Your Interview Bombed. Now What?
It happens to everyone at least once in their lives. Your interview bombed. Maybe you were unprepared. Maybe the interviewer was having a bad day. Maybe you were just off your game. Whatever the situation, you're probably wondering -- what happens next? Do you even have a chance?
Take Stock of the Situation
Take a deep breath and think through the interview. Sometimes what we think was a complete failure really wasn't; you need some distance to determine whether the situation is really as bad as you think. Did you stumble over a few words? Probably not worth worrying about. Did you get a major question about your industry wrong? That could be a problem. Isolate the exact mistakes that you made before moving forward.
Send the Interviewer a Note
Once you've figured out where you went wrong, it's time to send the interviewer a note. The tone of this note is important. It should be a carefully worded explanation -- brief and to the point. As an example, if you got something wrong during the interview, you can say something like: "I was thinking over our interview and I realized that I may have given an incorrect answer to your question. I answered [x], but I'm aware the real answer is [x] -- I just blanked at the time." This shows the interviewer that you do know the true answer; everyone has a mental block from time to time.
Personal foibles are a little more difficult to explain. If you were late to an interview, for instance, a short, polite apology is warranted -- but further excuses will likely fall upon deaf ears. If you accidentally made an inappropriate comment during an interview or got a little too personal (such as by criticizing a prior employer), an apology note is also acceptable but be aware that it may not save the situation.
Schedule Another Interview
The worst thing you can possibly do at this stage is dwell upon your mistakes. Instead, rehearse any areas that you had problems with and schedule an interview with another company. Getting back on the horse is important for avoiding any stage fright and further developing your interview skills.
The most important thing is to remember that it's not the end of the world -- even if it can feel that way. There will be other interviews and other chances to succeed, even if you can't turn this particular interview around. Chalk it up to a learning experience and try, try again.
Need to practice your interviewing for next time? Get in touch with one of our talent reps and let them help you! Contact us today.