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How To Save An Interview That Isn’t Going Well

By Lauren @BubbleJobs

Sometimes, no matter how much preparation you do for a job interview, it just doesn’t go as you had planned.

It can stem from a number of things from turning up late, drawing a blank, saying too much or even the interviewer having to leave the room due to an emergency.

These can all throw the meeting off and it can be difficult to get things back on track. With that in mind, here are a few tips on salvaging a failing interview.

1) Don’t Be Afraid To Re-answer Questions

If you feel that the interview has taken a wrong turn due to your answer to one of the interviewer’s questions, don’t be afraid to ask if you can rephrase your answer.

This gives you a chance to redeem yourself, and is a lot better than offering a muddled answer and moving swiftly on to the next question.

Take your time when answering questions, and really think about the answer you want to give – you won’t be marked down for pausing for thought!

2) Be Honest

If you start panicking when you get asked a question you don’t have the answer to, try to regain control of the situation by just being honest.

However, that’s not to say that you should just answer with a simple “no” or “I don’t know”. Instead, follow up with another form of skill or experience you possess that’s also relevant to the question.

For example, when asked if you have WordPress experience, you could say something like “I don’t have direct experience of working with WordPress, but I have worked with the likes of Blogger, so my skills would be transferable.”

3) Take Control

It’s a horrible situation to be in when you’re in an interview and – while you’re doing your best to sell yourself – the interviewer looks well and truly bored and disinterested.

Try and engage the interviewer by asking him/her questions about the business or their role within the company – this is useful as people generally enjoy talking about themselves and it will encourage the interviewer to take more of an interest in the conversation.

Also, if you feel they’re only asking the required run-of-the-mill questions that don’t allow you to talk about your relevant skills and accomplishments, try and steer the conversation towards what you really want to talk about.

Start a sentence with something like “Perhaps I could explain more about the time when…”, but make sure it flows and seems natural and not like you’re being too bossy.

4) Send A Thank You Note

It should go without saying that you need to send a thank you email after an interview, but if you’re sending one after a particularly bad interview, there may be a couple of points you want to make.

Feel free to add anything you may have forgotten to mention in the interview, or address the fact that it wasn’t the smoothest interview and give a reason why.

This honesty and persistence may impress the interviewer and persuade them to give you a second chance.

5) Ask To Meet Again

Following on from the last point, if you had a genuine personal reason why you didn’t perform so well in the interview, then you can request another meeting to prove yourself to the interviewer.

This should be a last resort and should be done over the phone ideally, as it’s quite a bold request and shouldn’t be done over an email.

There’s no guarantee that the interviewer will meet with you, but it’s worth a shot and who knows, it might be your chance to make the right impression.


So there we go, some tips on saving an interview that’s going well! Do you agree with the tips or have any of your own?

Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs! 🙂

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