manager!
Future Instructional Designer
If you have any interest in ID, sign up for this program NOW! Shawntay and her team are top notch! The course content exceeded my expectations in a big way and the encouragement and support continues to be so valuable. You will not feel alone going through this course, you will learn so much, you’ll have many cheerleaders, and you will have fun!
Future Instructional Designer
I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).
Future Instructional Designer
I can’t say enough great things about the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program! The length of the program is perfect; it doesn’t feel rushed and there’s just the right amount of structure to give you the accountability you need. There are so many opportunities to get live answers to any questions you have related to the course content or anything ID-related! This program gave me the support and structure I needed to both feel affirmed in the relevant skills I already had coming in and to fill in the gaps I had as a career-changer going into ID. Shawntay, Katie, and all the coaches are super helpful and supportive. I now feel confident that I have the tools and access to resources I need to apply for ID jobs without wondering if there’s something I’m “missing” in the preparation process. I’d highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition into ID or who just wants to brush up on their skills in the field.
Krista Johnson Awomoyi
Freelance Instructional Designer
I’d highly recommend the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program. I’m blown away by how much I learned in just 12 weeks. I had ID experience prior to taking this course and was just looking to get a better understanding of applying adult learning principles. This course well exceeded my expectations! Not only did I gain a clear understanding of adult learning principles, I was also able to apply those principles by creating assets for your portfolio using PowerPoint, Adobe Premiere Pro and Storyline. The hands on support that we received was top notch.
This program is one of the most robust yet fulfilling L&D programs I’ve seen. I learned so much about the industry and about the limitlessness of my own capabilities. I am so appreciative of Shawntay and all of the trainers who took part in the program. They went above and beyond with not only guiding, but communicating live and working one on one or in small groups. If you are on the fence, I say take the leap and you will not regret it! There’s so much to learn, not only from the trainers, but also the learners in your group. Everyone comes in with their own skills and can be additional support and guidance for you. Thank you for creating this program!
Instructional Designer Training Facilitator
Shawntay is an amazing individual. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of ID and eLearning. She is also very compassionate and loves to help and see everyone around her grow and prosper. Shawntay has been a great mentor to me and she has helped me mature as an instructional designer and eLearning developer. She has provided me with opportunities when others have overlooked me. I am very grateful to have met and built a lifelong relationship with Shawntay.
I recently got hired into my first instructional design / training position and Shawntay was one of the first people to congratulate me!
Freelance Instructional Designer
My teacher-to-instructional-designer journey began two years ago when I left my teaching comfort zone and started my first freelance ID job. Now, I’m stepping out of the classroom and taking my freelance work full-time, so I’m thrilled to be joining the Tech Accelerator program. Adding technologies like Articulate 360 and Adobe Premiere Pro to my qualifications will help me take my courses to the next level and attract more clients!
Teacher Transitioning into Instructional Design
I am genuinely grateful for this course. I wanted a real-world perspective and feel like I got it. I’m teaching now, but nearing retirement age but can see myself working as an instructional designer well into my retirement years. My other goal is to take as many courses in statistics as possible in hopes of bringing some mathematical precision to the ROI question. Like you say, getting accurate metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but I intend to work on that part. That’s unimportant right now, what is important is the fact that I feel like this course was well worth every penny I spent and I would to it again in a heartbeat. I have too much going on right now, but as soon as I get some time freed up I intend to take your course in project management.
Turns Your Written Thoughts Into a Masterpiece!
Shawntay Skjoldager can turn your written thoughts into a masterpiece. She is great to work with and the most organized person I know!
President and CEO, The Creative Entreprenuer
Shawntay has been incredible!
Shawntay has been incredible and her team is responsive and effective in translating my training programs into professional presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact her for your project.
Beth B. De Lima, MBA, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP
President and Principal of HRM Consulting, Inc.
IDC is My Secret Weapon to Soar Above My Competition!
The IDC team has been my secret and special weapon of success. They have delivered above and beyond with every single project out in front of them. They have met and beat timelines. They have been Uber responsive every step of the way. I keep them on speed dial and have and continue to recommend them to friends and clients. If you are in need of instructional design and plenty more, this is THE ALL-STAR team that will more than deliver and help make you and your project soar above the competition.
LT. COL. Jason O. Harris
U.S. Air Force Officer, Special Operations Pilot, U.S.A.F. Academy Instructor, Motivational Speaker
A Tremendous Asset to the Project Team!
Working with Shawntay and the Instructional Design Company has allowed our university to meet the growing demands of our programs. Shawntay’s expertise allowed for the course development to be completed on time and met all of the university requirements. Shawntay’s project management skills were phenomenal and allowed my team to work on other areas while she completed this project for us. Her work is of high quality and her professionalism and willingness to help made her a tremendous asset to the project team.
