So, you had a bad interview – now what?

July 19, 2019


Sometimes, no matter what you do, something goes wrong on the day of an interview. Maybe you woke up with a splitting headache or you can’t take your mind off a pressing personal matter. Or maybe it was something completely out of your control like the interviewer running late or making an off-handed comment that throws you off. Whatever it is, circumstances may throw you off your A-game, resulting in a poor performance during your interview.

Below are three strategies you can use to recover from a bad job interview:

  1. Give Yourself Some Time

A bad interview can leave you feeling frustrated and upset. Take some time (whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour) to reflect on the experience, but don’t dwell on it for too long. It’s easy to spiral and convince yourself the interview went worse than it actually did. Remember, the interview is only one opportunity, and there will be many more.

Think about what happened and write it down to clear your mind. Take a break and later revisit your comments with fresh eyes. If you still agree with what you wrote, you can decide what to do from here.

  1. Formulate an Action Plan

It’s important to pinpoint if the errors from your interview are important enough to bring up again—and if bringing them up is going to help you. Speaking with your legal recruiter about a bad interview can help you discover what could have went better or how you could have better prepared. Be honest and don’t feel like you need to leave out any details – your recruiter is on your side and should provide clear and constructive advice. They will help you decide your next move.

Was it a make-or-break mistake, or do you think the situation could be fixed by sharing additional information? If you are still interested in the position, writing a thank you note and addressing the interview might be the best course. A thank you note should not be any longer than a paragraph or two, so it’s important to pinpoint the most important mistakes.

  1. Learn from it

No matter how it went, the most valuable thing you can do post-interview is learn from it. Working with your legal recruiter can provide some insight on how to improve your next interview. The most common mistake is a lack of preparation or nervousness. Being prepared and focused, as well as rehearsing your answers, can give you the confidence you need.


I know—messing up an interview is a horrible feeling. But before you start explaining yourself, realize it’s probably not as bad as you think. Despite the blunders, if you’re the right fit for the position, the hiring manager will know.


If you’re interested in exploring your legal career options, contact us for a confidential discussion today.


Jordan Priest, Recruitment Associate

647.484.8314 / 403.444.1760

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