Leaving an interview feeling like it went horribly wrong can happen to the best of us, and it can be frustrating especially if it’s a job you really want or need. Instead of dwelling on the experience and beating yourself up, here are some things you can do.
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Reflect on the experience and learn from it. It’s important to think about what really went wrong, because in most cases the interview probably didn’t go as bad as you thought. Make a list of the mistakes you think you made and think to yourself on how you would have done things differently. You can then apply your findings to your next interview.
Learn to forgive yourself. It’s natural to feel a little down for a little while, but don’t dwell for too long. Accept your mistakes and move on, and don’t let it discourage you and your efforts to find a job or even to reach out to the employer to make things better.
Explain what went wrong in a follow-up thank you note. Don’t make excuse, but feel free to acknowledge your mistakes. Perhaps you feel an answer to a question was off target, use this opportunity to admit a misunderstanding of the question. Be careful in doing this, and only explain mistakes you know for sure you made, because the interviewer might not have caught it in the first place and you don’t want to bring light to any blunders not noticed; however a well written thank you note can make all the difference.
Use a thank you note to add anything you may have forgotten to mention. Perhaps you forgot to mention significant work experience, mention that in the letter. Be sure to also use this opportunity to remind the employer of your strong points or what went well during the interview.
Inform the employer of any outside distractions. If your interview went bad because you were distracted by a serious life event, it’s okay to call or email and afterward and explain what’s going on. They may take your explanation into consideration when they assess the interview.
Apologize for specific slip-ups. Don’t ever apologize for a bad interview, but instead apologize for specific slip-ups, keeping in mind that you have no idea what the employer is thinking. Don’t bring light to anything you aren’t sure the interviewer noticed. Also remember, if you already apologized for something during the interview, do not apologize again! You don’t want to keep reminding the interviewer of your mistake.
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