What To Do If You’ve Had a Bad Interview
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Ever left an interview feeling completely deflated? We’ve all been there; after applying to 50 jobs you finally bag an interview with your favourite company. You think it’s going to be the one. You have researched the company and you have the perfect experience for the role, but as soon as you walk into the interview room it all seems to fall apart.
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Either your nerves get the best of you or you just didn’t ‘click’ with the interviewer. Whatever the reason, you walk out the interview disheartened and grumpy. While this feeling is inevitable it’s not constructive. You need to channel your energy into something else, something that will help you ace your next interview.

Send a Thank You Email

After an interview it’s good practice to thank the interviewer for their time, but if you’ve had a particularly bad interview use this email as a chance to rectify your mistakes. This email is also helpful if you forgot to mention something vital or forgot to ‘blow your own horn’. Remind the interviewer why you would be great for the job with a small recap. You’re able to construct and edit your email to your needs, so take your time with it. After all, it’s the last thing they will see from you before they make their decision.

It’s a small gesture so if you had a really bad interview an email is unlikely to save you, but the interviewer will appreciate your self-awareness. Who knows, they might have another position that they think you’d fit!

Ask for Feedback

You can do this in your thank you email or after the hiring manager has made their decision. In fact, even if you do get the job still ask for feedback. They might highlight something you didn’t even think about. It might be as simple as making more eye contact or something a bit more technical. Even if you don’t agree with your feedback, don’t dismiss it.

Use it to improve your next interview. Asking for feedback also demonstrates your ability to reflect and improve; a fundamental soft skill.

Reflect

Use this time to reflect on your experience. However bad the interview, use it as an example of how you can improve. Forgot the company’s mission statement? Bring notes. Called the interviewer by the wrong name? Write their name on the corner of your notes. Was the interviewer probing you on questions you didn’t know the answer to? Spend a bit more time researching.

Recruitment is called a process for a reason; it’s not just a quick-fix. It can be long and often gruelling but you’ll come out of the other side with more experience and better equip for your next job search.

Be Kind to Yourself

This is easier said than done but you need to set aside your emotions and remind yourself that you can’t ace every interview. Chances are your interview didn’t go as badly as you thought it did, so be kind to yourself. Instead of being frustrated, use the tips above and take control of your career.

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