6 Ways to Turn Round a Bad Interview - Fast!

  | Laura Slingo

Interviews can be overwhelming; you’re trying to remember so many things at once whilst remaining totally cool and confident. You did your research, prepared your answers and arrived fifteen minutes early—but now you feel like you’re failing fast. If you find yourself feeling lost, before you run out the door or demand a do-over, here are a few techniques you can try to turn the interview round and take back control.

Problem: You’re really nervous

Despite your preparation, sometimes nerves can get the better of you. If you’re feeling really nervous and struggling to get your words out, pause for a second and take a deep breath. Try to remain in the moment, keep strong eye contact with your interviewer and focus on what you’ve got to say, and hopefully as the interview progresses you should begin to feel more at ease.

Problem: Your mind goes blank

You’ve practised your responses, but when the day arrives you draw a complete blank. If this happens, make sure you say something. If you can’t quite find the words, ask them to repeat the question and give yourself a moment to think—but try to avoid sitting there in silence staring blankly at them. If you’re still struggling with your response, try to subtly change the subject so you can highlight your strengths or knowledge in another way.

Problem: You blew an important question

If you’d lined up a killer response to their question but blew it at the last minute, don’t panic. State that you want to clarify what you meant and rephrase your answer; this way you get a second chance without seeming flustered

Problem: They think you’re underqualified

Being underqualified for a role you really want can be hard, so try to use examples outside of your qualifications to demonstrate why you’re a strong candidate. Communicate the transferable skills you have and give examples of when you used these in the past. Ask them what skills they would want you to have and express a desire to learn.

Problem: They think you’re overqualified

If the interviewer thinks you’re overqualified they may be concerned about how long you’ll stay in the role, or what salary you’ll be expecting. Ask them what their concerns are with your qualifications and assure them you want the job; make it clear that this isn’t just a ‘filler’ role, or a stepping stone, and that you’re genuinely passionate about the job.

Problem: They seem disinterested

If the interviewer seems distant or disinterested you need to regain their attention. Connect with them on a personal level and start building up rapport; smile at them and ask them questions and they’ll be forced to engage with you. An example could be “what do you enjoy most about working here?” People enjoy talking about themselves and you’ll really connect by asking a question that relates to them.

Final thoughts

If after the interview you still feel that your attempts to salvage it weren’t successful, make a follow up call. If you secured the interview through a recruitment agency talk to them and explain what happened and see if they can get in touch with your interviewer. If you’re directly in contact with the company give them a call or drop them an email and ask for a second chance—you won’t know if you don’t try!

Author bio: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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