You’ve done everything right. You updated your resume. You wrote custom cover letters to each company. You provided quality references. Then you bombed the interview. Maybe you asked the wrong questions, or you and the interviewer didn’t hit it off. Perhaps you visibly struggled to answer an important question. Or maybe you flat-out gave the wrong answer. No matter how qualified you are or how much time you took to improve your interviewing skills, the subjective and unpredictable nature of the interview process can leave you vulnerable to a major flop. If this happens to you, all is not lost, and you may even be able to turn it around. No matter what the outcome, you must stay focused on your goal and think positively.
Evaluate the interview as a whole
Ask yourself if you really failed the interview. A job interview is nothing more than a conversation between an employer and a job-seeker. Before deciding you failed, look at the conversation as a whole. You may dislike one or two of the answers you gave, but this doesn’t mean you blew the whole interview. Did you establish any rapport at all? Did you ask relevant questions, and did you leave with the answers to your questions? Does the employer know why you are qualified for the job? Your tendency may be to replay that one bad answer over and over in your mind, perhaps while thinking of all the “good” answers you could have given. If it was just one bad answer, look at the rest of the interview. Can you think of any responses you thought were particularly good?
Think back to the interviewer’s body language, tone, and responses. The fact that you didn’t like your answers doesn’t mean the interviewer didn’t. Some positive signs would be that the interviewer leaned forward with interest, nodded, smiled, followed up with an unscripted question, or even cracked a joke. Think back to the interview and try to remember whether the interviewer’s behaviour changed after you believe you started messing up. If not, maybe you didn’t really fail. The interviewer might not even remember your mistake.
If you really did blow the interview, you don’t have to give up. Give yourself a second chance! Your interviewer probably told you he or she would be in touch in some way. Draft some questions, call the interviewer back well before you expect the hiring decision to be made, and request a second interview. This unconventional approach may sound too desperate, but if you think you blew your chances at getting the job anyway, what do you have to lose? When you call, try to speak to the interviewer directly and tell him or her you have been researching the company, and you have some additional questions. If you cannot speak to the interviewer directly, try to talk to someone who can schedule his or her appointments.
If you try this approach, make sure you really do research the company and ask the right questions. They should be high-quality questions that you wouldn’t have known to ask have you not done your due diligence. This can give you a second chance at the interview, and the mistakes you made in the first interview will lose significance. This will also cause you to stand out as a candidate. Just don’t repeat the same mistakes! Of course, you should also avoid mentioning any interview mistakes you made the first time—you want that first interview to be forgotten!
Find value in the experience
If you really messed up that interview and you know you ruined your chances of getting that job, learn from your mistake. That may sound like a pat answer, but these types of learning experiences are valuable. Instead of berating yourself and constantly replaying it in your mind, ask yourself what you could have done differently and how you can avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Education is expensive, and this particular lesson only cost you a little time and gasoline. If you are truly qualified for the job you applied for, you may get the job anyway. Even if you don’t, you will do better in the next interview and get a similar job. Maybe you will even land a better one.
Use coping techniques to let it go
Whether this was a rare opportunity or a job you can find just about anywhere, you can’t change the fact that you wanted the job. Just know that kicking yourself isn’t going to help. You must pick yourself up and try again. If you cannot get another interview with that company, it is time to move on. One crucial step is to learn how to cheer yourself up. You still need a job, and you cannot afford to give up.
Exercise is a great way to burn off stress and anger. You may be angry with yourself for not getting the job. A goal-oriented exercise is beneficial in a situation like this. You had a goal of getting a job, but you did not meet that goal. Now, you can reach the top of that mountain or the end of that workout sequence. Give yourself the gift of success through exercise, and you will feel better and more confident.
Talk yourself into being glad you didn’t get the job. Write down reasons you might not have liked it. Come up with as many as you can. Think of every last detail, such as the commute, hours, personality of the boss, future of the company, the views surrounding the company, and an unlimited number of other possibilities. Get creative.
Focus on your goal
There was never a guarantee you would get that job, even if you had aced the interview. Hopefully, you didn’t put all your eggs in that one basket. Whether you did or not, it is time to move on to the next job interview. You have done all you can about the last interview, you have learned from your mistakes, and you have let go of the regret. You will definitely do better next time.
You can increase your focus through the use of motivational tools. Attend a motivational seminar in your area or online. Do a Google search for motivational quotes and daily motivational email subscriptions. Choose a few applicable quotes, look at yourself in the mirror every day, and speak them out loud to yourself, substituting your own name or the pronouns “I” or “me” as may be appropriate. This sounds ridiculous, but this type of positive reinforcement helps.
Do not allow yourself to speak or even think negatively about your job search. The power of positive thinking is well-established. Every time you have a negative thought, pull out one of your motivational quotes and say it out loud. If you have a tendency to be negative, write down these quotes and tape them to various places where you will see them daily, such as your bathroom mirror, your steering wheel (short quotes only), the wall above your stove or kitchen sink, your ceiling in your bedroom, or anywhere else you think you might look frequently. Feed your mind with positive thoughts.
Avoid negative people and surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you. You may even benefit from a personal coaching program or from supportive family members who you equip with your favourite motivational quotes. The impact of a strong support network can be tremendous.
.Not getting the job you wanted because of a bad interview is never easy, but it is not the end of the world. It is a valuable learning experience and a stepping stone to your future.
The Article is contributed by Abhishek Bhardwaj who is working as the editor in chief at Sure Recruitment which provides government Jobs alert from all over India.