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Five Tips to Recover from a Bad Job Interview

One of the most stressful experiences any job seeker faces in their career is often a job interview. Whether the job seeker is in education, social/human services, medicine, or the trades, it is usually with a great deal of anxiety that people enter a job interview. The stress and worrying related to a job interview, in turn, often play a significant part in how well the interview goes, and for those with high levels of anxiety, interviews can go poorly. Here are five tips to recover from a bad job interview.

1. Prep beforehand. The best plan for recovering from a bad interview is not to have a bad interview. How? Prepare for the interview ahead of time. From studying up on the company or organization, its history, strengths, achievements, and 5 to 10-year goals, an interviewee will learn the information crucial to answering most interview questions, particularly when asked what you know about the company or organization. Additionally, look up prospective interview questions for your field on the Internet and have someone hold a mock interview with you, whether a mentor, a friend, or a current/past colleague. Those actions right there will significantly lessen the chances of you having a bad interview.

2. Send thank-you notes. The ever-important thank you notes. Job seekers are strongly encouraged to send thank you notes to the hiring manager or hiring committee members who asked the questions. Thank you notes should be e-mailed or mailed later that same day on which the interview occurred. If you feel the interview went bad because you could not fully answer one of the hiring manager’s questions or if you think you should have expanded upon one of your responses/answers, use the thank you note as a tool to clarify your response and also reiterate in the ‘thank you’ your interest in the position.

3. Speak to friends or colleagues who work at the company or organization. If you have acquaintances or friends who work at the company or organization where you interview, let them know how you did with the interview and any concerns you have. See if they can get feedback from the hiring manager or speak up on your behalf. It would be best if you were careful as it may be perceived as a conflict of interest.

4. Reach out to the Hiring Manager. In a similar vein as a thank you note, if you feel the interview went poorly, you could always call the interviewer(s) later that day and express your gratitude again for having been given an interview and your sincere interest in the position. This step could provide another opportunity to better answer any questions you feel you struggled with while also providing a chance to mention any response or info you failed to bring up during the interview. It is acceptable to leave a brief yet detailed message if the hiring manager does not answer your call.

5. Move on. This is easier said than done, but no matter how bad an interview went, there will still be other job opportunities out there. Share your experience with a friend, mentor, or colleague, and then permit yourself to move on. Every interview you have will teach you something new; appreciate the experience and the opportunity to fine-tune your interviewing skills.

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