Well first … not so fast. Your interview may not have gone as badly as you think. I’ve heard from lots of job seekers who thought they blew the interview and still got the job offer. So while there is no way to know for sure, check out this post and see if any of these signs help give you hope:
But let’s say you really didn’t have a great interview. What now?
Recovering after a bad job interview
The first thing you need to do is shake it off. I know that sounds like I’m not understanding how awful it feels. I do. I’ve been there myself. And I’ve seen many other people go through the awful pain of not getting the job they really wanted. But I’ve also seen them recover and go on to find a great job.
And you can’t recover until you leave what you have no control over in the past. You gave it your all and now it’s up to the employer to decide. And it’s up to you to turn those feelings, whatever they are – anger, frustration, self blame, embarrassment, disappointment in yourself – into determination and positive actions.
It’s from action that we recover … and eventually succeed. And from remembering just how good you are. Even the best people get rejected. So take a little time to honor how rotten it feels and then get moving again!
What should you do now?
Again, you may still find out you actually got the job. I’ve seen this happen many times. So don’t give up yet.
But sitting and hoping isn’t an action plan. So, if you haven’t sent a thank you note yet, by all means go ahead and do so, even if the interview felt like a bad one. Here’s a sample thank you note if you forgot to send one:
And after a few weeks have passed, here’s a template for a follow-up note. You don’t want to stalk them, but a polite follow-up note is fine and may just remind them of something about you they might like to pursue:
Of course, these are only action steps to help you feel you’ve done all you can for this job. They won’t win you the job, but they might help smooth over any rough edges from the interview. Sometimes the hiring committee is on the fence, so why not give them an extra good impression!
What if they tell you that you did NOT get the job?
If you actually get told you didn’t get the job, a short, polite thank you note is still a good idea. You can’t know for sure that they didn’t like you. Sometimes there is just a better fit for that particular job.
So let them know you are sorry not to get the offer, but still enjoyed meeting them and wish them luck. Also let them know you would love to be considered for other positions in the future, perhaps reminding them of a few of your key strengths.
At the very least, you leave them with a good impression. And you never know. If it’s really a company that you want to work for, keep watching their job postings and try again. I’ve known cases where it took a few times, but the person finally got there.
But it’s important NOT to put all your job search eggs in one basket. So most of all it’s time to move on and find a job you will be right for. How successful an interview feels to you is often about the match and not anything you did or didn’t do. So please keep looking!!
And to help with your NEXT interview:
Some more posts to help you while waiting