It is important to first identify how or why the interview went bad before crafting a recovery strategy. It is always best practice to send a follow up thank you email and/or snail mail card (depending on when they plan to make a decision) after the interview and this can be a great place to start with your recovery. Here are a few suggestions:
- If you forgot to mention pertinent information during the interview about your passion for the work or your skill set, include this information in the thank you email/card noting that you appreciated their time and wanted to be sure they are aware of X, Y, Z items that you didn’t have a chance to mention earlier.
- If you noticed the interviewer(s) did not provide a lot of positive feedback through body language or comments, still send the thank you email with genuine thanks, they may just be a reserved group.
- If you said something off color that struck the interviewer(s) as offensive, you will have a hard time recovering, but again, still send that thank you email and mention that you are so excited about this opportunity that you were very nervous, apologize for saying something off color, and assure them it will not happen again if you are selected as the successful candidate. This shows you are willing to open up to something you mess up.
Notes that are honest, heartfelt, and not over-the-top are going to be the best ways to start a recovery process if you feel you missed an opportunity during the interview. Sending flowers, food, or other items after an interview might appear too over-the-to as well.
However, if you picked up on something specific that the interviewers or company is really into and it is not super costly, you might want to send that along with your card or right after your email to show that you are still interested and you understand their culture.
Have you ever botched an interview for an opportunity you really wanted? How did you recover? Let us know in the comments below!