Job interviews are naturally nerve-wracking experiences. Being called upon to prove you’re right for a high-powered position in front of an expert panel is not many people’s idea of a good time – and if the interview doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, it can negatively impact your confidence. Bad interviews can cause feelings of inadequacy and frustration and in some cases, a negative experience can even put candidates off from interviewing for similar positions in the future.
Everyone has bad interviews. What matters is how you deal with them. Here’s how to turn a poor interview into a win for your career:
Learn from the experience
If nothing else, the interview has provided you with experience that might prove essential the next time you’re being assessed for a position. Reflect on the situation, establish which parts you feel went well, and where your interview technique could use some work. Did you have a hard time answering questions about your experience? Do you feel you messed up when talking about what you might bring to the role? Leverage this, extract a lesson from it and move on to the next one.
Whether your interview went great or whether the entire thing was a disaster, always follow up with a thank-you note. This allows you to thank you interviewer for their time and crucially, it can give you time to mention anything you might have omitted in the interview itself. If you skipped over an important part of your education, or if you forgot to mention that you already have a connection with the organisation, use your thank-you note as an opportunity to mention it, as well as reminding the employer of your strengths.
If you discover you were unsuccessful at an interview, take the time to find out why so you don’t make the same mistakes again. Get in touch with the interviewer and ask whether they might inform you why you were unsuccessful. Ask the interviewer what you should work on for the future. You might even end up applying for a position at the same company one day, and the interviewer is likely to remember the fact that you sought feedback – that’s a positive mark on your profile for next time.
Put yourself back out there
Don’t hesitate. Throw yourself back into the world of interviews without dwelling for too long on your perceived failures. The more interviews you do, the more confidence you’ll gain and the more likely you are to find the right role for you.