September 28, 2011

How to Turn a Bad Interview Around

A bad job interview – we’ve all been there. When things get off on a bad foot, it is possible to turn the interview around so that you still have a fighting chance at the job, but your time is limited. If you aren’t quick, the interviewer will write you off, not even listening to your answers. Here’s how to fix some common problems that could crop up during the interview:

  • You don’t know the answer to a question.

No one is perfect and few interviewers expect that. However, if you stumble over your answer, especially if it is factual-based rather than opinion-based, you could look like you can’t handle the job. Before your interview, prepare for your interview as much as possible. If you really don’t know an answer? Be honest rather than trying to blunder through, since your potential boss very likely does know the answer, and make it clear that although you aren’t sure of the answer, you know how to find it.

  • You’re clearly not qualified.

Sometimes, no matter how good of a fit you seem, when you show up to an interview and find out exactly what you’ll be doing, it’s clear that you don’t have the experience or skills for the position. If this is the case, don’t waste the interviewer’s time. Point out the miscommunication and ask if any other more suitable positions are available with the company.

  • You were previously fired from a position.

We all hope that past positions ending badly won’t be brought up in an interview, but if you have a job listed on your resume or there are resume holes, there’s always the chance that you’ll be asked why you left. Again, be honest (seeing a theme here?) because your story can easily be checked. Avoid the blame game if possible while explaining what happened. If you were legitimately at fault, talk about what you learned and how you’ll avoid that mistake in the future.

Remember, one bad interview doesn’t mean that you’ll never get a job. Avoid getting upset about unemployment and instead focus on your next opportunity.

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