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Friday Forum – Second Chance After Bad Interview?

Are you looking for a position because of a bad boss?

Welcome to the Friday Forum!

Every Friday, we take a question submitted by one of our readers and have our professionals field it and provide advice.  We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!

Here is This Week’s Question:

Terry asks:

“I had an interview yesterday that didn’t go as planned.  I ended up getting a migraine and contemplated rescheduling, but since it happened an hour before my meeting, I decided to stick it out.  During the interview, I wasn’t myself, and I didn’t have my usual energy.  Our meeting seemed to end extremely fast, and I could tell that it didn’t go as I had expected.  What can you do after a bad interview?  I was really interested in this position, so I am mad at myself for not rescheduling.  Is there any way to get a second chance?”

Bad interviews happen to everyone.  No matter what it was that threw you off, you should try your best to stay positive and look towards your next opportunity.  The most important thing is that you try to learn from your mistakes and apply them during your next interview.  In some cases, you may be able to get a second chance.  Here’s what you can do.

Time Out

If you had a bad interview, the first thing you should do is give yourself a break.  The interview process is stressful to begin with, so if you have a rough experience it can really take the wind out of your sails.  Try your best to hit the reset button and remember that everything happens for a reason.  With that being said, don’t dwell on the fact that you had a bad meeting.  Give yourself a few hours, maybe a day at most to reflect, and then move on.  It is easy to spiral into negative thinking, and you do not want one bad interview to effect your confidence and attitude when looking at other opportunities.


Next, reflect on the interview and try to figure out what went wrong, so you can make adjustments moving forward.  Is there anything you can takeaway from this situation?  Did you not have an answer to a specific question?  Maybe you were lacking energy or didn’t seem interested?  If you think through the interview, you may be able to figure out the problem.  This may help you get a second chance and if not, you can address these issues for your next opportunity.  There is also a possibility that you may look back at the interview and realize that it wasn’t anything you did.  Maybe it was a bad interview because you didn’t fit in with the culture/environment of the organization.

Additional read: What Exactly is Company Culture and Does it Matter?


Finally, there is always the option to ask for a second chance.  If you reflected on the interview and figured out what you did wrong, you may be able to ask them to reconsider.  There is no guarantee that you will get another shot, but you really don’t have anything to lose by asking.  My only suggestion is to consider timing when asking for a second chance.  You have to do it relatively quickly following the interview.  If you wait and receive a message that they are passing or moving in a different direction, it is probably too late.  You need to address the problem before a final decision is made.

In my opinion the best time to do this is in your “thank you” note.  It is always recommended to send a “thank you” after an interview, but it you are dying for another chance, it is vital!  Here is what you should include:

  • Let them know what went wrong – In this case you can refer to the migraine.  For Example, “I had a migraine and considered rescheduling, but it would have been very short notice.”  Keep it direct and to the point.
  • Reiterate your interest – Let them know that you are very interested in this role and that you feel bad that this happened.
  • Ask for a second meeting – Ask for the opportunity to meet or talk again so you can show them who you really are.
  • Suggest that they contact your references – A good reference can reinforce the fact that you are a solid employee and that this isn’t a common occurrence.

If the employer declines a second chance, don’t sweat it!  As I mentioned above, use this experience to make some positive changes moving forward.  Everything happens for a reason, so chances are that this one may have not been the right fit anyway.  Get back in the box and knock your next interview out of the park!

What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!

Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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