Bad Job Interview

5 Ways To Recover From A Bad Job Interview

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Did you ever leave a job interview feeling like it didn’t go so well? Self-doubt can creep in as soon as you walk out the door. Little things nag at you like your posture, tone, and answers you gave.

Related: 3 Tips For Preparing For A Job Interview

You can turn these negative experiences into positive ones and become better at interviews. Learn what went wrong and improve your performance. Here are five ways to recover from a bad job interview:

1. Write It Down

As soon as a bad job interview is over go, to your car and write down what you are feeling. Write what you feel may have gone wrong. Putting your thoughts on paper immediately after the interview gives it the most validity. This is when raw emotions come out and your thoughts are true.

After a couple of days, revisit what you wrote. Look at your entries completed in the heat of the moment. Reflecting in these thoughts with a clear head can help you focus on how to develop your interviewing skills.

2. Get Feedback

Several years ago, I was in a job interview that didn’t go well. When someone asked me how it went, I merely responded “fine.” The fact is, it was not fine. The interviewer did not want to be there. He wrote down things when I was in the middle of talking. Needless to say, I did not hear back about the position.

In retrospect, I passed up a chance to become a better interviewee. In talking with someone else, you have the chance to get their perspective. They can provide insight based on their own experiences and what they know about you.

3. Identify Strengths

The job interview can be a crucible. It is a source of stress for any job seekers. The thought of saying something wrong or not presenting yourself correctly can be taxing in an already nerve-wracking  job search. But the stress and adversity can make you stronger going forward in any job interview process.

Think about what you did that went well. Did you explain situations you were in through solid storytelling? Reflect on what parts of interviews you were most comfortable in. Think about your approach and mindset in these areas. Develop an interview strategy with this as your foundation.

4. Set Up A Routine

Many great figures in sports set up a routine before any game. Whether it’s because they are superstitious or not, there is a level of comfort in doing something familiar. It eases their minds and gets them into the flow of the game.

Develop your own routine for yourself with job interviews. The morning of an interview, go for a run, read, or do something you enjoy that gets your mind of the interview. Develop a routine and set your own flow, and you will improve in the job interview.

5. Contact Your Interviewer

This is something few job seekers do. Yet, it is so easy and can yield great results. At the end of an interview, make sure you get the contact information of your interviewer. Call or email them a few days later thanking them for the opportunity.

If you do not hear back in over a week, contact the interviewer again. If the interview went well, it could provide the chance of setting another one up. If it went badly, ask for information about what had gone wrong to help in future interviews.

Some employers may be reluctant to give information about the interview. Organizations have been faced with lawsuits for unfair hiring practices. Information like this can be valuable, so be professional when seeking this information.

Don’t let a bad job interview cloud your vision for future opportunities. Learn from the experience and improve yourself going forward.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Matt Schmidt

Matt Schmidt is a certified career coach and resume writer who podcasts about career transition and change at www.careerexitstrategy.com.

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