How You Should React to a Bad Job Interview

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Published: 5 Oct 2017      

Let’s face it, none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes at times, but it’s how we react to those mistakes that really affect our future thinking.

That brings us to the topic of today’s article. We’re talking about job interviews again, but we’re going to be focusing on what happens when things go wrong. Maybe you were so nervous that you stuttered through the interview, or you just completely failed to bring up the main talking points that you wanted to go through.

It happens to the best of us. So how should you react if it happens to you? Here are some useful tips.

Take Some Time to Destress

Coming out of a job interview that you know went badly is a stressful experience. You’re going to be beating yourself up about the whole experience, which is never a good thing.

Instead, get home and destress. Do something that you know you’ll enjoy, or wash the experience away with a nice, long bath. Remember that you can’t make any smart post-interview decisions until you’ve gotten your mind straight.

Take Stock of the Interview

Now that you’ve calmed down a little bit, sit back and take stock of the interview. Think about where you went wrong.

This serves two purposes. Firstly, you’ll be able to figure out what you can do better during your next interview. Mistakes become useful when you can learn from them. Apply what you discover to any future interviews.

Secondly, looking back on the interview may reveal that what you thought was a major issue is actually fairly minor. Perhaps it went better than you thought, and you’re just stressing out because your mind has focused too intently on a minor issue.

Think About the Positives

Few interviews are complete disasters. It’s likely that there are a few positives that you can take away from the occasion, so don’t forget to focus on them as well.

Again, this will help you with your future interviews. Thinking about the positives will restore your confidence, plus it gives you a foundation from which you can build.

Highlight the best parts of the interview and commend yourself for doing well in them. This will help you to recover from the stress of a failed interview.

Send an Email to the Employer

Employers place a lot of stock in politeness, so sending a thank-you email to the person who interviewed you is usually a good idea. This shows that you appreciate the time they spent with you, even if you didn’t use that time as well as you would have liked.

You can also use the email to cover some of the points that you feel like you missed during the interview. Don’t turn it into a diatribe, as that means your email has an ulterior motive. Instead, thank the interviewer and mention how you want to provide a little clarification on some of the interviews sticking points. You may find that this little act of politeness will help you to recover from a bad interview.

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