We’ve all walked out of an interview with a gut wrenching feeling that we have just bombed it. Maybe there were questions you just weren’t prepared for, maybe your clumsy alter ego showed up in full force, maybe you were terribly late or said the wrong thing to the wrong person. There are many factors in play when you interview, most of them aren’t even related to the job itself –you could ace that in your sleep. A misstep doesn’t mean you are completely out, it’s all about how you recover. The interviewer may not offer you the job, however, you can learn from the mistakes and leave a positive impression on them, which, in this small job market, may help you in the future.
1.) Make a list of the mistakes made during the interview. Come up with resolutions to those mistakes to help you avoid repetition. Interviews are always a learning experience, when they go well, you want to repeat the behaviors. When they don’t go so hot, don’t quit or wallow, tweak behaviors and do better next time.
2.) Create an interview routine. In creating a routine, you will set into place mental checklists that will help keep you in the interview mindset, things you do the night before, the morning of, minutes before, during and after. That routine can expand or shrink while you are looking for a job and it will help you maintain the interview mindset and quite possibly avoid errors.
3.) Send a thank you note regardless of outcome. Take this opportunity to explain the missteps, mistakes or clumsiness. Take ownership of the clearly recognized mistakes, apologize if necessary be honest, be confident and finish by reiterating the positives that were discussed in the interview. Unless something during the interview was blatantly wrong, don’t assume that the interviewer thought it went poorly.
Don’t beat yourself up over this, we’ve all done it. Brush it off, learn from it and simply try to avoid making those mistakes again. Your next interview will go much smoother because of this experience.