Picture this, you applied to your dream job and received a call for an interview. You do your research, prepare, and practice answering questions that you think will be asked. You feel confident that you are going to nail the interview.
Then the fateful day comes, and everything goes wrong. The interviewer throws you some curveballs that you do not know how to answer; you get so nervous that you get tongue-tied, and your mind goes blank when it is your turn to ask the questions. You know you blew it and the chances of getting the job are next to none. What should you do now?
- Allow yourself to mourn
There is nothing wrong with letting your feelings out. You might feel angry, frustrated, sad, or all the above. These are all completely natural emotions that need to be released in order to move on. Take this time to reflect on what went wrong and what went right. Think not only about what you need to correct but also about what you need to repeat in order to nail the next interview.
- Forgive yourself
Hopefully, as you mourn and reflect on your interview, you will come to see the event as a learning experience. Realize that the fact that you got an interview means you are wanted as a professional; and now that you are more prepared for a tough interview, you will have a much higher chance of landing the next big opportunity. After all, a small mistake cannot take away the career success that awaits you in the future.
- Write a thank you letter
It should be without saying that writing a thank you letter after an interview is always a good thing. It makes you memorable, increases your chances of getting a callback, and makes you look professional. In this case, you should use the thank you letter to start a conversation and clarify any of the points that you stumbled on during the interview. Ask the hiring manager if there were any points that need further clarification, or if some more background information regarding your professional experiences is needed. Make sure you don’t sound over apologetic or point out your nervousness during the interview; the hiring manager probably noticed it, and it adds no value to the conversation.
- Try for a second chance
Hiring managers are humans too, and they can relate to your struggles. They know that some candidates might feel nervous, ill, or distracted by outside factors. In fact, even though you feel like you bombed the interview, you might still have a good chance of getting the job. In your thank you letter mention how enthusiastic you are about joining the company, and how much you would appreciate a second interview for this or any other position that your talents might be best suited for. Also, contact your references and share your interview experience with them. That way if they get called, they can encourage the hiring manager to give you a second interview.
- Keep moving forward
You might not be given a second chance, or after a second interview, you might get the dreaded rejection letter. If so, just know that you did your best and came out a better professional because of these experiences. You will do much better on your next interview, therefore, you should go ahead and look for it. Start applying for jobs once more with a positive outlook and your new interviewing skills up your sleeve. Keep searching for that next big opportunity, and when it comes, nail that interview!
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