Bad Interview Answer? Yes, You Can Recover and Still Win the Job

bad interview answerHow did this happen? You spent so much time preparing, had your suit dry-cleaned, rehearsed your interview answers with a friend. And still, you’ve just given a bad interview answer.

You might think it is over, but it’s not too late! Here’s how to recover from a bad interview answer…

Keep Your Cool

As difficult as it may be to stay cool in this situation, that’s exactly what you’re going to do. Stay composed. Take a deep breath, and sit up straight. Don’t feel overwhelmed—you can have a second chance.

Take a Mulligan

In life, there are no do-overs, but when it comes to job interviews, there’s a little more wiggle-room. While you can’t go back in time and take back your answer, you can ask for a chance to clarify. Just say, “I’m sorry. May I rephrase that?”

Your job interviewer understands that sometimes, nerves get the best of us. They’re human, and they’ve been in the same place you are, probably more than once. So just ask for a do-over. They’ll probably be more than willing to oblige.

Do your best to really wow them with your second answer, and they might even forget your first one, or at the very least, be impressed with your ability to keep your cool. The worse your answer was, the better your comeback looks. See how this works?

Hindsight Is 20-20

If you blow an interview question, you want to clear it up as quickly as possible, of course, but what if you didn’t realize you blew it until you were already on your way home? Is there any way to come back from that?

Well, maybe. One of the first things you should do after a job interview, successful or not, is to send your interviewer a “thank you” note. It’s a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates, and to express your gratitude for the shot you were given at landing the position.

Then, if you did give a bad interview answer, you can use the ‘thank you’ note as a chance to clarify a poor answer you may have given. It might work, and it might not, but at least it’s worth a shot.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired.


Simply Hired



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