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Best Way to Handle a Bad Job Interview

Updated on December 14, 2014

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Nightmare stories of interviews

Some job interviews are sad, some funny and others are just plain bad. Everyone loves to hear about the next person's funny experience with a job interview going the wrong way. Generally the more embarrassing the better. These are some moments interviewees choose to forget about.

Going to the bathroom beforehand is not always a great idea

One interviewee decided to make a pit stop in the restroom just prior to the meeting. Everything went perfect at the interview according to Jim. The bad part emerged when he got home. He discovered his fly was open with his shirt hanging out of it.

Don't be afraid to excuse yourself if needed

Diane woke up late and rushed to get dressed. She flew to the interview and realized when as she sat down she needed a bathroom break immediately. Too nervous and shy to ask to leave for the restroom during the meeting she realized too late her bladder didn't care.

She wet her pants and a puddle was on the floor under her chair after leaving. The interview did go well, but surely the hiring manager will hold the incident against her. Even if she was offered the position, the humiliation alone makes anyone in her position decline an offer.

A great handshake is a must

Joe was nervous going in and found gum calmed his nerves. Regrettably he forgot to spit is out before he sat down. He looked around and could not find a wastebasket to dispose of it. So he spit it in his hand and began the exchange.

After the interview for his dream job he shook hands with the interviewer and forgot about he gum in his palm. The situation was rather sticky to say the least. Another position left open due to a nightmare mistake.

Accidents happen at anytime

Barbara rode her bicycle to the interview and had an accident. A car clipped her and she flew over the hood, but felt she was okay. She went on to the appointment as planned. Although she was a little late in arriving, she believed everything was okay. Her interviewer asked more than once if she was fine. She confirmed she was and they continued.

After leaving the room and stopping by the restroom on her way out she discovered why there was a concern for her well being. There was glass in her hair a rip in her pants and a bruise on her cheek. She made the interviewer uncomfortable and made herself look horrible in their eyes.

Setting alarm bells off

Stephanie was very jittery for a meeting with a large company. She was surprised they called her and couldn't believe her luck. Alas, going up the steps following the interviewer to the room she tripped and reached out to right herself. Instead of grabbing the wall she grabbed the fire alarm. It tripped and the building was emptied, the fire department came for the false alarm and the job was no longer in sight.

Leave the chair upright

This happens more often than most people imagine. Leaning back in a chair is never advisable. The body language is negative and lots of folks tip it over. Tipping over a chair, pulling it up right and sitting down again is more than mortifying. The flow is over, you are out of sync and the interviewer has crossed you off of their list of candidates.

The early bird does not always catch the worm

John was rushing to get dressed because according to his clock he was going to be 15 minutes late. He jumped in his car and drove as fast as possible. Taking the steps instead of the elevator saved a couple of minutes, but he was out of breathe.

He asked the receptionist to let the manager know he was there for the appointment. After staring at him for a couple of seconds she said he was not available. In fact, he was out of town. John was not late, he was early. He was very early. The job interview was scheduled for the next day. Arriving a day early is not a good thing and relays the wrong message. Surprisingly he did not get the job.

These are more than a few nightmare stories of going for the gusto with a job interviewer and things going horribly wrong in the process.

Do not obsess with a bad interview experience

There are times when the process of getting hired for a job does not go as planned. This is typically nine times out of ten. Things actually turn out differently from the original plan of marching into an interview and skipping out with an offer of employment. The reality of the situation deviates considerably from the script imagined. These are bad job interviews which happen to countless people. No matter how the story is told, it simply is not a pleasant or good experience. Most people choose to forget about it. This is not the road to take. Embrace the encounter and gain something from it.

There are a variety of reasons for things to go wrong. After all of the preparation and rehearsing it turned into a disaster in the end. Do not dwell on it. Simply chalk it up in the negative column and move on. Though, all is not lost if something good comes from such a bad event. Find out what is to be acquired besides pain.

How does this happen?

Job hunters in the loop for any amount of time understand each and every encounter is not going to go as planned. There is no crystal ball to see the future. If this actually existed it is a no brainer to discover which one to skip. Why waste time and effort when there is a choice?

Someone is responsible for the outcome of the encounter. There are instances when the blame falls on the applicants shoulders while other circumstances fall under the hiring staff’s umbrella. Never get hung up on placing accountability one place or another. This leads to losing focus from the task at hand which is not letting this happen again if at all possible.

Some of the most common reasons are out of happenstance where neither party is responsible. No one saw it coming or it was never predictable. The car did not start because the temperature dropped below freezing, the elevator got stuck, the hiring manager has a newborn baby at home keeping them up all night and making it impossible to concentrate or thousands of other explanations. It happens because of poor planning or most often simply because of chance. Avoid getting hung up on the why.

The aftermath

The car refused to start, the drycleaners lost the suit, and someone overslept when the electricity went out during the night or personalities did not a mesh between the interviewer and the hiring manager. It happened and now it’s over. Pay attention to what happens next.

