bad job interview
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How to turn around a bad job interview

5 Jan 2017

Sometimes, you just know when a job interview is not going your way. But that doesn’t mean you’ve already lost the job.

We’ve all been there. We all have that sixth sense during an interview when we feel like it’s all about to go incredibly pear-shaped.

For those of you looking to make that move and get your dream job, you need to be a dab hand at interviews.

You need to be able to speak with confidence and answer the tough questions, even if sometimes, no matter how well prepared you are, you get a bad vibe. But all hope is not lost – you can still turn it around.

Watch out for red flags

Firstly, check for the signs that the job interview isn’t going your way.

If the interviewer seems disengaged or disinterested, it’s a bad sign straight away. If they want you, not only should they be interested in talking to you, but they should be trying to sell you the job as much as you’re trying to sell yourself.

Another bad sign is if they don’t mention things that are normally indicative of them offering you the job. Topics like salary expectations, availability and the next stage of the process are all important discussions.

Finally, if you feel like the interview is too easy, it might mean they already have someone else in mind. This is generally because the interviewer is going through the motions and not really trying to dig deep enough because they don’t need to.

Another red flag is when they offer you some friendly career advice, meaning they probably don’t think you’re quite there yet.

Turn your interview around

If you’re able to spot these red flags mid-interview, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost the job.

If they seem uninterested, switch tactics and try and engage them in a different way. Instead of listing what you’ve done so far, talk about your passion and why you want the job they’re offering.

It’s important not to get flustered or stressed by negative thoughts. You should also stay positive throughout the interview and ask questions about the job. The more engaged you are, the more interested they will be in turn.

If the job interview is winding down and you don’t think you turned it around enough, be brave and ask, “Do you have any concerns that I haven’t addressed?”.

This gives them an opportunity to be honest about why they might be overlooking you and a chance to make them think twice about disregarding you.

After the interview is over, follow up with a polite email thanking them for the interview. At the very least, it keeps you in their thoughts during the hiring process. It also shows that you’re passionate and serious about the job.

Sometimes, the job is just not meant to be. When that happens, you just have to pick yourself up and move on to the next one.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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