What to Tell a Friend After a Bad Interview

If the interview didn't go well, all may not be lost.
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When comforting a friend after an interview she thinks she flubbed, give her sound advice that could still salvage the job opportunity. Imagine yourself in her situation and use advice you'd take yourself in her situation. Giving her action steps can help her recover her pride by explaining herself to the interviewer while building her self-confidence by facing adversity rather than running from it.

Recovery Letter

After a bad interview performance, tell your friend to send a thank-you letter, as she normally would. This time, however, suggest she address her performance in addition to thanking the interviewer. Instead of listing specific places where she believes she messed up, encourage her to address the interview in generalities. She could say that after thinking about the interview afterward, she knew she hadn't responded in a way that showcased her full range of skills and that she'd be available for a second interview if the hiring manager is willing to give her another chance.

Fill with Facts

Your friend likely thinks she could have answered interview questions differently; maybe she forgot to mention projects related to the new job or didn't clearly express some of her accomplishments. Comfort her by letting her know she can still relate that information to the employer. Shooting the hiring manager a thoughtful email allows your friend to share the information she neglected in the interview. After thanking the hiring manager, she can provide a synopsis of the information she left out.

Brush Up Skills

If the interview didn't go well because your friend was lacking some experience the company required, help her get ready for the next interview by suggesting she find a way to gain more experience. Volunteer work is an ideal way to gain experience you can use in new jobs; you're often able to work with professionals donating their time who are happy to offer some tips and training. Also, your friend can explore internships or college courses that can provide the training she needs.

Don't Give Up

After letting your friend cry on your shoulder about her bad interview, encourage her to keep up her job search and not let one interview get her down. She might not have performed as badly as she thinks, but one way to find out is to ask the hiring manager. Typically, an applicant should inquire after receiving a rejection letter or phone call. When she finds out she didn't get the job, she can prepare some questions to ask about why she wasn't chosen or how she could have improved her performance during the interview. Not all hiring managers will offer helpful feedback, but any advice can help your friend feel more confident about her next interview.

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