I think I messed up my interview: Here's what to do next
If you think you messed up your interview, don't worry - we all have! Check out our guide on what to do after a bad interview.
If you're reading this article, it's likely that you think you messed up your interview. Maybe you were nervous, maybe you said the wrong thing. You walk out of an interview and immediately start questioning yourself. Maybe your mind went blank, or maybe you just didn't have enough time to prepare for a certain portion and a question caught you off guard.
Whatever the case may be, it's normal to feel like you messed up after an interview. The good news is that there are steps you can take to fix the situation.
What to do when you think you've blown your shot
When you think you’ve blown your shot in an interview, it can be tempting to give up and move on. But don’t despair just yet—there are a few things you can do to salvage the situation.
Steps to turn a bad interview around:
First, take a deep breath and try to relax. It’s natural to feel nervous and somewhat sorry for being anxious during an interview, and even the most confident people sometimes make mistakes. If you can keep your cool, you’ll be more likely to think clearly and recover from any missteps.
Next, take a moment to assess what went wrong. Did you stumble over your words? Forget what the interviewer asked? Say something that came across as arrogant or unprepared? Did you fail to maintain attention and got distracted because of inadequate sleep? Once you know where things went off track, you can apologize for errors and assure the interviewer that it won’t happen again.
Finally, use the rest of the interview meeting as an opportunity to redeem yourself. Showcase your skills and qualifications by sharing specific examples of your work experience or successes in previous roles. Admit that your mistake made was out of character and "not the regular you at work". And above all else, make sure to come across as enthusiastic about the position—even if you have doubts about whether or not they’ll offer it to you after screwing up earlier on. With a little effort, there’s still a chance you can turn things around and walk out of the interview with your head held high.
Is there any hope for progression to the next application stage after a terrible interview?
A bad interview can leave you feeling defeated and wondering if there's any hope for progression to the next application stage. The good news is that even if an interview doesn't go well, there is still hope for progressing to the next stage of the application process. A second or third interview is less likely but still possible.
The first thing to remember is that an interview is just one part of the overall assessment process. Your potential employer will also be looking at your CV, cover letter and other application materials, so don't despair if you don't think you performed well in the interview itself.
Secondly, reach out to your interviewer (if possible) and thank them for their time while also expressing regret that things didn't go better. This shows humility and grace under pressure - two qualities that any employer would value. You may have the recovering opportunity to re-engage in conversation with the interviewer then.
A last hope is to bravely ask to take another shot at the same or a similar position. If possible, try to get another chance at interviewing for the same position. This could involve emailing the hiring manager directly to express your interest in being reconsidered or even asking if you could stop by the office for a brief chat. It might not work out, but it's worth a shot!