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Recovering from a Bad Job Interview: Tips and Strategies

Recovering from a Bad Job Interview

Weve all been there walking out of an interview feeling disappointed and discouraged. You start second-guessing your responses, berating yourself for stumbling over answers, and wondering what else you could have done differently.

The thing is, job interviews can be nerve-racking affairs, especially when it is a job youre really invested in. But what happens when you don’t do well?

How do you recover from a bad interview?

Acknowledging a Sub-Par Performance

The first step to recovering from a bad interview is acknowledging that it wasn’t the best performance. It’s okay to admit that you got nervous, blanked, or froze during the interview.

It shows that you are aware of the situation, and it doesn’t make you any less competent. Chances are, the interviewer might have noticed that you were nervous too.

However, pointing out your mistakes shouldn’t be an excuse for your sub-par performance. Instead, acknowledge it, and then focus on what you can do to prepare better for the next interview.

Being Honest

Honesty is key in any interview. If you feel like you struggled with a specific part of the interview, bring it up.

Impress the interviewer by showing them that you’re aware of your competence level and are willing to improve. Also, be honest about any dissimilarities you have had in your career path.

Interviewers appreciate honesty, and it can set you apart from other candidates who may have been less forthcoming.

Sharing Concrete Examples of Work

One of the best ways to recover from a bad interview is to follow up with an email that shares concrete examples of your work. In case, you struggled with any particular answer during the interview, share specific details about it in the email.

Mention your greatest hits and why you would be a good fit for the job. If there were dissimilarities in your career path, you can talk about how you handled it.

Requesting Another Conversation

If you feel as though there was more you could have said during the interview, don’t be afraid to request another conversation. However, don’t demand a second chance for the interview.

Instead, request a short call to address any concerns you may have missed during the interview. Be prepared to explain why you want to hold another conversation and sound confident when doing so.

Closing Out Graciously

Finally, it is always good to close out any job interview in a gracious and professional manner. Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration, regardless of how well or poorly the interview went.

Remember to keep this in mind because you never know who they might know in your professional networks. It is always good to be grateful for the opportunity and show your appreciation.

Importance of Thank You Notes

Thank you notes are an often-overlooked aspect of the job interview process. After an interview, sending out a thank you note may appear unnecessary or unimportant.

But, in reality, the importance of thank you notes cannot be overstated.

Making a Strong Case for Yourself

A well-written thank you note can strengthen the case for why you should be hired. You can emphasize your gratitude for the opportunity and reference the highlights from the interview.

Keep the tone of your thank you note positive and show the interviewer that you are enthusiastic about the job. You can even include another interview request if it fits with your overall tone.

Sharing Concrete Examples of Work

A thank you note is also an excellent opportunity to share concrete examples of the work that you talked about during the interview. Mention specific details about the projects you discussed and how they tie in with the job you are interviewing for.

Share why these projects were important to you and how they can relate to the company’s future success.

Requesting Another Conversation

If there is a subject that you did not get to cover during the interview, a thank you note can be an excellent opportunity to ask for another conversation. Inquire about any concerns you had during the interview and request any clarification.

Keep it respectful, indicating that you value the interviewer’s time, but that you desire more information.

Closing Out Graciously

Finally, as with the job interview, it is essential to close out your thank you note graciously. Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration.

Reiterate your enthusiasm and use this as a way to reiterate why you should be hired. Remember, after every interview, every interaction, you never know who they might know in your professional networks.

Show your appreciation, and you might just be surprised at the outcome.


Recovering from a bad job interview can be tedious, but it is not impossible. By acknowledging your sub-par performance, being honest, sharing concrete examples, requesting another conversation, and closing out graciously, you can recover from a bad job interview.

Also, investing time and effort in crafting well-written thank you notes can pay off immensely. Ultimately, it is all about proving yourself as the best candidate for the job.

With these tips, you can do it in no time!

Learning from a Bad Job Interview

As disheartening as it may be, a bad job interview can be an opportunity for growth and improvement. Instead of letting it discourage you, use it as an opportunity to learn, and improve your interview skills.

Below are some tips on how to do just that:

Requesting Feedback:

One of the best ways to learn from a bad interview is to request feedback from the interviewer. Although most interviewers don’t offer feedback unprompted, it doesn’t hurt to ask politely.

You can inquire if they have any constructive criticism or insight about what could have been done better. The key is to remain polite and receptive to the feedback.

It can show the interviewer that you’re willing to improve and do better in your next interview. Taking Notes:

After the interview is over, take the time to reflect on what happened.

Write down the questions you struggled with, how you could’ve answered them better, or if there are any key areas that you could’ve elaborated on. Taking notes will help you reflect and understand what went wrong during the interview.

Use it as a learning experience and figure out how to handle it better next time instead of dwelling on missed opportunities. Improving Interview Skills:

It’s essential to remember that interviewing is a skill, and like any skill, it can be improved with practice.

If you want to improve your interview skills, start by doing more interviews. Apply for jobs that you dont particularly want and use them as practice runs.

Research commonly asked questions and prepare your responses in advance. The more interviews you have under your belt, the better you’ll become at identifying what works and what doesn’t work during an interview.

Another way to improve your interview skills is by practicing with a friend or mentor who can give you feedback. You can conduct mock interviews and work on improving your body language, vocal tone, and overall presentation.

A mentor can help you identify areas for improvement, offer constructive criticism and praise, and challenge you in ways that will make you better. Lastly, consider taking classes or workshops that teach interview skills.

Many community centers and organizations offer free or inexpensive courses that aim to improve job seekers’ interviewing skills.


Learning from a bad job interview can be valuable if you approach it with the right mindset. Request feedback from the interviewer, take notes, and keep practicing your interview skills.

Remember, an interview is not only about showcasing your professional capabilities but also about presenting yourself as a candidate who is interested and eager to learn and grow. By being proactive in our approach to learning from our bad interviews and using it as an opportunity for growth, we will improve our interview skills and job prospects.

In conclusion, a bad job interview can be a valuable learning experience if approached with the right mindset. Requesting feedback, taking notes, and continuously improving interview skills are just some of the ways you can learn and grow from a bad interview.

Remember, interviewing is a skill that can be improved with practice and proper guidance. The key takeaway is to remain positive and use each interview as a stepping stone towards your career goals.

Don’t let bad interviews discourage you; instead, use them as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

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