How To Recover From A Bad Job Interview


Nothing feels worse than tanking the interview for a job that you really wanted. But the important thing is to recognize that rejection is an unavoidable part of life. Whatever it is that you’re feeling right now – you’re definitely not alone. To thrive in either your professional or personal life, it’s an absolute must to learn how to handle rejection.

At the end of the day, your performance at a job interview certainly isn’t an indication of your capabilities by any means. Like many other things, the ability to ace a job interview doesn’t come naturally to most people. Following a negative interview experience, the key is to focus on improving your interview skills after each experience.

Not entirely sure how to do that? Here are six simple steps to guide you through it!

1. Cut yourself some slack!

Let’s be real here: you probably wanted to do well on your job interview. Whatever you did or said during the interview was what seemed right at the time. The funny thing is that we see with the most clarity after the fact.

Whenever those “what if” scenarios start to play in your head, remind yourself that the path you chose was your first instinct during the interview. Ruminating on the past is a waste of time, and it won’t do much besides bumming you out!

A bad job interview happens for many reasons. Maybe your interviewer caught you off guard with questions that you didn’t expect. Or perhaps your nerves got the best of you and your performance was affected immensely. Whatever it was that threw you off your game, if you can honestly say that you tried your best, then give yourself a break.

2. Move past your emotions

Feeling upset after a bad job interview is understandable, but dwelling on these negative emotions will only intensify them. The first step in moving forward is to reconcile any lingering feelings.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone if you’re feeling down! Sometimes, the best way to get back on your feet is to talk to someone about what’s troubling you. It’s hard to see clearly when you’re at the center of a situation. Someone else might be able to provide you with a different perspective which can help you redirect your focus. Aside from offering you their wisdom, it can make you feel so much better just knowing that you have a shoulder to lean on.

3. Focus on what you’ve learned

Once you’ve dealt with all the “bad aftertaste” from your not so great job interview, you can start to look at the situation objectively. If you had the chance to go back in time, what would you have done differently?

Identify the specific instances during your interview that were the most challenging. With a better sense of your obstacles, you can trace this back to your weaknesses that hinder your performance during an interview.

Having the ability to be honest with yourself about your weaknesses is a major strength. A bad job interview is a learning experience, NOT a failure.

4. Remind yourself of your worth

Although your confidence might be shaken after a bad job interview, try your best to remind yourself that someone else’s opinion isn’t a measure of your self-worth. A bad job interview is just that – a bad job interview. Whatever your situation is, there’s always an opportunity to try again with another organization.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Don’t forget that you’re not the only one who wants you to succeed. Chances are, others in your close network have also gone through something similar and they’re more than willing to give you a helping hand.

When it comes to your job search, your network is an invaluable resource. Aside from connecting you to employment opportunities, your close circle can also provide you with mentorship, career advice, interview tips, or even emotional support. It’s also a good idea to ask a close friend to help you improve your interview skills with a mock interview, or check out all of the helpful resources on Did you know that TalentEgg regularly hosts Facebook and Instagram Live events where you can ask recruiters from top Canadian organizations, about how to succeed in their hiring process, how to land a job at their company, and more? Talk about an inside scoop directly from the source! Check out the TalentEgg Talks page for upcoming events.

6. Keep up the momentum with your job search!

Don’t let a bad job interview derail your job search! Not getting a job just means that you have the chance to land something that’s even better.

Truth is, it’s tough out there on the job market. You could be a top candidate for a position and nail your interview, but it still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get an offer. Not getting hired isn’t a setback, it’s a simple redirection for you to find the right path. Believe in yourself, stay productive, and keep sending out those job applications!

You’ll do better next time

Following a bad job interview, acknowledge that things didn’t go exactly as planned (which is okay), figure out what your biggest obstacles are, work on improving your interview skills, and keep trying.

Without a doubt, your first bad job interview will hit harder than the second or third. If you really think about it, it’s a sure thing that your next interview experience will go better than the last. And as long as you learned something from that experience, you’ve made progress.