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Recovering an Interview from a Bad First Impression | Getting Hired

Recovering an Interview from a Bad First Impression Blog

There’s nothing worse than sending a bad first impression when you’re trying to interview for a job, they tend to stick with you given the brain's tendency towards holding onto negative memories. They can be discouraging and frustrating but there are some ways you can look to recover.


Take a Breath and Start Again

The first thing to do if you notice you are rambling and giving off nervous energy is to stop, take a breath, and try to ground yourself before you continue. “If you can take a moment, breathe and recover it comes across to the interviewer as a good way to show you are aware of potential negative aspects and working to positively address them,” mentions career blogger Theresa J. Kyzer from Write My X and 1day2write.


The fact you are taking a moment to recover should allow you to improve the rest of the interview in a more confident and controlled manner. Interviewers understand that those situations can be stressful and will likely give you a bit of leeway especially if you show a desire to try and improve yourself.


Move on From a Bad Question

If you’ve been answering a question in a ramble without really providing an answer and feel things have gone badly you should try not to focus on it for the rest of the interview. It’s easier said than done but if you can remove focus from that question and instead make sure you focus on your skillsets and unique talents that you wish to push going forward. If you hyper-fixate on a bad question, you can end up flailing for the rest of the interview as you panic internally and don’t focus on the best ways to answer other questions.


Ask the Interviewer a Question

“Even if the interview is going well this is a great way to show interest in the company and shows you care about the job,” observes Sandra Hamilton a business writer from Originwritings and Britstudent. Ask the interviewer their views on the company and its culture. Find out what the interviewer sees as the biggest challenge for the person in that role. Find out what the day-to-day job will look like in more detail using the job description from the application. These provide you a way to learn about the job in more detail and the company itself and give interviewers confidence that you actually do want this job. It’s also a great way to decide whether or not you want to work for that company or not based on whether the answer fits your personality.


Let the Employer Know of Outside Influences

Don’t make excuses or point the finger but it is important to let employers know of things that may influence the interview ahead of time if you can. If you’re running late due to public transport call to let the interviewer know. If you have had a serious life event that has distracted you it is absolutely ok to let the employer know about it to explain.


Thank the Interviewer

At the end of the interview thank them for their time and for considering you for this position. It can be a great way to show humility and grace even if things have not been going your way. 


Review the Situation

You likely think the interview went worse than it did so it’s important once you’ve left the interview to reflect and learn. Reflect on what went well and where you could improve. Don’t just focus on the negatives.


Follow Up and Put References on Alert

Follow up the interview with a further thank you note to the company further expanding on questions you feel you didn’t adequately answer. Highlight the skills you wish to push forward and add things you forgot to mention in the interview that makes you stand out. This is where you can also put details of any serious life events that distracted you if you weren’t able to say anything before the interview.


Let your references know they might get a call about the interview and highlight any areas you want to push forward that you feel you didn’t make clear in the interview.


Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, we’re all human and employers know things aren’t always going to go smoothly. Follow the tips mentioned here and most importantly learn from the experience and look to forgive yourself so it doesn’t remain a negative experience that affects you.

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Content Contributor:

During a decade of marriage, George J. Newton, business development manager at
Write My Assignment and Dissertation Writing Service, has been working on perfecting the art of the apology. When he gets a spare minute he also writes for Cheap Coursework.