How to Come Back from a Bad Interview

April 10, 2019

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Posted by: Lee Sitarz



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Whether you struggled to answer key questions or you were late to the interview, there are many reasons why you may not have gotten a call back. If you didn’t make the best first impression during an interview, there are ways to recover.

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Keep reading to learn how to bounce back after a less-than-stellar interview performance.

Take Some Time

The experience may have left you feeling frustrated, upset, or distraught. Resist the urge to panic.

Go for a coffee or call a friend, and give yourself some time to think, breathe, and relax. It could be for an hour or an afternoon, but regardless of how long you take, don’t dwell on the interview for too long. It’s easy to become trapped in your thoughts, letting your memory convince you the interview went worse than it did.

Turn the Interview into a Lesson

Even though you may not have landed the job, you can use the interview to analyze where you went wrong so you don’t repeat the same mistakes again. If you had difficulty discussing what the company does, make sure you spend more time researching the business. If you had trouble getting your nerves under control, practice calming techniques before you go into your next interview.

Pinpointing the origin of the problem will help you make changes to improve your interview performance in the future.

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

One bad interview is not the end of the world. Everyone fails sometimes. Steve Jobs and Anna Wintour are famous examples. This is a situation you no longer have control over.

Stop overanalyzing. There’s a role out there that fits your talents. It’s natural to feel uneasy at the beginning, but don’t let your fear linger. Accept your mistakes and move forward. More opportunities await.

Send a Thank-You Note

If you struggled to answer some interview questions, you can acknowledge your concerns in your follow-up email to the interviewer.

When crafting your email, first thank the interviewer for their time. Then, acknowledge your mistakes or poor performance. Answer any questions you may not have been able to answer thoroughly in the job interview. Finish off the note by reiterating your interest in the job and offering the names of your references. Your references can reassure your interviewer that your performance was atypical of your usual manner.

You can also include an experience you forgot to mention in the interview, such as a significant part of your work history or relevant education, to remedy the situation.

Ask for a Second Chance

In addition to explaining your circumstances, ask for a chance to redeem yourself. The interviewer may be impressed with the initiative. Not all employers will have time for a second interview, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.


Lee Sitarz

Lee Sitarz

Lee earned a degree in marketing from York University, which has helped her succeed in various roles in the staffing industry. She has over 20 years of progressive staffing experience including Branch Management, Sales, Operations, and Marketing. Lee is active at giving back to her community, and spends her down time with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

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