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The Top 5: Next Steps After a Bad Interview

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So You Had a Bad Interview, Now What?

Everyone bombs an interview eventually – some more spectacularly than others. How you respond to a bad interview can set you up for future success or lead you to continue making the same mistakes. So take a breath, dust yourself off and take these next steps:

  1. Ask yourself what happened. Lay it all out. Consider whether this experience was a just a fluke or a pattern you keep repeating. You need to be honest here – if you lie to protect your ego now, you will never let yourself see the problems you need to address.
  2. Compare what worked and what didn’t. Take what happened in your interview and break it into two lists: What Went Right and What Went Wrong. Star the items that you think were most significant in both lists. For those starred items, write down what factors contributed to each success or failure. For example, if you couldn’t answer a simple interview question; were you very nervous, were you tired, were you hungry, were you flustered by something that happened earlier?
  3. Strategize. Now that you’ve identified the factors that helped and hurt you, it’s time to prepare accordingly. If you were 15 minutes late to your interview and everything went downhill from there, take steps so you will get to your next interview 15 minutes early.  If you really impressed them with your accomplishments, find ways to highlight those strengths next time.
  4. Research. Don’t rely on introspection alone – there could be all kinds of strategies you’ve never considered. We have a ton of resources that walk you through the whole interview process from updating your resume to preparation tips to spotting signs an interview is going well to picking the best job offer. Not to mention how to spot good and bad bosses or what to do when your employer makes a counteroffer. You will never regret taking some time to up your game.
  5. Get back out there. A bad interview can be demoralizing but if you’ve done the work to improve, you will do better next time. Check out our job board for hundreds of opportunities with top industry employers. Don’t let that next big opportunity pass you by!