A new Dice survey is trying to get to the bottom of what causes job seekers the most anxiety around tech interviews. Unexpected questions? A complex coding test? A deep dive into your social media? While plenty of factors can lead to bad job interviews, what really matters is that when an interview falls apart, you are equipped to respond and undo the damage. Why should you lose an amazing opportunity, one that matches your technical skills and career goals, because of a few mistakes? Whether you’re in that situation now or want to avoid it in the future, here’s how to get over a bad job interview and secure the IT job you want.


Don’t Overthink It

Was your interview actually that bad? Probably not. As many as 70% of the U.S. population has experienced Imposter Syndrome, a feeling that your work or performance is worse than everyone else’s. In the aftermath of a high-stress situation like a job interview, this negative bias can all too easily rear its ugly head. When it does, successful interviewees take a moment of self-reflection before sending off an overly apologetic follow up.

The truth is that calling attention to a mishandled response might make it worse. Unless your reply seriously called into question your ability to do the job, a correction is better left unmade. Truthfully, most interview mistakes aren’t enough on their own to sabotage your job chances. Moreover, if you work with a recruiter, you can have them provide any clarifications after your interview, downplaying mistakes and providing more information about your background.


Only Add New Information

Apologies have little weight in the interview process. Though they may soften a negative remark, they do not replace them with positive ones. Even in a candidate driven market like this one, you’ll want to be sure to share every skill that could make you a great hire if you want to convince companies you’re interviewing with.

Here’s an example. A Business Analyst is asked in an interview about a specific business analyst skill like User Acceptance Testing, a primary consideration for this niche position. Though the BA mentioned past experience, he or she forgot to bring up industry specific UAT work that shows an understanding of real-life business needs. Including that information in a thank you letter can clarify how important that skillset is to his or her candidacy.

The secret is to keep the information concise and calculable. In a thank you letter, that information can be conveyed after the initial gratitude:

“Thank you again for the opportunity to prove my expertise as a Business Analyst with a strong testing emphasis. On the topic of my testing skills, I should also mention that my experience with Company ABC gave me first-hand experience running test scenarios in your industry, identifying a poorly designed process that would have lost cost the company $40 million in sales.”


Call on Your References for Help

After a rocky interview, your employment references can help rebuild your case for the job. A SHRM survey found that eight out of ten HR professionals regularly conduct reference checks to vet candidates for technical positions. What your references say during that check leaves a tremendous impression on potential employers.  

The trick is to brief them about what to mention before they receive a call. It’s good etiquette to prepare references for what you want them to discuss, but when a little damage control needs to be done, the message needs to be extra airtight. Give them all of the information they need to communicate and explain why it matters for this new position. That way, your references can make your case for the position without seemingly reading from your script.


Prepare Better Next Time

Sometimes, a bad job interview is outside of your hands. You might have stumbled into an interviewer’s pet peeve or received mixed messages about the dress code. Or maybe the position just wasn’t a good fit. In these instances, it’s better to learn from the experience and prepare more thoroughly for your next job interview.

Researching the company’s website, job ad, and social media is only the start. Usually, you need inside info about the company culture, their idea of an ideal hire, and any profile of your interviewer – information that is just not readily available. By working with an IT staffing firm, you not only can learn essential background info through minimal effort, but you can receive early notifications about any experiences you might need to clarify – and a built-in character reference to boot.


Ready to ace your next interview? Let us help! We’ll connect you with job opportunities that naturally fit your IT skills and goals and help you prepare to land one. Get started searching today.


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