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Recovering From a Bad Interview

Most people at some point in their career will be faced with having a bad interview. Even with thorough research and preparation, sometimes interviews go south. Sometimes you are lucky enough to notice mid-interview and can try to salvage it, and, other times, you don’t realize until you are in your car driving home. So, how can you bounce back from this unexpected blunder? In today’s blog, we’ll cover some ways to bounce back and learn from these experiences, helping to make you stronger for future prospects, and, eventually, land the new job you have been searching for.


Reflect but Don’t Over-Analyze

Was I late? Did I ramble too much on irrelevant topics? Did I come across as not serious or perhaps too serious? Whatever you are obsessing over, know that it’s completely normal to rehash the details of your interview the moment you step out of the building. This can be a good way to determine any mistakes that were made during the meeting; it can also cause you to dwell on things that ultimately didn’t matter to the interviewer such as small slip-ups that are almost always more evident to you than to anyone else in the room. Instead of fixating and over-analyzing, try and shift your energy to focus on how to improve your skills, so you can learn and not make the same mistakes again.


Learn from the Experience

Did you inadequately prepare? Were you caught off guard by specific topics? Identify the answers to these questions and start there. Write down how you wish you had responded while allowing time for researching information to make these the best possible answers. This exercise will help you with future interview questions as well as give you practice in researching a company’s mission, their history, and the work they specialize in. Although these tactics will not remedy any past unsuccessful interviews, they will help when new opportunities present themselves.


Write a Thank You Letter 

Regardless of how the interview went, sending a thank you letter will go a long way. There is no need to bullet point the mistakes you made or apologize for the way the interview ended. Instead, bring awareness to any lack of knowledge you may have displayed (on the industry, the company, etc.) by presenting new material you researched post-interview. While this may not guarantee you a second interview, it will bring something new to the conversation. This communication will show the interviewer that you recognize your faults and are looking for solutions to get back in the running with their organization.