How To Bounce Back From A Job Interview Clanger
It’s a terrible feeling when you’ve made a blunder in a job interview and you think your chances of getting the job have been crushed. However, a major mistake may not necessarily be a deal-breaker. There are many ways you can mitigate the damage and show that you have the tenacity to bounce back. Here are some of the most common clangers made during job interviews and our advice on how to recover.
Common interview clangers
- You get stuck or go blank
Interviews can be nerve-wracking and suddenly going blank or forgetting a question is not uncommon. If this occurs, you could ask the interviewer to rephrase the question, provide further context to the question, or ask to go back to the question later.
- Not answering questions or providing evasive answers
This is one of the biggest mistakes people make in job interviews. When interviewees don’t understand a question, they sometimes ‘waffle on’ and provide evasive answers. Instead, we recommend that candidates seek further clarification about the question, such as: ‘Is that the sort of information you were looking for? Have I answered your question? I’m a bit nervous and have just lost my train of thought, can you repeat the question?
- Being too negative about previous employers
If you’ve had a bad experience with past employers, it’s easy to be overly negative when describing your experience there. However, we strongly advise against this as it can make you look ungrateful and disloyal. If you’ve made the mistake of being overly negative about past employer/s, counteract this by saying something positive that you valued about that employer. Perhaps it was the team culture, colleagues, the company values, or the type of work you did.
- Talking too much
Taking up too much of the conversation in an interview will not work in your favour. Let the interviewer direct the conversation and allow them the time to ask their questions. If you overtake the interview, your interviewer may perceive this is how you would behave in the workplace. If you’ve started your interview this way, it’s not too late to turn it around. Try your best to keep your subsequent answers shorter and more succinct and never interrupt the interviewer when they’re speaking. If you get the opportunity at the end of the interview, you can apologise for talking too much or perhaps say that you were nervous if that was the cause.
Other tools of recovery
- Ask further questions
As well as providing a great opportunity to learn more about the company, asking further questions can allow you to counter any overly negative comments you may have made.
- Send a thank you note
Sending a thank you note post-interview is an opportunity to express your gratitude for the interviewer’s time, to clarify any points you did not effectively convey in the interview, and reinforce why you’d be a good fit for the role.
- Emphasize your strengths
Focus on one or two key strengths about yourself or your achievements that you’d like to get across during the interview. If you get the opportunity to repeat this message at the end of the interview, this is an excellent way to reinforce your strengths and be remembered.
Kelly Armstrong, property recruitment specialist says ‘If you’ve made a mistake mid-interview, don't give up. Making a mistake does not mean your chances of getting the role are dashed. Keep trying and fighting and don’t forget to convey how enthusiastic you are about the role.”
In our experience in the recruitment industry, we’ve seen many mistakes made by prospective job candidates. If you’ve made a serious clanger in a job interview, don’t worry, it can often be mitigated with the tools of recovery outlined above, and if not, you’ve learned some valuable lessons for your next job interview.