How to Follow Up after a Poor Interview
No one ever said finding a job is easy. It can be a lengthy process and include several rounds of interviews before you land an offer that is right for you. The good thing is that if you are receiving positive responses and getting interview opportunities, your resume is doing its job – reeling in opportunities for you to further make the case that you are the most qualified candidate for the job.
There’s no guarantee that all interviews will go smoothly. It would be fair to say that from time to time there will be an occasion or two where you do not perform your best. It may because of one or several factors, such as an unexpected late arrival to the interview, your inability to communicate with focus because questions were not clear, you stumbled on responses because you did not have enough information or did not come prepared enough, your nerves got to you, or there was a lack of rapport with the interviewer.
Even if there are times when you do not perform your best in an interview, it is important to not give up. Continue with a professional follow-up and stay motivated. You should:
- Send a follow-up thank you note.
Express appreciation to the employer for taking the time to speak with you. You should never burn any bridges regardless of whether you are no longer interested in the position or believe you no longer have a chance at the opportunity. While you may have not performed your best, there was clearly something the employer saw in your resume that captured their attention initially. Your interview may have also had some positive moments. Your follow-up thank you note will provide the potential for another chance or consideration to future openings that may be more suitable with this particular employer.
- Admit obvious errors and redeem yourself.
“Obvious errors” refers to your actions, such as arriving late to the interview. Apologize for your lateness. While there is no way to change the facts of what has happened, a sincere apology will leave a much better impression than acting or responding nonchalantly about any wrongdoings. The after-interview follow-up should also be used as a chance to help you redeem yourself. Add clarity and reinforce information that you felt could have been conveyed more strongly during the interview.
- Reiterate your qualifications.
If you have done your homework, you should walk out of an interview with a clear understanding of what the biggest challenge a person in this job will face. Take this knowledge and use it to your advantage. Address those areas further or take the opportunity to present additional information that may have been lacking in your resume and during the interview. This will highlight your capabilities in those areas and strengthen your standing.
Job seekers need to stay motivated when going through the job search and interviews. Whether you performed well or poorly in an interview, these experiences offer much needed practice to help you perform even better in future interviews. You can learn from each experience and know what areas you should be more prepared for the next time.