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Career Advice

Bad Interview? Here’s some tips on how to recover

There are few things in life as demoralising and frustrating as a bad job interview… If you have ever found yourself leaving an interview knowing that you made a complete mess of it you will

know what I’m talking about.  job interview

The experience can be truly horrific, but when you couple it with the fact that it usually takes place when you are already in a fairly delicate state (due to unemployment) the impact that it can have on your job search can be really significant.

It is vitally important that you make sure you do not let the negativity of the job interview spill over into other aspects of your life and you must be especially careful that it does not affect the future progress of your job search.

To help with the post-interview recovery period we have put together a few tips and some advice that should help you to put it behind you and move on as quickly as possible.

Think about the bad points –  Whilst this might sound counter-productive it is really important that you learn from this experience to ensure (as far as possible) that it doesn’t happen again. Try to identify the aspects of the interview which went badly and see if you can discern a pattern emerging. Was there any particular area of the interview that you found particularly challenging?  You might want to consider a number of things including understanding of the role, knowledge of the company and general preparedness for the interview. By taking an objective approach to your post interview analysis you will be able to take steps to ensure that the same thing doesnt happen in the future.

Think about the good points – It can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming that your interview went much worse than it actually did. In all likelihood there were many positive aspects of your performance and you should identify these and give yourself credit for them. This is important because the notion that you have failed on every aspect of an interview could have a serious detrimental effect on your confidence and future interview performance.

Accept that you made mistakes and move on – The biggest danger here is that you will allow yourself to be pulled into a downward spiral by your failings and subsequent self loathing. It is perfectly natural to be angry with yourself for having made such mistakes but you should not embarke upon a lengthy self hate campaign. At the end of the day you are only human and humans make mistakes, so deal wit it and move on.

Don’t assume that it’s your fault – You may leave an interview feeling as though you underperformed because the interviewer was rude and/or dismissive but this might not be the case.  Whilst most interviewers will try to create a relaxing environment which will allow you to best display your talents and qualities, it is important to remember that this is not always the case.  There are some employers who will deliberately attempt to intimidate you during an interview, whether it is to gauge your reaction to such treatment or to fulfill a their own need to feel superior. This behaviour can leave you feeling like a worthless failure, when in fact you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Try your best to ascertain whether your interviewer was using any such ‘techniques’ and count yourself lucky that you probably won’t be working for them.

Get back in the game – Waste no time in moving on with your job search. After having a very bad interview experience wallowing  in self pity is sometimes a very attractive option but this wont achieve anything. The sooner you put this particular failing behind the better for you in the long run so continue your job search with a renewed vigor.  

Practice, practice, practice! – Experiencing an interview like this can be something of a wakeup call.  Many people assume that the come across well in an interview and it isn’t until something like this happens that they realise, they don’t. This can give you a great opportunity to identify the general aspects of interviewing that you find most challenging and set about improving your skills. The best way to improve your interviewing skills is to practice. Either with a friend or a family member try to create as many interview scenarios as possible and improvise your way through them. An exercise like this can be very helpful in boosting your confidence levels during an interview and also preparing your for a range of different situations.

Have you got any tips for recovering from a really bad interview? Why not share them with us @TheEmployable

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