It’s bound to happen.
The job interview didn’t go as well as you had hoped. Maybe there were a few awkward
pauses, maybe you stumbled on your words, maybe it ended with you embarrassingly
running for the door in a streaming flood of tears. You walked out feeling defeated and
now you are faced with the outcome of rejection. So what do you do next? Believe it or
not, we’ve all been in that exact position, and the way you handle yourself after an
interview gone bad can be a stepping stone in your growth, or it can hinder you for
weeks, months, even years to come.
Here a few quick tips and reminders to get you mentally ready to continue your pursuit
without letting one bad experience destroy your confidence.
1) Reward yourself.
After the interview, regardless of how bad you think it went, do something to reward
yourself. It can be anything. Stop by your favorite lunch or breakfast cafe and pick up a
snack. Pick up a cup of coffee from your favorite shop, or your favorite candy from the
corner store. Regardless of how bad you feel the job interview went, you accomplished
something. You got out of bed that morning and got dressed for the interview. You
ignored the nervous pit in the bottom of your stomach as you drove to the job interview,
and managed a pleasant smile even as you felt you were going to throw up the remnants
of last nights dinner. Showing up to the job interview is an accomplishment in itself.
Reward yourself for that.
2) Don’t relive the interview over in your head.
This might be hard, because the tendency to play back the interview in your head
throughout the rest of the entire day will be strong. Furthermore, try to keep yourself
distracted or busy with other things. Do some school work, go for a walk outside, read a
book, or binge watch your favorite show on Netflix! You do not want to spend the rest of
the day reliving the experience over and over in your head. Therefore if you do find
yourself replaying the incident, mindfully acknowledge the fact that it went poorly, but
then also acknowledge the fact that it is now in the past and cannot or will not be
changed, and continuing to relive it will only put you at a standstill in your job search, and
as a result will damper your mood for the rest of the week.
3) Do not give up.
After a bad interview, it is easy to withdraw away from whatever you were trying to
accomplish. You may feel as if this one interview is a representation of how all job
interviews will be, and it’s easy to get discouraged. It is not. The longer you wait after a
failure, the harder it is to come back swinging. You remember that old saying “When you
fall off the horse get right back on the saddle”? That applies to job interviews as well.
And most importantly, remember that one bad interview or rejection call does not define
you or what you are capable of. Bad job interviews are some of the best learning tools for
future job interviews that you are sure to ace!