Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Recover from a Bad Interview.

Did you trip on the way in the door, spill water all over the interviewers desk, or simply fail to prepare yourself for the interview as well as you should have? No matter why your interview went wrong, the feeling of dread that overcomes us after a bad interview is something we all either have felt or will feel someday. The question is what do you do about it? Here are some tips on how to learn from the experience and quickly bounce back to take on your next opportunity.

  • Take an honest look at your performance in the interview. Admit to your mistakes and write them down. Next, determine how you can resolve the issues that caused you to have a less-than-stellar interview performance so it does not happen again.
  • While you may be tempted to bury your head in the sand and pretend the interview did not happen, never miss an opportunity to build a networking contact. Follow up with your post-interview thank you note, just as you would have if the interview had gone well.
  • Ask for feedback from the interviewer. Once you have sent the thank you note, make a follow up phone call to the interviewer. Thank them for the interview, admit that you felt you were not at your best in the interview and ask them for any helpful tips or feedback they can offer. This self-awareness and willingness to accept constructive feedback will earn the respect of the interviewer.
  • Be sure to ask the interviewer to keep you in mind for other positions, in their company or with their colleagues, where they think you might be a good fit.
  • Evaluate your qualifications. Was there a key skill or qualification that you were missing? If so, evaluate what you can do to about this gap in your qualifications. If you feel that you had all the qualifications, but had difficulty providing evidence of the skills, strategize how you can incorporate this information into your answers in future interviews.
  • Last, but not least, move on from a bad interview. Don't beat yourself up about one bad performance. Admit your mistakes and learn from them, but don't dwell on a poor performance. Even the great Michael Jordan had off days!

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