In part one of recovering from interview blunders, we talked about the importance of acknowledging the mistake and apologizing. It could be worse to ignore the mistake and let it linger. Interviewers can be more forgiving than you expect, but what do you do after apologizing?
Falling down may be easy, but picking yourself back up can be the biggest challenge as you continue the interview. When you feel like you have a lot of ground to cover, just remember to keep your head.
Stay Calm and Professional
Many times it’s not necessarily the mistake that is judged, but how the situation is handled, that employers will notice. The important thing to remember is to remain calm and collected after a mishap, like receiving a phone call after forgetting to set your phone on silent, even though panicking may be your initial reaction. Don’t dwell on your mistake and focus on the question that is being asked so you can answer with confidence.
Always try to turn the situation into something you can use to show your professional skills. So what if you forgot your portfolio, didn’t bring extra résumés, or left a relevant fact off your résumé? If you’re quick enough, you can come up with a response like “I wanted to discuss the specific skills and accomplishments that are most important to the company. This way I can better demonstrate the sort of skills you are seeking.”
A good example of this is a scene from the movie The Pursuit of Happyness where Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, was arrested the night before his interview and had no choice but to show up wearing his painting clothes. Being calm, collected, and aware of his situation helped him get the job he was after. You can watch the clip below.
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You can remember this point with a brief history lesson. During World War II, the British government released a motivational poster and slogan to raise morale. Despite it being a popular fashion trend in today’s society, it can still have a lot of meaning if you remember it during your interview. If you’ve made an interview blunder, just “keep calm and carry on.”
For part three, click here!