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ask a recruiter

The question

In a job interview, I let it slip that I find my current job "boring." Do you think this will hurt my chances of getting hired? Earlier, when I was asked why I wanted a career change, I said I was looking for opportunities to apply my research skills. I'm not sure what's more important, what I said first, or what I said last.

The Answer

While it's human nature to review your responses after an interview, try not to over-analyze every detail. There are simply too many variables at play to definitively predict an outcome.

Having said that, you can take away some lessons from this process. Let's start with your response about being bored at work. This can be interpreted in many ways, so it's important to look at the context of this conversation. Boring can mean not being challenged enough at work (which won't necessarily signal alarm bells – it may indicate you're ambitious); it can mean that you've done everything you can in that position and it's time to move on (also a positive message). On the other hand, it could also mean you found your colleagues or work to be boring, suggesting you may not be the greatest team player. The overall interview tone may give you a clue as to how your response resonated.

In terms of weighing what you said first versus what you said last in an interview, consider this: While first impressions are inevitable, they can be altered over the course of an interview. The interview momentum, and how it ends, will likely leave the greatest impression.

While there are no guarantees, here are some cues you can look for during an interview to help you assess whether a company is interested in you:

Did they ask you when you'd be available to start working?

Did they ask you about salary expectations?

Did they offer an outline of next steps - e.g. "We'll get back to you by the end of next week"?

Did they speak to you in a positive way? Was the interview dynamic?

Did they use language like, "When you start with us…"?

Were you introduced to anyone else within the company?

Where you given an office tour?

One post-interview must-do that I recommend is sending a thank you e-mail, note or card. This allows you to show your personality, and to reiterate your most important key message.

Remember too, that often when a company says "no" after a great interview, they simply mean "not now." So leave a good impression. If they don't hire you immediately, they may keep you in mind for the future.

Julie Labrie is the vice-president of BlueSky Personnel Solutions.

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