When you’re in an extended job search, you will likely have some interviews that seem to go from bad to worse. It’s common, and it can feel devastating to have an interview go south. How you respond, however, can have a lasting impact on your job search. Here are some considerations and some tips that can help you deal with them most effectively..
It may be them, not you! It’s often easy to assume that when an interview goes poorly, that it was because you didn’t perform well. However, it’s not unusual that it may not have anything to do with you at all, but rather a poor interviewer. There are many hiring managers that don’t know how to conduct a good interview, or may be having a bad day, or may just be a difficult personality to start with. It wouldn’t matter if you were doing a poor job or on top of your game, they may be acting badly.
If that is the case, it makes no sense for you to take it personally or mourn the loss of the opportunity. You may not get the job, but is that an employer you’d really like to work for? You may find their negative behavior to be a blessing in disguise.
It’s over, move on. A bad interview can be discouraging, however, once it’s over… it’s over. You’re not likely to change the outcome by any additional action at this point, so don’t dwell on it and keep pursuing other opportunities. Dwelling on a bad experience serves no purpose and will have a negative affect on your attitude and performance in future interviews.
While it’s a good idea to briefly consider what went wrong, and learn from mistakes, spending too much time on a negative event will be more destructive than helpful. Look to the future and get ready for a better performance next time.
One bad performance doesn’t define you! At times I see people get so self critical of a bad performance that they assume they don’t have what it takes to do well. That kind of self assessment serves no purpose unless you’re into self flagellation! Everyone has a bad experience from time to time. Recognize it as a one time event, and approach the next opportunity with a renewed sense of confidence in your ability.
Carrying a bad interview experience with you into future meetings is destructive. Get help from others if necessary, however, shake it off and prepare to do your best the next time around!