Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into preparing for an interview, something goes wrong. Maybe you woke up with a splitting headache or can’t take your mind off a pressing personal matter. Whatever it is, circumstances may throw you off your “A” game and result in a poor performance during your interview.
Here are three strategies you can use to recover from a bad job interview
- Give Yourself Time after a Bad Interview
A bad interview can leave you feeling frustrated and upset. Take some time whether it’s 30 minutes or a day to reflect on the experience, but don’t dwell on it for too long. It’s easy to spiral and become convinced that the interview went even worse than it actually did.
Remember, this is only one opportunity, and there will be many more.
- Look for Lessons from Your Poor Performance
Once you’ve spent some time reviewing the interview, ask yourself if there is anything you can learn from your mistakes. Did you think you were prepared, but obviously you needed to do more research on the job and the company.
Did you flub an answer to a common interview question? Did you fail to demonstrate your passion for the position? If you can identify the exact reason the interview went poorly, it can help you fix the problem, either with this position or by preparing differently for your next interview.
- Request a Second Chance with Another Interview
No one wants to flub an interview, but employers are humans too and understand that people have bad days. If you think you’ve blown an interview, don’t just give up. Although there’s no sure-fire fix, it’s always a good idea to send a thank you email after your interview, and it demonstrates your confidence to explain in the note why you were off your game.
For instance, if you were feeling under the weather, you can send a thank you note saying you were feeling ill, and that it led to a poor performance that didn’t demonstrate your qualifications and full interest in the position. Then, ask if there is any way you can meet a second time. Who knows?
The employer may be impressed with your initiative and respect your desire to turn around a negative situation.
How to Ask for a Second Chance
Although not all employers have the time or resources for a “do-over,” if you think you flunked an interview, take the time to email the interviewer explaining your circumstances and thanking him or her for the opportunity to interview.
You don’t want to overdo your excuses, but make sure you:
- Briefly Explain What Went Wrong
- Emphasize Your Interest in the Job
- Mention the particular skills you’d bring to the position.
- Ask if there’s an option to arrange a phone interview, which will provide an opportunity to redeem yourself.
Reiterate the Option to Contact Your References
Strong references can reassure interviewers that your poor performance was atypical, and attest to your job abilities.
Preparing for the Next Interview
Even if you can’t salvage an interview that went poorly, there are things you can do to help alleviate the stress and prepare properly for the next interview with a new prospect.
Allow me to coach you through your next interview so you can ACE it and land your next job:
- Contact me to help establish your career strategy.
- Check out the rest of my website for more tips and inspiration.
- Schedule a complimentary introductory call with me to ensure your success.