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How to recover after you think you’ve blown your interview

So, you totally bombed your job interview. You feel embarrassed and as if you’ve blown a perfectly good job opportunity. Believe it or not, the world will keep on spinning, even though you feel like it’s all coming to an end. Don’t fret. We know what to do after a bad interview to speed up the recovery process. We’ve got you covered:


What to do after a bad interview to recover

1. Let yourself be upset

First of all, no matter what happened at the interview – validate your feelings of frustration. It’s disappointing to feel that you’ve failed at something. At the same time, don’t internalize the failure. The interview didn’t go well, but that doesn’t reflect your capabilities or intellect. It was just something that happened.


2. Take deep breaths

Once you’ve had your moment of crisis, relax. Take a deep breath. Or many of them. Try to calm yourself mentally and emotionally so that you can think more rationally about what actually happened at this apparent epic failure of an interview.


what to do after a bad interview


3. Reality check

Nobody died. You have the rest of your life to become a job interview superstar. Trust that your interviews will get better and better over time as you have more practice. Think of the interview, even if it went poorly, as a learning experience, rather than a failure and realize that the person most upset in the situation is you.



4. Take responsibility for your share

Think about what went wrong that was in your control. In what ways did you feel like you came up short during the interview? Were you too long-winded? Did you have difficulty explaining how you would add to the workplace? What about the interview went poorly and how could you have handled things differently?


5. Take stock of what went well

It’s easy to be self-critical and repeat in your head the ways things didn’t go as smoothly as you would have liked. Try to spend the same amount of energy thinking about the things that went well. Think about the questions that went better than others and compliment yourself for performing well in those areas. Job interviews can be very stressful and cause us to freeze up or overthink things, so it’s important to forgive yourself and cheer yourself on so that you can do better next time and maintain a positive attitude.


6. Follow up

Take a moment to follow up with the interviewer via email. Consider a question that you would like the chance to answer again and take a moment to say something along the lines of, “In addition to my response in the interview, after further thought I would like to add that…” or something along those lines. Thank them for the chance to interview in a concise way and you’re set.


what to do after a bad interview


7. Think about how you could have improved the interview for future reference

Go through the interview in your head and try to remember all of the questions that you were asked. Write down the ones that you had difficulty answering and think about your responses in a critical way and try to improve on them. Practice out loud what you would have said. Now you’re ready for the next one.


To make yourself a stand-out candidate in your next interview, apply for an international internship today.



Photo 1. based on Stress, by Andrew Imanaka, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 2. based on thinking, by gatudo, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Wendy bonds with Alicia, by
Gangplank HQ, CC-by-2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!