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Oops! You’ve Messed Up an Interview

After completing an interview with a potential employer, whether face-to-face or via virtual means, you typically encounter one of three sentiments: “that was outstanding, I’ve nailed it,” “I suppose it was fine,” or “oh dear, that couldn’t have gone any worse.” The second scenario is likely the most prevalent, but today we’re focusing on the last one. Occasionally, you may have interviews that go so poorly, they verge on comical, or it would be amusing if it weren’t your own professional future at stake. If you’re ever uncertain about the effectiveness of your interview approach, watch out for particular indicators following a disastrous one.

The primary aspiration during an interview should be to spark the interest of the interviewer. You want them to be engaged with you and your viewpoints. If they appear relaxed in their seat, frequently checking the time, or multitasking by perusing emails or shuffling papers, then your input has become a secondary concern for them. You might have already said something inappropriate, or perhaps you’ve yet to discuss a topic that piques their curiosity. While it’s plausible that they’re simply a subpar interviewer, it’s unwise to jump to that conclusion.

Interviewers engage with numerous potential candidates in a day, but if you capture their attention, they will gladly allocate extra time to delve into your qualifications and insights. Conversely, if you are beating around the bush or failing to highlight the requisite skills, they are more inclined to hasten the conclusion of the interview. If you had scheduled a forty-minute session but it wraps up in fifteen, something has definitely gone awry.

Fumbling an interview can be disheartening, but keep in mind that even setbacks provide valuable lessons. Reflect on your shortcomings and endeavor to enhance those areas for the next opportunity.

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