Three things to do if you are unsuccessful on an Interview

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If you are unsuccessful, there are three things you need to do soon after the Interview :

1) Learn the Lessons

This is partly about getting feedback and partly about reflecting objectively on what
you feel you did well in the interview, and what you should do differently next time.
The trick here is to focus on practical things you can do differently rather than on
aspects of yourself that you might not be able to change.
Eg. : Resolving ‘I will not be nervous next time’ is unlikely to be helpful as most people are
nervous in interviews.
A better strategy would be to say to yourself, ‘Next time I will remind myself just before
the interview of all the reasons why I am a strong candidate, and I will also do some
breathing exercises to help myself relax’.

2) Ask for feedback

Always, always, always, ask for feedback. You may feel disappointed after you receive
the rejection letter and feel as though you never want to speak to the interviewers again,
but getting feedback can give you invaluable information about the impression you
create in interviews.
Ask for feedback even if you are offered the job. It shows you have a professional
attitude and are always looking to improve. It also helps you to think about ways in
which you might need to get up to speed before you start.
Talk to one of the interview panel – don’t try and have the conversation with a member
of the Human Resources Department who wasn’t present in the interview.

3) Make sure you stay positive

Don’t jump to conclusions
Sometimes after an unsuccessful interview, it is tempting to jump to an unhelpful
conclusion about yourself and why you didn’t get the job:
‘I’m hopeless at interviews’
‘I don’t have the experience employers are looking for’
Think of all the possible explanations
Rather than jumping to an unhelpful conclusion, try to think of all the reasons why you
might have been unsuccessful:
There was another candidate who was exactly what they were looking for
There were five other candidates; the odds were against you anyway
Interviews are a lottery – the panel may have made a bad decision
You didn’t present yourself particularly well at that interview but you learned some
useful lessons for future interviews


1. Remember that the job goes to the candidate who performs best on the
day of the interview: preparation is vital
2. When you’re preparing for the interview, gather ‘intelligence’ in addition
to the information the organisation sends you
3. Rehearse stories and examples that illustrate your strengths
4. Dress to fit in, and make sure you’re comfortable in your clothes
5. Do a ‘dummy run’ of your journey to the interview venue so that you
arrive on time
6. Use breathing exercises to control your nerves
7. When you walk into the interview room smile, make eye contact and
shake hands
8. Sit with a confident posture, then be yourself
9. Ask great questions which sell you
10. Ask for feedback after the interview

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