5 steps to recovery after a total job interview FAIL

Interviews are not considered in the world’s collective top 10 phobias of all time, but they should be. Putting yourself forward for a life-changing career is frightening enough, but getting as close as an interview is enough to shake even the most steadfast opportunist.


As with everything in life, interviews can often go awry. You might feel as if you didn’t meet the requirements, your competition was too fierce and the impression you made was minimal.

But what’s done is done so here are five steps to recovering from what you think might be your worst interview.

1. Don’t beat yourself up

There’s nothing to be gained from taking your disappointment out on yourself. Everyone has bad days and regardless of how many marks you think you missed, your interview will never be as bad as these people at Shortlist who answered their weaknesses with “jazz hands” and turned up for their interview a month early.


2. Write down everything that went wrong (and well)

Speaking with Forbes, career expert Dr Katherine Brookes says that “The best thing to do with a bad interview is learn from it”. While this sounds simple, there’s slightly more to the recovering process than just changing your mind-set. Write down a list of everything you thought went well and everything that you thought you may have slipped up on, you might find that the positive column outweighs the negative.

3. Think about the interview from the employer’s perspective

It’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts and run scenarios of what could have gone better but try thinking about the exchange from the other side of the table. Speaking about interviews, Google’s Head Of People of Operations, Laszio Bock, emphasised the importance of forging a connection with your interview. Maybe you did this better than you thought and while you might not have got the job, you may have made an impression for the future.


4. Come up with a contingency plan

So you might not get the job, so what? All you can do is look forward and line something bigger and better up to trump the disappointment of that one interview. It’s always beneficial to have a plan B lined up in case of the worst, regardless if you’re already employed and looking for something new or just trying to break the job market for the first time.


5. Request another interview

As we’ve mentioned before, everyone has off days. If you genuinely believe that you have a realistic shot at the job, why not ask for another interview? For one, it proves to the company that you’re dedicated to the cause and two, you can prepare yourself better with a set of smart questions to ask the employers, for example.

Now what?