How to recover from a bad interview

December 6, 2023

Last week I shared 4 ways to tell if your job interview went well. 

If you missed it, you can click here to find out: “How to tell if your interview went well” 

This week, we’re covering how you can recover from a bad interview… 

This can happen and all might not be lost!

I have 2 ways you can recover from a “bad’ interview. 

The first one is a question you can ask to try and determine how it went and potentially address any misses on the spot…

At the end of your interview, especially one with the hiring manager, ask them this question:

“After our interview today, may I ask, what’s your take on me as a candidate for this role?”

This may seem like a bold question but phrased this way, with genuine curiosity usually will get you a directional answer. 

If they feel like you’re missing a key skill or experience for the role, they will likely tell you when you ask this way. 

The beautiful thing here is that this can give you an opening to further explain how you may have the skill/experience and it just didn’t come out clearly during the interview.  

If it’s something more sensitive, they may not share but you might be able to get a better feel for the state of your candidacy for the role. 

The second way you can potentially recover from a bad interview is through a strategically worded Thank You Note. 

This is NOT a long-winded, “here’s why I’m the perfect candidate for this role” type of thank-you note!!!

I teach a few options for thank-you notes that are very effective, short, and to the point. 

In the case of a note where something went wrong in the interview,  you can address it head-on in your note and open the door for a new conversation. 

I did this successfully years ago when I was still in corporate and an initial recruiter interview went sideways fast. 

I was surprised when the recruiter pointedly asked me this in the first 5 minutes of the initial phone screen interview: 

“How excited are you at the prospect of selling diapers”?

I FROZE. I bombed it. 

That phone screen was cut short by the recruiter within minutes. 

I bombed it. 

And I recovered via a thank you note sent within a few hours of that call.  

In the note, I was honest that the question caught me off-guard. 

I mentioned my excitement for the role, the company, and yes, the opportunity to have a positive impact… selling diapers 🤪

The recruiter called me back 10 minutes after I sent the note and decided to put me forward to the company for the role. 

I didn’t end up working for the company, but I learned a valuable lesson: 

This is how you recover from a bad interview. 

It often takes bold, immediate action that can keep you in the running if you’ve made a misstep along the way!

Go interview boldly!

P.S.: If you’re looking for a new role and you’re not getting traction, I’d love to personally connect with you and invite you to book a call with us!

During this complimentary session, we cover:

✅  The 3 key strategies you can apply immediately to job searching now to get aligned results.
✅  How to leverage your LinkedIn profile so that it serves as an “interview magnet” that attracts your dream opportunities to you, without wasting dozens of hours on job boards.
✅ How to amplify your strengths throughout the hiring process and position you as the best candidate for the most ideal offers.