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Bad Interview? Ways to Successfully Bounce Back

Author: Laurie Knafo/Tuesday, October 03, 2017/Categories: SNI Companies, SNI Financial, For Job Seekers, SNI Certes, For Job Seekers, SNI Technology, Accounting Now, Staffing Now

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Have you ever left a job interview and thought, “That could not have gone any worse”? Don’t worry, you are not alone – Everyone at some point in their career has or will botch an interview. Sometimes you are lucky enough to notice mid-interview that this is going south and can try to salvage it, and, other times, you don’t realize until you are in your car, recounting every answer you gave to the potential employer.

So, how can you bounce back from this unexpected blunder? There are ways to recover and learn from these experiences that will only make you stronger for future prospects, and, eventually, land you the new gig you have been searching for.

Reflect but Don’t Over-Analyze
Was I late? Did I ramble too much on irrelevant topics? Did I come across as not serious? It is completely normal to rehash every detail of your interview the moment you step out of the building. As this can be a good way to determine any mistakes that were made during the meeting, it can also cause you to dwell on things that ultimately didn’t matter to the interviewer – Small slip-ups are almost always more evident to you than to anyone else in the room. Try and shift your energy to focus on how to improve your skills, so you will leave the next interview feeling optimistic vs. defeated.

Learn from the Experience
Did you inadequately prepare? Were you caught off guard by specific topics? Identify the answers to these questions and start there – Write down how you wish you had responded, while allowing time for researching information to make these the best possible answers. This exercise will help you with future interview questions; as well as giving you practice on researching a company’s mission, their history and the work they specialize in for potential meetings. Although these tactics will not remedy any past, unsuccessful interviews, they will help when new opportunities present themselves.

Utilize the Thank You Note
Regardless of how the interview went, sending a “thank you” note will go along way. The hours following your interview are the most crucial to ensuring you stay relevant and on the employers’ mind. Make your email appreciative, as well as informative to respectfully keep the viewer’s attention. There is no need to bullet point the mistakes you made or apologize for the way the interview ended. Instead, bring awareness to any lack of knowledge you may have displayed (on the industry, the company, etc.) by presenting new material you researched post-interview. While this may not guarantee you a second interview, it will bring something new to the conversation – This communication will show the interviewer that you recognized your faults and are looking for solutions to get back in the running with their organization.

The most important takeaways from a bad interview are methods to improve your development as an interviewee and job seeker. No experience, bad or good, is lacking lessons to be learned that can be used in the future. If you are looking for additional ways to enhance your skills and career search, the team at SNI is here to help!


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Laurie Knafo
Laurie Knafo

Laurie Knafo

Laurie Knafo is Regional Vice President for SNI. Her 30+ years in the recruiting business enable her to bring insightful counsel to companies and candidates looking to make the most out of their staffing relationships.

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