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What To Do When Your Interview Isn't Going Well

We all hope for the best when walking into an interview, but that doesn’t always happen. Related: 5 Ways To Ease Your Nerves Before A Job Interview It may be something from your end: arriving late, not making the right connection, or blurting out something that was better off left out, or it may be something from the interviewer’s end: the interviewer doing too much talking, asking irrelevant questions, or jumping out of the interview mid-course due to a sudden emergency. Whatever the case, don’t get down in the dumps. When your interview isn't going well, keep these tips in mind:


Even people who prepare and travel well in advance of an appointment come across unexpected situations. If you’re going to run late, put in a call to the interviewer to apologize and inform them when you are expected to arrive. There’s not much you can do about the situation, but the interviewer will appreciate you taking responsibility by calling to apologize in advance and notifying them of your expected lateness.

Inexperienced Interviewer

Some interviewers don’t have the experience and don’t know what to ask to get the key points out of the job candidate. In this scenario, it may make sense to take control in a non-obvious manner. Think about questions you weren't asked, but should be asked, and say something like, “Perhaps I can tell you about my background in…” or “Let me share with you a similar scenario I’ve been involved in and how the problem was addressed.” Another way of redirecting an interview in right direction is asking those relevant questions, like “Can you describe to me the typical day in such a position?” or “What are some of the main challenges to the job?” The responses provided will offer opportunities for you to chime in to share relevant information that further highlights why you are a good fit for the job.

Bad Questions

There may also be times when the interviewer asks oddball questions. Take it for what it is and respond. There may be no right or wrong answer. The interviewer may be testing you, so let the interviewer see and hear your thinking process.

Thank Goodness For The Thank-You Note

Regardless of how an interview turns out, always send a personalized follow-up thank-you note. This is an opportunity to reiterate the important points you want to get across. It’s also a chance to touch on points that you may have missed or may have not responded to in the best fashion. Keep these tips in mind to turn any interview around for better results. And remember, each interview is a new learning experience to help you improve on the next one. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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