We’ve all been there: a less-than-stellar job interview that leaves you feeling certain you blew the opportunity for that job. It’s not a very good feeling and can leave you feeling shaken, unsure of yourself, and do considerable damage to your self-esteem. But it can also be a good opportunity to learn what to do (and what not to do) the next time. Here are some tips for rebuilding your confidence and coming out stronger on the other side after a disastrous interview.
- Focus on the positive. Forget about the bad stuff for a minute: what went well in the interview? As staffing agents in Denver, we know that even in the worst job interviews, there must have been one or two good moments. Did you maintain good eye contact with the interviewer? Was your handshake strong? Did you particularly like the way you answered at least one question? Take time to reflect upon the interview as a whole, rather than beating yourself up over a couple of bad parts.
- Now review the mistakes. Once you’ve looked at the positive side first, take time to examine the parts you feel you messed up- there’s a lesson in there. Ask yourself what you would do differently if you could do it all over again, and then follow your own advice in your next job interview.
- Write a note. It’s good practice to write your interviewer a note to thank them for their time, regardless of how an interview went. Writing a thank-you note can also give you the opportunity to explain, or in some cases apologize, for anything that went wrong. For example, if you answered a question that made it clear you didn’t understand what the interviewer was talking about, acknowledge in the note that you need more experience in that particular aspect of the job. Whatever you do, don’t make excuses. The thank-you note can also serve as a good place to add anything you forgot to mention in the interview, such as certifications or special qualifications you have that you may have been too rattled to remember at the time.
- Remember- it’s not as bad as you think. It is quite possible that the interview was only a complete disaster in your mind. There’s no way of knowing for sure unless you hear it directly from the interviewer. Countless people have probably come away from an interview thinking it could not possibly have gone worse, only to find out they’re the interviewer’s top choice for the job. Sometimes it’s good to just keep a positive attitude and see how it plays out. And if this job interview didn’t work out, don’t worry- you’ll nail the next one!