4 Ways to Overcome a Failed Job Interview

Your job interview may have been a huge failure (from your perspective), but that need not spell doom for future endeavors. Here’s how to turn a failed job interview into a learning experience.

1. Decompress

Take some time, perhaps a day or two, to wind down. You need to be in a good frame of mind to best learn from a failed job interview. Let yourself recover.

2. Outline the Positives

What did go well in the job interview? Perhaps you showed up 10 minutes early and answered most questions impressively. Listing the positives is about more than trying to make yourself feel good; it may illustrate that you could actually still be in the running for the job. If nothing else, it provides a better picture of how much work may be cut out for you.

3. Follow Up

When you follow up, whether with an email or a thank you note, do not say something like, “I’m sorry the interview did not go well.” For one thing, it may have gone fairly well from the employer’s perspective. Instead, address specific things that you erred on.
It is also okay to explain outside considerations in a thank you note. For instance, if your best friend was in a major car accident the morning of the interview, you can mention that worrying about her distracted you from being your best. If the main problem with your interview is that you forgot to mention a key qualification or connection, use the opportunity you have in a thank you note to do so.

4. Move On

Don’t let a failed job interview get you down for too long. Even if you wince whenever you think about it, it is done and in the past. Remember what you did well so that you can keep doing it, and remedy your mistakes so that they do not happen again.