Concentrating on the depressed feeling walking out the door after a final handshake with the company rep at the meeting is not part of the plan. Leave the depressed feeling at the door of the meeting place. Take something out of the building other than a sad thought. This is the immediate action following a tough meeting which went in the wrong direction.

A single-mindedness to work on the next hurdle to getting hired is the motivation necessary in the aftermath.

Take a smile away

Get a little chuckle. There is generally some kind of humor in one of these circumstances which goes amiss. This means discovering something to smile about. In the moment or at the time it does not always show itself, but generally we find an item in the memory.

Attempt to laugh at these kinds of conditions to avoid crying. No use crying over spilt milk is certainly applicable here. The context typically isn’t one to laugh until a side hurts, but a smile is warranted. Shrug it off and get ready for the next one coming.

A small grin certainly does the same trick if a big hearty laugh just will not come.

Do not obsess over it

Taking this action about the state of affairs is a set up for a fall. It is easy to obsess about it. This is nitpicking everything and anything and continually going over what took place and did not go perfect. Nothing is ever ideal and the dream is always better than the reality. Take things into context.

Trying to find the cause of what sent things in the wrong direction is okay. Discover what it was and move on. Reliving it over and over again continually without being able to make a change to the outcome-it already happened - is not okay. It is impossible to turn back the hands of time.

These bumps in the road happen to everyone. No one has a perfect interview. Remember, only one person wins the position in the end. Therefore, there have to be a number of people every time a job is open who do not get the “perfect” job interview done.

So many things are going through the head after leaving a bad experience
So many things are going through the head after leaving a bad experience

Remain optimistic in the face of misadventure

Review and evaluate

Take a look quick overview of the occurrence and evaluate the circumstances. Make a strategic move for what to change and improve and do it for the next meet. Take a moment to re-examine the entire “bad” episode. The whole world did not stop revolving when the door shut on a terrible hiring meet.

If the blame lies with the worker, the reassessment is characteristically extremely short. These evaluations are where a finger is easy to point at what went wrong and where the damage was done. Was an opportunity missed to recount the company mission statement? Was there a rude or abrupt tone used? All of these are capable of correction. Most unsuitable actions are able to be altered without much fuss. People are responsible for their own actions.

Though, in most situations this is not the case. The single factor is not the worker. A combination of factors accounts for the bad experience as a whole. All of these combined to make a job interview bad.

For instance, many people would imagine with an entire meeting time missed, there is not a lot to appraise. This is not necessarily a factual statement.

If the meeting time was missed due to oversleeping, spilling coffee on the first shirt put on to wear and having to take time to change, heavier than normal traffic because of a car accident or an out of order elevator all is not lost. There is no review and evaluate. The chances of all of these things happening together again are a trillion to one.

There is a lesson learned for all of these individual occurrences and how to make certain they do not happen again. All of these combined in this context will never happen again. The likelihood is zilch.

If the meeting time was missed because of an all-night party the night before…..well there lies another issue altogether.

Accept responsibility

If responsibility lies at the feet of the prospective worker, he must take it and make things right. Lots of circumstances offer a learning opportunity along with ownership. Put the blame where it is truly due.

Having a stress out feeling and letting it show when encountering heavy traffic beforehand happens to some folks. This means next time take a different route, nevertheless accept fault.

Wearing uncomfortable or awkward clothing shows during an interview through body language. This was an obvious factor before leaving the house. Accept the decision was made in error and avoid that particular dress or pair of slacks next time.

Not answering certain questions well or with limp responses not up to par is something typically falling on the worker’s shoulders. Accept it was done and practice to improve responses.

When uneasiness exists between the HR personnel during the exchange for no apparent reason, there is not a lot to be done to improve this next time out. Perhaps the interviewer is in a bad mood due to starting out the morning with a flat tire. These are circumstances were responsibility is with another individual. Though, try to imagine ways to make any awkward situations more relaxing from the other end.

In conclusion

When an interview for the next job on your list goes bad, take something from it and move on. Do not dwell on the negative situation or circumstances surrounding it to bring you down and destroy confidence for the next one. You want to remain optimistic for the next one in your future. Accept responsibility for things you did or did not do right. Change things you are capable of changing.

Everyone has an off day and not always perfect. Therefore, leave it in your past and look ahead to your very bright future in the workforce. The next job interview after a bad one is characteristically terrific. No place to go from here but up!

Not everything from a bad job interview is a negative.

Anyone looking for a job for any length of time expects to experience one or two bad job interviews. Learn something from them and take it as a positive into the next one.
Anyone looking for a job for any length of time expects to experience one or two bad job interviews. Learn something from them and take it as a positive into the next one. | Source

It is fine to talk about it, but do not get so hung up on it you simply cannot get past it. Job hunters hanging on to the negative thoughts and energy in an obsessive way take this same negative energy with them to the next one. You are sabotaging your efforts on purpose when you simply will not go beyond a negative experience.

You should not stay up late the night beforehand watching a movie with an important appointment in the morning. Any issues pointed squarely at you will need to be turned around by you. The lesson will be responsibility is accepted.

What to do after your job interview process is completed


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