Help Is On the Way: How to Save a Bad Job Interview

If you read job hunting tips, they’ll tell you that the first impression is the most important thing in the world and that hiring managers often make the decision within the first 30 seconds.

So, if you trip while walking in or have lipstick on your teeth, forget it, right? And if you say something wrong, you can just turn around and walk out of the interview because you are finished. It’s not actually as bad as it seems. You don’t have to be perfect to land the perfect job.

Here are five ideas to save a job interview that has gone bad.

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3 thoughts on “Help Is On the Way: How to Save a Bad Job Interview

  1. Calling someone by the wrong name – apologize and just laugh at yourself.

    This is totally did. I was being interviewed by 2 managers together. As I was giving examples on how to train learners with different learning styles I kept using their names in the examples – saying Jane would need this while “John” would need that.

    Finally, “John” asked “who is John”? I said that I was referring to you. He said my name isn’t “John” it is “Peter.” I then apologized and said that I was totally in the wrong business since I’ve always had trouble remembering people’s names.

    Peter, being the class act that he is, put me at ease by saying that he doesn’t know why, but, a lot of people often get his name wrong and call him John.

    Best of all, I got the job!

  2. I am a month into a great new job for which I thought I had totally blown the interview. In my defense, the interview took place the day after I had spent the prior 3 days in bed, sick as a dog from a bad reaction to a flu shot. Fortunately, I had told the interviewer up front that I had been sick, and — from prior contacts — he knew that I knew my stuff. In fact, he had personally called me the morning the job was posted, encouraging me to apply. My application and references were very strong, and I got the job in spite of an uncharacteristically-weak interview. I also sent a thank-you email. Basically, the interviewer gave me the benefit of the doubt. So, do the best you can, and never give up.

  3. Saying the wrong name, having lipstick on your teeth, sneezing and coughing during an interview even dressing to not impress can all be overcome. I even got a job when I mentioned the wrong company name. I told my interviewer, I have always wanted to work at company “X”. She promptly smiled and told me that I might have wanted to go to company “X” for the interview because I was at company “Y”. I had to scramble in my head and I told her, it was try, I had always wanted to work for company “X” before I read about company “Y”. She was so impressed that I came up with that response I got the job. She told me that she liked the way I was able to think fast on my feet.
    What really hurts in an interview is when the interviewer already has a preconceived idea of you. When this happens there is truly no way to crawl out of that hole. I was told to bring two resumes to an interview so I did. The receptionist took one when I walked in the door and one of the HR people took my other one. When I went into the interviewers office she asked me for my resume and I told her that a guy took it. Her smile went to a frown and it was all down hill from there. She said, “I requested that you bring two resumes.” I told her I did and told her who had them. When the guy I gave one to came in the room, she glared at me even harder. I said to her, “That isn’t very go for me now is it?” She didn’t say a word and I knew I had no chance at that point so I got up and told them thank you for the consideration. The guy said, “Is your interview over?” I told him what happened and the lady said I didn’t follow her directions.
    But the worst is when there is so much commotion going on at the office, they don’t have time to give a full interview. I went to an aerospace company and I was to meet with 4 managers and each interviewer was to spend 45 to 60 minutes with me. The company was doing renovations on the building and people were coming and going and we were being interrupted quite often. I was only interviewed for an hour and 15 minutes and the last guy was the only one who wanted me for the position because he had 40 minutes of time with me. He also told me that the contractors were only going to be there for that one day. I wish I could have rescheduled my interview for another day because I know I would have got the job.
    I doesn’t matter about the little things that happen in the interview, as long as you are likable, memorable, and are able to show you have worth to the team.

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