This post was compiled by Patrick Okunima
Have you ever left a job interview knowing you completely flopped? Sometimes you probably dealt with it by beating yourself up and putting that opportunity behind you. But walking away from the job or employer with a negative attitude won’t benefit anyone. Note that we’ve all done it: you get asked to interview for a dream job and its all downhill from there. Regardless of what happened and why, all hope is not lost. Here are a few strategies you can use to bounce back and stay on the hiring manager’s radar.
REFLECT ON THE EXPERIENCE
“I talk to many job seekers who believe they have bombed the interview,” Brooks says. “The first thing I do is ask them what went well. It’s important to discover what went well first so that you’re able to look at the negative aspects with a less defeated attitude. I then ask what one thing they would change.” If you have a bad feeling about the way things panned out, identify exactly what went wrong.
EVALUATE THE SITUATION OBJECTIVELY
It’s easy to work yourself into a panic after a bad job interview, but a seemingly catastrophic interview may not be as disastrous as you think. Give yourself some time to unwind after the interview is over. If you start to think about it right after it’s concluded, you’ll only feel more worried. Once you’ve cooled off a bit, it’s time to write out exactly what you think went wrong. This includes points you forget to mention, flubbing your words, or misunderstood questions. When the list is complete, think about the severity of the problems, if you accidentally called the interviewer Matt and he was Mike; move on. It happens. But if you completely forgot to mention relevant job experience, consider a way to correct this.
LEARN FROM IT
“The best thing to do with a bad interview is learn from it,” Brooks adds. Don’t wallow in self-pity or allow the bad interview to be an excuse for not following-up or not interviewing for a while. Instead, ask yourself what you would do differently to prepare next time; figure out what information you should have had that you didn’t and think about how you would handle a difficult question next time.
FIGURE OUT HOW TO PROCEED
If you have contacts within the company, you can talk to them and see if they can get an honest assessment of what happened. They can help you understand the extent of the damage, and may even be able to help you correct the problems. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, follow up directly with the interviewer. Wait at least 24 hours and then write an email or call and clarify some of the errors that you made. Begin the call in a casual tone, and subtly segue into one of the points that make you worried.
KEEP LOOKING FOR A JOB
Lastly, unless you have recently won the lottery, you can’t afford to let this incident end your job search. So keep looking for a job. The best news is that, for most of us, interviews will be a part of our lives for many years. So, the better we become at interviews, the easier our subsequent job searches will be.