Interviews are crucial steps in the hiring process. A good interview can land you the job. But a bad one can ensure that the company won’t turn to you. What’s a bad interview? Unfortunately, there are several different ways that an interview can go south. You can be late or seem uninterested, or give answers to interview questions that put you behind other candidates.
Fortunately, though, most potentially negative situations can be turned around. Here are ways to recover from bad scenarios and turn them positive.
You Were Late to the Interview
If you’re late to the interview, it may be enough to sink your candidacy. Many employers assume your interview behavior reflects your overall work habits. Lateness to an important situation like an interview may signal to them that perhaps you’d be late to work frequently.
First, be proactive to avoid being late. Plan out your route and leave in plenty of time.
Second, if you are late, acknowledge it and take responsibility. If your lateness was because of an event beyond your control, such as an accident that tied up traffic, let them know.
You Were Nervous
Nervousness is very frequent in job interviews. Here, too, be proactive to try to head off extreme nervousness. Practice your answers with a friend, for example. Practice a firm handshake and looking people in the eye.
The main risk from nervousness is that you will seem hesitant or halting in your answers and perhaps be too anxious to answer questions well. (“Well” meaning you make your qualifications and enthusiasm clear.)
If you’ve only partly answered a question, use the thank–you email to follow up with it. You should always send a thank–you email within 24 hours of an interview. Let’s say, for instance, you forgot to quantify your success as a travel planner. After thanking the interviewer for their time, say something like, “As we discussed yesterday, I am an experienced travel planner. My work for X company earned me praise for increasing booked vacations by 25 percent last year.”
You Didn’t Ask Questions
Many job seekers think the interview is all about answering questions. But it’s also about asking them. Almost all interviews include an open-ended question to elicit questions from interviewees, like “Do you have any questions?” or “Did we cover everything you’d like to know?”
These questions serve an important function in the interview process. There’s a time for interviewees to show their knowledge of the company and their interest in the job. If you don’t ask any questions, you may be viewed as uninformed and uninterested.
You should always do enough research on the company to be able to ask knowledgeable questions related to your role and interest. Many companies have a website that will share news and give you information. It’s also a good idea to search the news for information about the company.
The questions can be about planned new products, for example:
- “Will my division be marketing for the planned move to artisan cheese?”
or company plans:
- “Does the company have any plans to grow after the acquisition of Company Y?”
If you haven’t done this, the follow-up email is also a great place to ask questions and show your interest and enthusiasm.
How a Staffing Agency Can Help You Land a New Job
Expert Staffing specializes in helping qualified professionals find jobs in which they are rewarded and comfortable. We can help you prep for interviews and match you with top companies. To learn more about promising positions in your field, contact us today.