4 Lessons Learned from a Bad Interview

Nancy Anderson
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It is inevitable that job seekers experience a bad interview during their job search. The good news is that you can learn valuable lessons from less-than-stellar experiences when meeting with potential employers. Learn how to turn these interview mistakes into opportunities to improve your strategies to better prepare yourself for the job market.

1. Research is Essential

Job seekers who find themselves leaving a bad interview may realize that the downfall of the experience is related to research. Arm yourself with information about the company prior to the day you meet with a hiring manager to prevent instances where you feel unprepared. Gather information about the company's mission, goals and company culture, and prepare interview questions that show you have vast knowledge about the company's products and services and the processes and procedures used to conduct business.

2. Plan Interview Times Wisely

Avoid a bad interview by allotting enough time to meet with the hiring manager. Instead of scheduling back-to-back interviews, schedule no more than two interviews per day, making sure there's ample time between the two meetings. Potential employers might schedule meet and greets with other employees or arrange a company tour. Some might even want to test your skills. Candidates who rush managers or have to leave early because they were not prepared to spend ample time with the hiring manager often leave a negative impression with the interviewer.

3. Pay Attention to Body Language

Your body language during interviews is just as important as your verbal responses. Even if you provide perfect answers to all of the interview questions, you can experience a bad interview if you constantly fidget around, play with your hair, slouch your shoulders or neglect to make eye contact during the interview. Practice your verbal and nonverbal communication skills prior to an interview. Identify any nervous twitches or habits by conducting a mock interview with a mentor, or observe yourself answering questions in front of a mirror.

4. Know Your Strengths

Confidence is often a deciding factor in determining the right candidate for a job. You must believe you are the best candidate for the job and express your confidence in your skills and abilities throughout the interview. Brainstorm work scenarios and examples, and use this information to practice responses to common interview questions. Accurately articulate how you work well with teams, satisfied customer needs and exceeded goals in previous positions. Make your strengths a primary focus of the interview to deter the hiring manager from focusing on your weaknesses.

Even though a bad interview is often discouraging for job seekers, know that you can use this experience to improve your performance during future meetings. Assess your performance and set goals to improve your professional presence and overall interview skills.

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