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How to Recover from an Unsuccessful Interview (Candidate Blog)

Being rejected from an interview can be devastating, but you must try not to let it affect your confidence moving forward. We strongly believe that interviews are a skill that need to be mastered and some people naturally perform better than others so just remember that with some practise and a self-aware attitude, you can succeed in landing your perfect new role.


Try to get feedback

Although it can sometimes feel impossible to gain feedback following an application to a job, once you have progressed to interview stage the employer and/or agency are obliged to give you an explanation of why you have not been successful in gaining the role. Ask for an honest review of your performance and specifically any areas you could improve on in the future. If you have been submitted by an agency, be aware that it may take slightly longer to receive the feedback as they need to communicate with the employer first before contacting you with the news. Prior to your interview, you should try to develop a relationship with the recruiter so both parties feel like they can have an honest conversation and this allows for a better platform to gain constructive criticism.

If your feedback is that you performed well but another candidate just ‘pipped you to the post’, try not to take this negatively. We completely understand that it can be frustrating, however if they are unable to expand on this with specifics, you must take it as positive feedback. Take some confidence forward into your next interview knowing that you performed well it just wasn’t the right opportunity and there is a better one out there for you.

Ask before you leave the interview

At the end of an interview, try to ask politely if the interviewer has any concerns about your fit for the role. This allows an opportunity for you to understand what the interviewer is thinking and may open a chance for you to counter act their reservations; however, you must ensure that you do this in a polite and respectful way, try not to be too pushy or objective. For example, if they say you do not have one particular area of experience, highlight that you are a quick learner and that you can bring a different perspective to the role which may benefit the team moving forward.

Learn from it

If you ask for feedback following your interview, make sure that firstly you are prepared to hear the truth, but also to learn from it. While It is never easy hearing about negative aspects of your interview, it is essential to understanding what you need to improve upon moving forward. The information given will allow you to be self-aware and correct any mistakes in the future. It may be that you need to do more research into the company, prepare more competency based answers or work on your confidence.

If you leave an interview feeling like you could have done better, write the questions down that you were asked while they are fresh in your mind. Use these questions to identify where you struggled in the interview and practise your responses to ensure a better performance next time.


If you feel that the reasons behind you being unsuccessful at interview was not down to your performance but due to existing skills and experience, there are things you can do to highlight possible skill gaps before the interview stage and to ensure that you are a suitable match for the role and will avoid any awkward moments in the interview where you both realise you are not suitable for the post. Try to have more in-depth conversation with the recruiter/employer to establish exactly what they are looking for in a new employee. If there are skill gaps there, do not be afraid to highlight them but ensure that you counteract this with alternative experience that you can bring to the role. Over exaggerating your skill set does not benefit anyone, the employer will soon be able to see gaps at interview stage or if you are successful in the role, you will put yourself under unnecessary pressure trying to complete a role that you are not suitable for. If you are honest with the employer, they may be able to put training programs in place to assist you develop the necessary skills.


For more information contact 0191 493 7030.


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