Poor Interview Feedback?

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
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Poor Interview Feedback?

Post by Brrg » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:25 am

I was invited to an interview with 24 hours notice and with working FT this meant I had little time to prepare. As this was the first assistant psych interview I could attend (albeit having to shuffle around my workload) I decided to proceed as I wanted to get an insight into the standard of questions/nature of the interview for an AP role etc.

Prior to the interview, I'd prepped as much as was possible. I'd broken down specialty, research topics, current challenges etc. I was confident that I'd covered the major themes even if only briefly. The questions, however, were not reflective of this and micro-questions/comments became a strong theme (e.g. "I'm not asking about X, I'm asking about Y, if I wanted to know about X then I'd have read Z"). I don't think I've ever attended an interview were the interviewers were as condescending as this - is this common with AP interviews?

As I left, I'd not made the impression I'd wanted which was disappointing but also, I felt a little put-down. I've attended a lot of interviews in my past (from both sides of the table) and I'd never felt so inadequate following the interview.

The feedback I'd received was this:
- "You didn't answer the questions completely and you needed a lot of prompting. We didn't want to know about your experience but about you."
I get that, self-reflection is a huge part of psychology and it's something that comes up time, and time again. And that's something I can certainly work on but it's difficult when you're trying combatting condescending attitudes. In addition, I've never found prompting to be a negative - an interview in an information gathering exercise, not a test.

- "You need to watch your body language, at times you seemed laid-back and that came across as though you didn't want the position."
I have the biggest issue with this as I'd sat in a relaxed manner. It's how I've always sat in every interview or meeting I've attended (e.g. back to the back of the chair, leg crossed over the other). I feel an interview isn't a place to review natural body language as there are variables such as anxiety/stress in constant play. I could agree with this point if I'd been slumped in my chair or had my hands in my pockets but it's a comment that's never been brought up in over 10 years of interviews.

I'm not entirely sure how to take this feedback into my next interview. It felt like the post has already been filled and the event feels negative. :|

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Re: Poor Interview Feedback?

Post by maven » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:11 pm

People ask different things in different ways, and have different criteria to select with. I'd take from this that you were not a good match with that particular employer, and move on. Don't hold grudges or criticise their way of interviewing, but don't worry about stuff that doesn't sound that helpful either. I think seeming too laid back might be a constructive comment though - people at interviews are generally fairly formal and upright, so I think leaning back and crossing your legs might have seemed a bit laissez faire.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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Re: Poor Interview Feedback?

Post by kazrw » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:17 am

I would take on board anything that was helpful and seems true of you more generally, and ignore anything that felt inaccurate. I once had really critical feedback from an interview which really impacted on my interview confidence for years. Thinking back to it now, it was really inaccurate, and overly critical, and very differentbto my usual feedback. They got a snapshot in time that for whatever reason didn’t reflect my usual performance. There were a few things from that feedback I could use, the rest I’ve now dismissed and wish I had done that earlier. It also taught me about how I want to provide feedback in future, helpful but not overly personal/critical, a difficult balance. As Maven says you/I were not a good match for that particular organisation and the organisation was also not a good match for us. Good luck in finding something that will suit you.

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