5 Ways An Interview Can Go HORRIBLY WRONG And What To Do When It Does

Nothing is worse than the sinking feeling you get after an interview. When you know that you didn’t quite say what you wanted to, and your nerves got the better of you. 

Everyone is capable of making mistakes. 

With a world full of people scrambling for their ideal job, you’re not always going to get it the first time around. But, understanding what can go in an interview ahead of the game is a good start. 

Here is our guide to how to deal with an interview that has gone horribly wrong.

  1. Stage Fright

Sometimes even with excellent preparation for an interview, our nerves get the better of us. 

You arrived at your interview with confidence, ready to answer questions and ask them. However, you didn’t take into account the pressure that your subconscious had been secretly pondering in the background. 

You start to babble, muddle your words and misinterpret the question you were so prepared to answer 15 minutes ago. Terminology starts to get mixed up, and you’re left knowing that the job you dreamed of is quickly slipping out of your hands. 

Honesty is always the best policy. So don’t be afraid to mention your pre-interview jitters. You can briefly explain to the interviewer that you are excited about the possibility of getting the role, and this idea alone is making you feel nervous. 

The most likely scenario is that your future employer will be empathetic to your situation. They are human, after all. So, try to relax. Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts and have a drink of water to calm you down. 

2. You don’t have all the answers

Not knowing how to answer a question doesn’t make you a failure. If you aren’t sure about something, you can ask for clarity from the interviewer. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you don’t have to answer straight away! You can take a moment to think before answering – it might just show the employer that you can keep calm under pressure.

Taking time to practice common interview questions ahead of the day will help you get a feel of what to expect. It will also serve you well to do some research on the company beforehand too.

Please have a look at our 10 Commonly Asked Questions At A Job Interview blog to give you an idea. 

3. You can’t think of any questions to ask

Ahead of your interview, it is in your interest to know what the company is looking for, and what you can, in turn, offer them. 

So get Googling. Try and find out what makes the company tick, ethos and history. 

Preparation is your key to success. Not knowing what to ask makes you look disinterested. So get in the groundwork, and look to the company’s future and yours. Which direction is the company going in? What development pathways are available to you? 

Having a notebook with you isn’t cheating either. It’s a tool, use it!

4. Oversharing

Making an outstanding first impression on an employer is a pretty good way of gaining a positive outcome. Showing that you are professional, formal and looking for a career is going to stand you in good stead.

Oversharing in an interview is a recipe for disaster. 

Your employer doesn’t need to have an insight into your personal life. They don’t want to have intimate details of last weekend or your previous dabblings with illicit substances. Mr Saunders certainly doesn’t need to know that your previous boss was awful. 

Keep your answers fresh, positive and professional at all times. 

5. Underselling yourself

Shying away from letting an employer know where you have excelled in a position is a classic mistake to make in an interview. Giving examples of where you shine is something an employer wants to know. 

Finding a balance between overconfidence and humility is a tricky rope to walk. However, it is possible. 

Having a good reputation at delivering a project and having a positive outcome adds to your hireability. So don’t be afraid to talk about your strengths. 

The bottom line

Giving yourself time to prepare, research and to relax are great ways to avoid an interview going badly. So charge your batteries and go into your next interview with a positive mindset, and anxiety-reducing techniques to secure your next career move.