Writing an Email for a Second Chance Interview

John Krautzel
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Gearing up for a job interview can be overwhelming; what happens if you blow it? Unbeknownst to many job seekers, messing up during the interview isn't always a deal-breaker. It certainly can't hurt to ask for a do-over; some hiring managers may admire your spirit. If you decide to ask for a second chance, the best way to do so is via email. Follow these six tips when making your request.

1. Send a Thank You Note

No matter how poorly you think the interview went, always follow up with a thank-you note. It is standard interview protocol and leaves a good impression with the hiring manager. Immediately after the interview, send a quick thank-you email to the interviewer, reiterating your relevant skills and excitement about the opportunity. The thank-you note will pave the way for your next email asking for a second chance.

2. Wait a Few Days

Wait a day or two before you send a follow-up email. This keeps you from appearing too desperate and helps soften the memory of any flubs you made during the interview.

3. Address the Key Issues

Don't be afraid to take the bull by the horns when discussing the interview. Mention the exact questions you feel you could have answered better. This demonstrates your honesty and transparency as well as your willingness to take responsibility for your mistakes. Explain that you would like the chance to clarify a few issues you feel weren't expressed clearly. Be as detailed as you'd like, but don't try to exaggerate or give excuses for your performance.

4. Explain Why

Give the reader a clear explanation why you deserve a second interview. Reiterate how well your professional background and skills meet the company's needs, and offer to come in for another meeting at a time that is convenient for the management team. It also helps to mention your professional references and any testimonials you have about your work performance.

5. Be Thankful

At the end of the email, be sure to reiterate how thankful you are to have gotten the opportunity to interview with the organization. Then, express how grateful you would be if given the opportunity to come in for another interview.

6. Keep it Short

Your entire email should be no more than a couple of paragraphs; hiring managers are busy people. You don't want your interviewer to have to scroll down to continue reading a long, drawn-out plea. Get right to the point by addressing the key issues.

If you think you blew a job interview, try not to beat yourself up. Hiring managers are people too, and they understand that sometimes, your nerves can get the best of you. Replay the interview in your head, and write down the key areas that need improvement. If the interviewer declines your request for a second interview, be grateful for the learning opportunity and move on.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  • Patricia M.
    Patricia M.

    This never occurred to me before. I think it is great advise, even if you think you did okay.

  • William March
    William March

    Dana B. this is really common occurrence for me after I feel that I didn't flub up & nailed the interview. Alot of times there is no response or feedback as to why... just a note to say the company went in another direction & I'm no longer under consideration. Sometimes there isn't even a reply & I've had to follow up 2 months later to find out position is closed or filled. Three times in past year I've received no indication when I was no longer under consideration for the job.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Dana B thanks for your comment. Sorry this happened. Unfortunately it looks like game over for that position. All you can do it pick yourself up and try again. I am guessing that HR didn't tell you the reason(s)? If they did tell you why, then maybe you have some things to work on. If not, and if this should happen again, ask why you are no longer in consideration and what you could have done to turn the tables. Sometimes they will answer; sometimes not but it's always worth asking. Best of luck on the next interview.

  • DANA B.
    DANA B.

    I felt this way recently with the HR Screener. Wrote the note and didn't receive a response back on that, only that I was no longer in consideration for the position. Any advice?

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