How to Recover from a Bad Job Interview Start

One of the worst feelings in the world is knowing that your job interview is not going well. The good news is that there are things that you can do to turn things around before it is over. What can you do to regain momentum and finish strong in your next interview?

Forget About the Bad Start

Once something happens, there is nothing that you can do to change its outcome. Therefore, all you can do is move on to the next question and answer it as best you can. Regardless of the outcome of this interview, what you do and how you respond now can help you in future interviews. In some cases, a hiring manager may be impressed with your resilience and offer you the job anyway.

Disarm the Room With a Laugh or Smile

If you misspeak, ramble, or notice that you forget to put deodorant on, you could try to disarm the room by laughing it off. When you are able to make others laugh or smile, you endear yourself to those doing the interview. This helps you overcome any doubts or poor judgment being passed on you at the start of the interview.

Throw in Some Keywords to Pique the Interviewer's Interest

It is never a good thing to see the interviewer with a glassy look in his or her eyes. This means that he or she doesn't care what you are talking about. Instead of telling a long story that has no point, immediately switch to talking about your accomplishments. While it may seem interesting to you to explain why your efforts increased sales by 10 percent, the interviewer only cares about the fact that you increased sales by 10 percent. Make your point, make it quickly and do your best to answer a question in less than 60 seconds if you want to keep the interest of the interviewer.

If you are a part of the working world for long enough, you will experience one or more interviews that don't go well. While a poor interview may have you feeling down, the best thing to do is to try to finish strong and shine as bright a light on yourself as possible. Depending on who your interviewer is, a strong finish could get you a job offer or at least a second interview.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015