After landing a job interview, you do all you can to prepare. Despite the time you invest in researching the company and role, practicing answers to questions, and thinking about questions to ask, the interview may not go as well as expected. Perhaps the department manager conducts the interview, even though they’d rather focus on other responsibilities. They might be thinking about other things, rather than how great you’d be for the position. Or, perhaps the interviewer talked with multiple candidates before you. They might be pressed for time and not focused on what you have to share. No matter the reason, you need to shift the interview in your favor to increase the odds of being offered the role.
If a job interview isn’t going well, take these steps to turn things around.
1. Signs the Interview Is Not Going Well
There may be obvious clues that the interview isn’t going in your favor. The interviewer might seem disinterested in the conversation. You could have made a bad first impression, or there already may be someone else chosen for the role. The interviewer might not try to sell you on the company or position. They might keep the interview short, not discuss salary expectations, or ask when you can start. Or, the interview might end without discussing next steps or requesting references.
2. Ways to Turn Around an Interview
No matter what happens, stay positive during the discussion. If you don’t feel you’re connecting with the interviewer, it may be because they’re distracted. If you find yourself talking about accomplishments for one employer, and they don’t seem to appeal to the interviewer, discuss other achievements for other employers. If you don’t feel you’ll be offered the role, ask whether it seems like you’d be a good fit. Find out whether you can address the interviewer’s concerns. When writing your thank-you note, restate your enthusiasm for the position and the unique skill set you bring to it. Mention that you’d be happy to meet again to discuss ideas you have for being successful on the job.
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