You know that you can do your best in a job interview, but this time it did not happen. Despite your careful preparation, you feel you have not made the good impression you wanted. You were nervous and uncomfortable, you went into confusion when you had to answer the questions, and you struggled to establish a good synergy with the company selector.
It may therefore seem that all your efforts have been wasted and a bad interview can undermine the trust you have in yourself. But do not worry, all is not lost.
Of course, there is always the possibility that the interview did not go as badly as you thought. But even if it were, you could try to use this situation to your advantage, getting the best out of it, by following these tips …
Write an honest account of how you think the interview went
First of all, I’m sure your head will fill with worries about where exactly you think you’ve made a mistake. While this may not seem like the most enjoyable task at the moment, try writing an honest account of this nasty interview while it’s still fresh in your mind – from beginning to end. This will allow you to make clear your many thoughts and feelings about it, so you can better remember how it actually went.
What mistakes did you make?
Now that you have written everything, it will be easier to identify what mistakes you made during the interview. Try to answer the above question honestly. For example, did you forget to prepare the questions to ask at the end? Did you digress too much with one of your answers? Did you accidentally talk negatively about your last employer?
Try to understand why you think you’ve made these mistakes. For example, you may have forgotten to prepare questions for the selector because you were too worried about what they would ask you. Or, you may have spoken negatively about your last employer because you were taken by surprise by a question that asked you why you want to leave your current company. Whatever it was, it identifies why those errors occurred, so you can avoid them next time.
The selector could show himself more welcoming?
It is essential that you make the distinction between your mistakes and what the selector could do and did not – after all, they too are human beings. He may have unwittingly placed himself hostile towards you, for example by asking you questions in quick succession without smiling or commenting on your answers. Or maybe his body language was too reserved, which made you nervous and lost concentration. In the future you may again find yourself talking to people who are not really ideal. Therefore it is worth learning today how to deal with these types of meetings and not get too upset by this experience.
Now that you have a clearer memory of the interview, I would advise you to pick up the phone and contact your Recruiter. It may already be waiting for your call, to get an impression of how it went, and I suggest you call it the same day.
Give your recruiter a balanced and professional feedback
When you talk to your Recruiter, it is worth saying from the beginning that you are aware that the interview did not go as well as you wanted. It is important that you are honest, but without using too negative phrases or phrases, that can somehow bring out a distorted image of your professionalism. Be sure to also highlight what you have learned from this experience. For example, instead of saying:
“This was a bad interview, I completely missed one of my answers, I did not expect that question, so I spoke in a confused and nonsensical way.”
You could say something like this:
“One of the questions took me by surprise, I’ve never been asked for this in an interview before and I felt a little bit displaced … Next time I’ll take some deep breaths and maybe ask a couple of seconds to think to my answer.”
If you then want to make some observations about the behavior of the breeder, once again it is essential to avoid the negative language and try to maintain a balanced and professional.
For example, instead of saying:
“The behavior of the breeder was too detached, he asked me hasty questions without trying to build a conversation through my answers”.
You could say something like this:
“Despite his very professional and structured behavior in his interview technique, he had a tendency to ask all questions in rapid succession without many intermediate pauses, so I struggled a little to build a conversation.”
I also think it’s worth telling your Recruiter that you would really appreciate another chance to meet the business selector and demonstrate your eligibility for that role (if that’s something you’re willing to do). This will demonstrate initiative and determination on your part. The Recruiter will decide whether to propose this idea to the client and will let you know.
Listen to your Recruiter’s feedback
When you compare yourself with your Recruiter, listen to what he has to say. It certainly has a lot of experience in advising candidates on interviews and collecting feedback from client companies, and will therefore certainly be able to provide you with some useful advice.
The Recruiter may also have received feedback from the company in question, so remember to listen carefully. If the selector has highlighted some of your mistakes, which you may not have considered, do not panic. Let the Recruiter understand the real reasons why you think you have committed them and how you can avoid them in the future. This will demonstrate honesty and maturity on your part. Remember to take note of the feedback and not be too hard on yourself. Nobody expects you to be perfect and some of your strengths may have prevailed over a couple of unintentional mistakes.
Keep calm and keep looking for work
Now comes the period of limbo between waiting for the final feedback of the sustained interview and the subsequent phases. This can be an emotionally stressful moment and it is important to remain calm and positive, avoiding some wrong moves.
Firstly, do not contact the business recruiter directly and do not connect to one of his social profiles – this can sometimes be perceived as an invasive and presumptuous behavior. Instead, send a thank-you email to the company through your Recruiter. Do not exaggerate in emphasizing the points where you think you have made a mistake or apologize. Rather, emphasize your interest in the role in question and thank them for the time they have dedicated to you. Let the Recruiter do all the rest.
Then, do not give up looking for a job while you wait for feedback. Take some time to recharge after that bad talk. Relax, spend time with family and friends, who can give you the right boost to resume continuing to look for new career opportunities.
As I said before, a bad interview experience should not destabilize your confidence too much.
Better scenario: The business selector will understand your mistakes and will see that in general your skills and abilities far outweigh the imperfect performance. Worst scenario: you do not get the job, then you can consider this as an opportunity to refine the interview technique for the next time.
Try to learn from this experience and remember everything you have yet to offer an employer: you will see that your performances in front of a grader will be increasingly appreciated from this moment on.