Academic Quality Assurance Specialist, Abilene Christian University
Creative & Highly Talented!
Shawntay is a creative and highly talented instructional designer. She brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership that enabled her to own the design and creation of a full scale facilitator curriculum and train-the-trainer program. It was a pleasure to partner with Shawntay, her project management and communication skills ensured the project was on time and on budget.
Breaks Down Mammoth Projects
“Shawntay is quick study and carefully synthesizes information for presentations that are clear, concise and captivating. Her personality draws the audience in and her content mastery is excellent. A team player and organizer, Shawntay has the ability to break down mammoth projects, keep everybody on time and on task.”
Author, Speaker, Strengths Coach
“I have had many opportunities to work with Shawntay—mainly in the support of implementing new eLearning initiatives. I have been very impressed by her ability to quickly learn how to use rapid eLearning development tools and effectively use them to create multiple courses within a short timeframe. Shawntay’s enthusiastic nature, attention to detail, and dedication to her work make her a pleasure to work with and a great asset to both Texas A&M University-Commerce and the broader training community within the Texas A&M University System.”
Director of Learning Strategy, Caveo Learning
Top Notch Professional
Working with Shawntay has been an immense pleasure. She is atop notch professional who brings enthusiasm and extensiveexpertise to professional curriculum development and execution. Her knowledge of tried and true techniques to maximize the effectiveness of presentations is invaluable.
Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research, CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research
Fortunate to Find Shawntay!
“I was fortunate to find Shawntay when our organization was looking to expand and update our educational offerings. Shawntay proved herself to be an educational and personal development expert who immediately made an impact with our clients throughout Europe. Everyone who came into contact with Shawntay was immediately impressed by her level of expertise and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawntay to anyone looking for an education subject matter expert.”
Director of Qualifications and NSD Services, Mary Kay Inc.
Short Turn Around. On Time. Under Budget!
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Dave Beeman, CPP
Vice President, Andy Frain Services
Need an Expert Who Consistently Delivers?
“Working with Shawntay you will immediately notice her professional presence and poise, but over time her tenacious pursuit of excellence and her skills in instructional development and adult learning will really impress you. I worked with her at Mary Kay, and was able to experience firsthand her great rapport with regional partners in Europe, understanding their unique sales force training needs. In addition, Shawntay consistently exhibited grace under pressure, made executive decisions to move business forward. If you are looking for an expert who consistently delivers and goes the extra mile to get things done, contact Shawntay!”
Marketing Director, Academic Partnerships
Quality Products & Solutions!
“I had had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shawntay on more than a few occasions. I found her to be a very good business partner and very committed to delivering a quality product or solution in a timely manner. I have always had a positive experience in partnering with Shawntay and would recommend that you consider leveraging her talent.”
Judy Owen, CPC
Transformational Leadership Coach
“Invest in yourself and take your skills to the next NEXT level!”
Get yourself signed up for Shawntay Skjoldager’s Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program today and be on your way to success! Within the first week of taking her course, you will experience growth! Be sure to plug into her Facebook Q&A sessions for personalized help, too. This is THE course to take if you are new to instructional design or have landed on the training team and need help getting started.
Managing Partner, PHiG
“Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!”
Shawntay has exceptional knowledge and experience with all aspects of creating and implementing effective, performance based training for adults. She is exceptional at needs analysis – identifying target audiences and collaborating with business owners to keep training focused on business needs. And she is great to work with – always providing great support to get projects done on-time and on-target. She is always on the look-out for new and more effective ways to engage learners. Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!
eLearning Developer/Instructional Designer, Vivos Therapeutics
I have known and worked with Shawntay as a education program director and use the expertise of ShawntayMichelle for the development of my presentations. The service has always been “spot on” with professionalism, care and attention. Shawntay’s recommendations to my ideas make me look good to my clients.
Al Lomas CMP, CEM, CMM, CFE
Owner, Certified Consulting Services
“Shawntay Skjoldager reached in and made my training life so much easier!”
I am new to the training design and development world and I was SO excited to get in there, but I really lacked the real-world knowledge that would set me apart from my peers. And, then Shawntay Skjoldager walked into my life with an outstretched hand and a seemingly endless list of ways to knock every training out of the park. From the Training Analysis Form to the Tay Tay tips, this course made my life so much easier and even ironed out the review process that I had been struggling with for months.
Take time to invest in your own learning and make sure to put Shawntay Michelle at the top of your personal development list!
Training Specialist, LegalShield