August 5, 2019
You had every hope of making this interview the best, but then life got in the way. You hit a traffic jam and arrived late, or wore an outfit that wasn’t appropriate for the setting. Maybe you flubbed the answer to one of the interviewer’s questions, or maybe the person interviewing you simply seemed disinterested in what you had to say. But don’t fear—the interview isn’t over until it’s over. You can take steps to turn things around.
Three ways to help your chances during a bad interview
You can take a few steps to help turn a bad impression into a good one. Just try the following:
Keep your head in the game. Your attitude is everything during an interview, so stay positive. Don’t let a fumbled answer or a late arrival get you down. Stay positive and confident. If you’re feeling nervous, just take a deep breath and keep going. Remember, you always look less nervous than you feel.
Address the topic. If you’re late, apologize. If you wore the wrong thing, simply say you misjudged what appropriate attire would be. If you answered a question wrong, just choose a point during the conversation and say, “I realized as we’ve been talking that I didn’t answer one of your questions quite as I would have liked” and try again with your new answer. You can’t erase what happened, but you can recover. And the interviewer may appreciate your directness and honesty.
Write the best–ever thank you note. Never underestimate the power of high-quality follow-up. Thank the interviewer for their time, state your enthusiasm for the role, and reference something you spoke about during the interview. Your thank you note is also a good place to discuss a mistake you may have made with an interview question and provide a different answer. Simply mention you were thinking about your answer and feel you would like to elaborate on what you said.
If at first you don’t succeed…
Not everyone gets hired after their first interview—in fact, many do not. If you’re unable to recover and don’t land the job, that’s OK. Simply keep trying. You will find the right job for you through your hard work and dedication.
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