Simply put, having a bad job interview feels pretty awful. Right now, it probably feels like all your careful preparation was for nothing, but relax, it probably wasn’t as bad as you think.
Like most people, you’re likely your own toughest critic, so the interviewer might not even think you performed poorly. Take a deep breath, compose yourself and follow these steps to turn the situation around.
Stop Obsessing About It
It’s certainly easier said than done, but you have to stop torturing yourself about the job interview. The more you think about it, the more your mind will play tricks on you and blow it out of proportion.
Find a healthy way to de-stress — i.e., hit the gym, meet a friend for lunch, do something nice for another person — to get your mind off the interview and into a better state. When you revisit the situation later, it might not seem so bad.
Send a Follow-Up Email If You Must
If, after taking time to calm down, you still feel like you need to need to perform damage control, send a follow-up email to the interviewer. Be very careful with this, as you don’t want to say something that makes the situation worse.
Instead of apologizing or calling out errors you feel you made, simply frame the message as a way to share supplemental information that could boost your candidacy. Include only new information in the message, and do it in no more than a few sentences.
Learn From Your Mistakes
A job interview is a very nerve-wracking experience, so even the calmest, most seasoned professionals get flustered sometimes. Beating yourself up about a bad job interview accomplishes nothing, so make the most of your experience by learning from it.
Carefully examine mistakes you feel you made to get to the root cause. Use your findings to adjust your strategy, so you don’t make the same blunders next time.
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