Trying to figure out what goes on in the head of an interviewer during a job interview is difficult. It's even more difficult when the interview is a horrible one.
Horrible interviews are those that make you want to squirm in your seat, make you want to vomit on the spot, and run away from the room. Worst case scenario, the interviewer could be pretty mean or cut you off. Sometimes interviewers even tap on their phones as you try to market your personality and your skill set.
I've even heard stories of friends who were asked by their interviewers: “Do you know that you’re not qualified nor do you have the skill set needed for this position?”
Those interviews are the worst, and they really make you feel like you’ve just been dumped or worse.
So what should you do? Everyone has their own way of coping, and after my third crummy interview I created my own list of the top 10 things I should do or think after a horrible interview.
Do: Grab yourself a guilty pleasure
Guilty pleasures are exactly what you need after a horrible interview. Whenever you feel down, it’s always good to, ‘treat yo’self’as the famous line from Parks and Recreation would say. Whether it’s milk tea or my favorite white mocha americano, my guilty pleasures are perfect for that quick pick me up. Whether it's food, a movie, or something else, go ahead and indulge.
Think: What you did right
For sure, you’ll keep on replaying in your head the bad things that happened throughout the interview. Stop torturing yourself. Review your flaws one or two times but on the flip side, try to think about the things you did right. For every bad point, think of a good point to match. This will help you in terms of reminding you that it wasn’t a complete disaster.
Do: Talk to your friends
Nothing is better than talking to your friends. Even more so when the experience is as memorable as this. Let out all of your thoughts on your blunders and mistakes, scrutinize the details with someone who wasn't there. Your friends will give you a more objective look at what really went on in that interview room.
Think: “It was a bad interview, but I’ll never be sure of the turnout”
No matter how horrible an interview is, at the end of the day you never really know what will happen. Some interviewers are just mean on purpose or act uninterested as part of their poker face. That's not a 100% assurance that things will turn out for the worst. I’ve had bad interviewers that ended up leading to job offers, so don’t fret. You might be surprised at the outcome.
Another way to try and make yourself feel better is by reading a book or a magazine - anything for fun. For post job interviews I like reading autobiographies of comedians I really like. For those who don’t like to read books, browsing through social media and reading articles may work as well. It's a way to help your brain relax, and to channel the positive energy you get when doing something you like.
Think: “There are other opportunities anyway.”
If after a while you’re still bothered by the interview, just think that there are other interviews, other opportunities, other jobs, other companies that are hiring. There are many many fish in the sea. For me, I always tell myself that I shouldn’t fret about every single mistake. Fretting will just take away your ability to see what can be treated as an opportunity in the situation.
Do: Watch a movie, listen to music, draw, write, paint
Art is there to make us feel and in cases like this, it can make us feel better. After a horrible interview, it can be incredibly cathartic to lose yourself in art. Whether it's watching a movie or listening to music, or maybe creating your own music and your own art. If you don't have artistic tendencies, whip out those coloring books, watch DIY videos on the internet, maybe even play wish some good old play doh. Channel the creative side and let it all out.
Think: Analyze what you could have done better
When you already feel better and more, go back to those points for improvement again. Now that you're a little bit less likely to wallow, review all of the points in the interview where you didn’t do exemplary. Break it down into pieces and analyze what to do for your next interviews. Write down concrete steps you can do, maybe even concrete answers you can practice.
A few days after, have mock interviews with friends, especially with your friends who work in human resources. They can even teach you how to handle curveballs in interviews and make sure that the next one goes well.
Think: “No matter what happens, I always have something to offer”
The world will not be nice every time and life isn’t perfect. We all know this but do you really take it to heart? Know that one bad interview does not define you. No matter what happens, no matter what that interview made you feel, you will always be a person who has something to offer to the right company - and they're probably waiting for you just around the corner.
I hope this helps for when you come across those days when you might need a pick me up from a bad job interview!