Recover from a Bad Interview

Acknowledge the good with the bad, and make the best out any situation.


Let's face it. Sometimes we have bad days. Unfortunately, sometimes these days happen to fall on the same day as a job interview. When this occurs there is still time to recover. Read on to learn how to make the best out of a bad situation.

  • Late Arrival — If you're lost, stuck in traffic or just running late, it's important to let the company know you won't be there on time. Prior to leaving your house, take all interview contact information with you in case this happens. If you're running more than 10 minutes behind schedule, you should ask if the interviewer needs to reschedule the interview. If they say yes, take the time to apologize both verbally and write a note apologizing for the inconvenience.
  • No Response — Sometimes interviewers present questions that you don't have the answer to. We have all walked out of an interview and said "why didn't I say..." It's not too late. Use your "thank you note" as an opportunity to recover. In your note state something like, "I know the position calls for retail experience. Although it's not listed on my resume, I'm familiar with the retail industry. I worked as a sales person and department manager in a retail store for three years. This experience makes me a strong candidate for this position."
  • Contact Information — In the excitement or nervousness of an interview many people forget to ask for the business card or contact information of their interviewer. If your interview was arranged through human resources, you can contact them and ask for the information. If you dealt directly with the hiring manager you can call the front desk, tell the receptionist you were there for an interview, and ask if they'll give you their information.

Many unpredictable things can occur during a job interview. It's up to you to acknowledge the good with the bad, and make the best out of the situation.


Here are other documents located on AIE.org that you may be interested in: