What To Do If An Interview Goes Wrong

We’ve all been there. Perhaps a black cat crossed your path as you walked under a ladder on your way to the office; maybe you broke a mirror with the umbrella you accidentally opened in the foyer.

Now, the interview has begun and all that you read on the companies’ About Page, LinkedIn account and latest press  has vacated your brain.

The nerves are overwhelming, you’re struggling to think and the interviewer is beginning to swim out of focus.

This blog tackles step-by-step what to do if an interview goes wrong.

Don’t panic

The interviewer will be less impressed by your faltering, sweating, and otherwise percolating, than they will be by your immediate admittance that you don’t have an answer to their question.

They are only human, the same as you. The worst that can happen is you don’t get the job. Take it all as a matter of experience and practise.

Listen carefully

If you have been asked a question that you cannot answer

do the next best thing: ask for them to repeat the question or to expand, listen intently, and be sure to ask questions in an attempt to prove that you understand and are prepared to learn.

Make use of what you have researched

make sure you don’t waste what you know. If you can show that you have done plenty of work – even if it is up the wrong tree – it’ll come across much better than simply falling silent and forgetting everything you’ve learnt.

You realise you’ve applied to a role that you had not expected or fully understood

See it through to the end. Chances are the interviewer has come to the same realisation. You might even find that they’re willing to put you forward for another role in the company.

Remember: there is no such thing as a bad interview

Ultimately, even the worst experience is still good experience: becoming able to knock interviews out of the park is a slow process, and one that requires an awful lot of practice. So if you feel things beginning to go sideways, don’t panic; showing resolve in the face of impending doom is a highly sought-after trait, and what better place to show it than in the interview chair?


Will Georgiadis is an English Lit graduate from the University of York. All he really wants to do in life is write – specifics haven’t really occurred to him yet. But that’s okay: he’s got a passion for gaming, and a passion for music, and he’s pretty sure he’s in the same boat as a ton of other twenty-somethings.

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