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How To Recover From A Bad Interview

By July 18, 2020January 3rd, 20212 Comments

Have you ever walked out of an interview room and knew you did not stand a chance? Were you sure that you had messed up big time? Well, I recently read some hilarious testimonial from a candidate who said that when she was asked to sit, the seat was too low and she decided to adjust it. The next thing she knew is that her head was now touching the ceiling and the chair would not go down. There were seconds of awkward tense moments before she was helped down by the members of the panel. She was still very disoriented during the interview but she gave her best shot. She got the job. So after a bad interview, how do you recover from it?

Photo Courtesy: How To Recover From a Bad Interview

There are a million reasons an interview could go south. Below, we will talk about those instances and how to rectify and ensure that you do not repeat the same mistakes.

  • Reading from a script

The main reason for conducting interviews is to get that human aspect i.e. put a face behind the papers. Do not be a robot with structured answers. This makes you look rehearsed and rigid. Your employer wants someone that is real and can be flexible.

In as much as it is okay to attend an interview with an idea of what you are going to be asked as well as how to answer them well, be open-minded. Do not let a question such as what you do for fun make you lose out on a job simply because it was not in your list of possible questions.

  • Complaining about your current job

Avoid whining about your current workplace. This will give them the impression that you will also go moaning to future employers about this organization if they hire you. No one wants a tarnished reputation so even if you are being underpaid or overworked, talk about such things as seeking a new challenge which you saw in the position that you are interviewing for. This will help you recover from a bad interview next time.

  • Answering a question wrong

It is common that what the interviewer says and what you hear may be totally different things. Since most people are afraid of asking the panel to repeat the question, they fumble through and give answers to questions they were not asked.

Another thing that constitutes to an interview from hell is twisting the question to fit your rehearsed answers. Here, you will be telling them what you want to say and not what they want to hear.

Do not be afraid to ask for clarification if you have not understood the question. This only shows you are human and that you will not shy away from requesting something to be explained to you on the job.

  • Trying to be perfect

We already know that no one is perfect. Do not try to be one. This often comes out when you are asked what your weaknesses are. There is no problem with mentioning that one time when you did not know how to use a certain tool and had to consult.

The trick to answering this question is to show that you are working on it and that you are always ready to learn and rectify. Saying you have no weaknesses will only make you seem unreal and unfit for the job.

  • Asking something silly

You know that place near the end of the interview where you are asked if you have any questions for the panel? Do not ask something that is silly. If you have not been told about how much you will be paid, you can ask that.

Avoid asking questions that a quick Google search would yield answers. If the information is available on the company’s website, you will have shown that you did not put in effort to learn about the organization prior to the interview.

  • Letting your ego take over

Your ego may take over in instances where you come off as a “know it all”. The way you articulate your you capabilities is pivotal in ensuring that your ego does not come in the way. Do not let this cost you your dream job. It is okay to talk about your achievements but be careful not to sound like you did all the work singlehandedly or were not for you, then your previous organization would not be where it is.

We have all had instances where we knew that an interview went south. You know that gut feeling? This, however, is not the end of life. You will always get other opportunities to showcase your prowess. Take note of the above as they will help you recover from a bad interview.

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2 Comments

  • Pauline kwamboka says:

    This is great. Thanks for sharing. I love how you have written these articles. Your articles are totally relatable , practical and worth reading.

    • Mercy Jerono says:

      Hi Pauline, thank you for reading. Feel free to share them with family, friends and colleagues. Have a great day

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