Bounce Back After a Bad Interview

Posted July 16, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves

Everyone has done it – you think you’re prepared, you think you want the job, you think you know what questions they’ll ask – and then something happens that completely derails your job interview and leaves you thinking, “Wow, I bombed that one.” But all is not lost. In fact, that job may not even be lots. There are numerous things you can do immediately to bounce back from that terrible interview.

Recently, Forbes published a quick slideshow of “7 Things You Can Do After a Really Bad Job Interview.” Their advice is incredibly sound. From forgiving yourself for the slip up to explaining yourself in a thank you letter, they recommend following up and moving on quickly. We agree. A couple of quick tidbits to add:

  • Ditch the thank you note in lieu of the influence letter. Check out this post from us in May about the difference between the two and when to use each kind. When you feel that “I’ve bombed” feeling, an influence letter is key!
  • Explain real distractions. Forbes recommends this step as well, but we’re reiterating it here. If there is something real going on in your life that made your interview terrible, say so. I have an acquaintance who, years ago, completed the final step of an interview process (a phone interview with the CEO) from a hospital room while her father was dying. She never said so, and they never asked, but she bombed the interview and didn’t get the job. Had she better explained her situation, she might have seen different results.
  • Let it go. If you bombed the interview, whether because of nerves, distractions, or just plain weirdness with the interviewer, know that it might not be meant to be. When you find the job that’s right for you, the interview will reflect that feeling as well.

So let yourself off the hook. Everyone has a bad day, and you’ll find the right job with a rocking interview soon enough!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."