How to Recover From a Horrible Interview

There are bad interviews, and then there are UGLY interviews. Sometimes the interview just starts off wrong, like you have the wrong address, wrong day, wrong time, and then it goes downhill from there. Or maybe you called the hiring manager by the wrong name — repeatedly.

Have you ever thought that you were going to meet with only one person and instead you found yourself sitting under a bright light in an interrogation room full of managers. No pressure!

After all that anticipation of a positive career move, there is nothing worse than the feeling of an interview gone horribly wrong.

Your stomach begins to flip-flop and you start to sweat through your deodorant. You forget everything that you were planning to say and instead switch over to survival mode, just trying to get through it. Afterwards, you can only think of all the better answers you could have come up with.

Once you have one mortifying interview experience, the last thing you probably want to do is go out there and do it all over again. But that is exactly what you must do.

Here is how you can get over it and move on:

Stop blaming yourself
Keep it in perspective. Just because you had one horrible interview does not mean that you are a horrible person, undeserving of a better job. Everyone has their turn at a bad day. Today just happened to be yours.

Learn something from it
Alright, you should have checked out the company website to find out what products they actually sell. Next time, you will do more research so you can ask intelligent questions. You will do a practice run to be sure of the location of the corporate office. You will not make those same mistakes again if you learn from them.

Keep on going
It is wise to do a postmortem and analyze what went wrong in the interview, but do not give up your job search. You cannot do anything to change the interview, so just follow up with a nice thank-you note, laugh about it if you can, and put it behind you.

One bad interview does not spell the end of your career. In fact, it may not have been as bad as you think. Compared to the other candidates, you may have left the best impression of them all.

Who knows? Maybe the hiring team even liked you.

Your goof-up may have even cast you in a better light, making you seem more human and definitely more memorable. You may even be surprised when they contact you for a follow-up interview.

One thing is for sure — the more you practice interviewing, the better your chances are that you will land a job that is the right fit for you.

How have you bounced back from a terrible interview?

About Brian and Aha!

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product roadmap and marketing planning software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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