What to Do When You “Blow” the Interview

March 5th, 2012

It happens to all of us at least once in our careers: we “blow” a job interview.

No matter how “right” we are for the position, no matter how well prepared we are, there are times when we’re just “off,” when any number of reasons cause us to “choke,” sputter and die an ignominious “death” in front of a hiring manager: We blew the job interview and we know it!

But does that mean the position is lost? Not necessarily.

Read below for some tips on how to resuscitate a candidacy gone moribund due to a poor interview.

  1.  First of all, look back at the interview and try to judge impartially just how bad it was. Maybe you were a bit more nervous than you had thought you would be, so you’re worried you came across all atwitter and a-twitch. You may not have presented yourself in too bad of a light. Try to look back at the interview and judge it from an objective viewpoint.
  2. If you feel you weren’t able to answer a question (or two, or even more) in the best way possible, the thank you/follow up letter is the place where you can answer the flubbed question(s) in more detail and/or otherwise give a better answer than the one you gave in the heat of the moment during your interview.
  3. In fact, it’s within the follow up letter where you can really work to salvage a candidacy. Many people call the letter one sends after an interview as a “thank you letter.” But it truly is so much more (and should never be “just” a thank you letter). This is especially the case when an interview didn’t go as well as you would have liked.
  4. Whether an interview goes well or goes poorly, use the follow up letter to reiterate your desire for the position and why you think you’re a great fit for it. Touch on a topic discussed during the interview and discuss some further research you performed on it, expand on how you are the best person to take care of it, and so on. In other words, continue the discussion of why you’re the best candidate within the follow up letter.
  5. If you feel the interview went extremely poorly (you were very late, you were sick, you were just completely “off”), also use the letter to apologize.
  6. Finally, if the poor interview was a result of your tardiness, you were sick and really shouldn’t have come to the interview anyway, ask if you can interview again – ask for a do over. You can either call to ask for a second chance or do so in your follow up letter. Say something along the lines of: “I know I came across rather poorly in our interview due to (being sick, being late, etc.). I’d like to show you that I really am a good candidate for this position. May we meet again? Would Tuesday or Thursday of next week work for you?” (If you write this in your follow up letter, you’ll have to call the hiring manager a day or so after he or she receives it to reschedule).

The “moral” of this blog post? Even if you feel you’ve blown an interview, all may not be lost. It certainly won’t hurt you to talk about it in your follow up letter and/or ask for a second interview. At the least, the bad impression you made with the hiring manager will improve by showing such professionalism.

If you’re looking to take your medical career to the next level, contact a recruiter at Integrity Healthcare. We have positions for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other healthcare professionals at medical facilities all across the country. Give us a call today!

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