Let’s face it, interviews are stressful and overcoming a bad interview is no less stressful. No matter how much you prepare there is always the possibility that it will not go as planned. Whether the interviewer asks you a question that you weren’t prepared for, or you are just not feeling your best on that particular day, there are tons of reasons why an interview might go badly. Besides learning to call it a “conversation” as opposed to an “interview” (just that word alone can bring on severe anxiety), here are a few tips that will serve as your ultimate guide to surviving a bad interview.
Take a deep breath
If you have a bad interview you will probably know it. You may have stumbled over the answer to an important question or felt like you failed to highlight your enthusiasm for the position. There are lots of reasons why you might leave an interview not feeling your best. If you have a feeling that you did not put your best foot forward, take a deep breath. Instead of beating yourself up reflect on the experience in a non-judgemental way. When you are not feeling confident about your performance it is easy to think that it went worse than it actually did. Try not to get too shaken up about it and remember that this is just one of many other opportunities.
Learn from your mistakes
While it is important not to dwell on a bad interview, it can be beneficial to highlight for yourself what you think went wrong. Maybe you didn’t have a good answer to a particularly important question, or you didn’t educate yourself enough about the position and company you were interviewing for. Make some mental notes so that next time you are asked a similar question you are prepared with a well thought out answer or make sure you do enough research about your potential employer so you can be knowledgeable and show your enthusiasm for the company and position in the interview. All bad interviews can be used as learning experiences, so that next time you won’t make the same mistakes.
Ask for another chance
This can be difficult to do, but if you are passionate about the position it may be worthwhile to take the risk. Follow up from your interview with an email thanking them for their time and explaining why you weren’t on your “A” game. If you weren’t feeling well that day or were distracted due to a family issue explain that and ask if they would be willing to meet with you again. Employers are people too and you never know what they might say. Even if they don’t have the time or resources to meet with you again, it will show them your initiative and enthusiasm about the position and your willingness to communicate to rectify a negative situation. You never know what might happen!