After a bad job interview: practical approach

As we move into the Summer and have time to rest before the new recruiting season, let’s reflect on something that we all face from time to time: that job interview gone wrong. Can be that you did not connect with the interviewer, that you had a cold, that you were de-stabilized by a question or anything else. Truth is, we are all human and even when you have been consistent in your preparation, you may have just had a bad day.

So what to do?

  1. Jot down your notes: while the memory is fresh, write down all you remember about the interview. The questions you were asked, your answers, the body language or other reactions from the interviewer/s that gave you the idea it didn’t go well. You can also add what you would have done differently if starting over
  2. Let go and do not dramatize: after having gone through step 1, cut yourself some slack and allow some peace of mind. Go do some sports, meditate or do anything that calms you. There is no point in being tough on yourself for hours. Remember: 1) you are human 2) might not be as bad as you think and 3) it is just one interview. Might be it was just preparation for your actual real dream job interview that might come up next
  3. Reflect on the interview with a clear mind, and discuss with your coach, friends, partner, family, etc: after going through 1) and 2) above, have an honest conversation with your mentor, your friend/s in the industry, your partner or your family member/s who follow your progress in the job search.
  4. A different use of the thank you note: before taking the pragmatic/practical step 5 below, you may consider a twist on the thank you note (click HERE to read our article on Thank you notes). Do send a thank you note to your interviewer/s, and ask for honest feedback in order to improve as a candidate. If there was a specific part of the interview (ie. discussing a business case, a deal in your past experience, etc) then address it into the e-mail, pointing that you know your answers were not accurate and that instead you would have liked to discuss this or that aspect of the issue at hand.
  5. Incorporate learnings for next process: as once was said to me, the most valuable information you have are your scars (or someone else’s scars, ie. Learning from mistakes). Don’t let the same “difficult question” or “exogenous variable” affect you in two different processes. Before becoming a good interviewee, while I took my first steps in Buenos Aires, I seemed to trip many times with the same stone. Until I started following this method; it won’t prevent you from having future disappointments, but it will ensure that you make good use of a painful learning.

Get ready to enjoy the Summer, recharge the batteries to come back into a challenging yet full-of-opportunities Autumn season market.

Until then!

Recommended Posts