How do you recover after bombing an interview?

I bombed a phone interview with my ideal firm, still feel really crap about not being able to answer some basic questions.

I feel like I built up a lot of expectations and prepared a lot only to get really nervous during the interview. The interviewer being in an echo chamber didn't help and made me even more nervous.

BUT now post that experience, I feel like I can't do another interview soon. Is this common? any advice on how to just move on, knowing how great an opportunity this was.

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Comments (13)

Jan 27, 2019

Yeah man I've felt the same way. It's common, and you just have to keep improving on those interview skills, and keep trying


Most Helpful
Jan 27, 2019

I failed many interviews in my day, it happens, and it will happen many more times. A few things to keep in mind:

You can be afraid to interview again or you can face this head on and learn from it. What did you mess up? Make sure you don't mess that up again. Use this to understand that you were not properly prepared and need to work on those gaps.

Practice. If you aren't comfortable in an interview setting or a high stress situation, put yourself in that situation and practice your answers. Make sure you feel comfortable and can get to a point where you can think clearly. There is no way to rehearse all your answers (or even know what questions are coming) but it is possible to simulate interview settings and get yourself thinking clearly under pressure.

Don't worry about that one "perfect" opportunity. If you are good at what you do you will get those opportunities again. There isn't one way to get there, I have met many people who have taken many different routes to similar careers. Yes some paths give you a higher probability, but don't worry if you take a different path.

At the end of the day you can be dejected by failure or you can use it to motivate yourself. Learn from the failures, figure out what you need to do better and do that. Don't feel sorry for yourself, don't think that you can't do it; I don't mean to have this sound like a motivational speech, it is just that you need to view everything you do in life as an opportunity to learn and get better. If you do that then at least you will be giving yourself the best shot, not everyone is good enough for what they want to do, but you need to give yourself at least a shot at it.

Jan 28, 2019 a quick review and try to extract any lessons from it, then forget about it and move on. don't waste time looking back on things that didn't work out.

Jan 28, 2019

You've got a move on. I once had an interviewer stop me after probably the second question and say he already knew I wasn't qualified enough based on how I was talking and the lingo I was using on the topic and ended the interview.

Use this as an opportunity to see your weaknesses and what you need to improve for future interviews. But also have blinders, that interview is now in the past, it's a no, move on there's nothing you can do. Go out there and apply for 20 more jobs, try to get new phone interviews

Jan 31, 2019

Go out for a drink (or two). Rant to a buddy who will listen and offer you a shot. Feel free to get shit faced if you feel like it. The next morning is when the work begins.

In case you're wondering, no, I'm not even a big drinker let alone an alcoholic. But I know what it feels like to crash and burn out of an interview for a dream job. I know that losing that one interview for that one particular job is a hundred times worse than losing a final round for just another job at some random company. Which is why I'm saying, it's ok to feel like shit about it and have a night off to recuperate. Use this one night to get that memory of rejection and the feeling of dejection out of your system.

But like I said... the next morning is when the work begins. You already seem to have an idea of what you did wrong (overprepared, got nervous, etc. etc.). That alone gives you a good headstart - learn what you can and think of how you can address it. I don't think I need to tell you how to address the mistakes, I'm quite sure you already have a good idea about that. What you needed to know is how to move on,

Now that you know what you need to do, turn that dejection into sheer determination. Yeah it was your ideal firm, but man, fuck em. It's their loss. Keep your chin up, and go find that next interview.

    • 2
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Jan 31, 2019

We are fortunate to live in a world where you get many chances, and over time you will have bouts of good and bad luck. There will be opportunities you miss that you didn't deserve to miss, but there will also be other opportunities that fall in your lap when you didn't deserve those either.

There are a small number of people in the world who can say a particular stroke of good or bad luck defined their life. But odds are very low you're going to be one of those people. For 99% of us, life will offer a mixed bag of fortunate and unfortunate events, none of which will move the needle all that much. What will ultimately make a difference is mostly up to you.

Jan 31, 2019

You got a free learning lesson...the reason I got my SA was that I fucked up so many interviews that I learned everything to do AND not to do. I was war tested and so are you now!

My soul is highly leveraged

Jan 31, 2019

It's all about getting as many reps as possible. I look back at some of my first interviews and cringe. Awkward silences, not being able to figure out why my Skype mic is muted, drawing blanks, etc. Eventually you get to a point where you've been asked everything or at least been asked enough questions that you've learned to spin your top three or four stories/spiels to fit any question. Once you get experience and actually know what the fuck you're talking about it gets a lot easier too.

Best advice is practice, practice, practice. Apply to everything and do some burner first round interviews, utilize your school's career center for a mock-interview and don't try to bullshit about anything technical/finance/industry specific.

Feb 1, 2019

Next time you get an interview question and don't know how to answer. You gotta whisper talk to me goose.

Feb 1, 2019

Keep Calm and carry on! It happens to the best of us. Try to think about what might be making you nervous. Do you feel like you aren't good enough? Debunk that and realize you are(encouraging notes, quotes etc.) If its a lack of preparation then try to practice more. If its more of an "on the spot thing" I would see if your career services can do mock interviews to help deal with the nerves when under pressure.

Find your favorite food/drink/activity to make yourself feel better. Give yourself a day or two to process emotionally (exercise, cry, break something, etc) and get your head back in the game.

You are good enough, you got this! Now go kill that next opportunity!

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Feb 1, 2019

Take the weekend, and enjoy yourself. Go out and drink, hang with buddies, etc. Then, make a plan of attack and redouble your efforts as you continue networking/interviewing

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Feb 19, 2019

It's common, and you just have to keep improving on those interview skills, and keep trying.

Jan 27, 2019