Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover 

As you end up with this article, you’ve probably gone through an awful experience – and it is likely about a job interview. Well, we know that job interviews can be tough at times, especially for a good role within an industry. Self-doubt can creep in as soon as you walk out the door seeing other competitors walk out with you from the room. This feeling can also keep you day and night whether you’ve done your best to get selected and accepted for the role you have applied for.

Be it a feeling of resentfulness or embarrassment because you think you haven’t done your best in an interview, you should not drown yourself into negative emotion. Instead, let’s turn these negative experiences into positive one and become better for next interviews, because every setback in life is an opportunity to learn. 

See also: The Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

Here is what you need to do to put yourself in a position to ace your next job interviews: 

Thank interviewers for the opportunity 

The interview might not go well but it should not affect how grateful you are for being invited. When sending thank you notes, whether via email or messaging app, don’t just say “thank you”, you should also send a brief note after receiving the opportunity. 

When you get rejected, saying thank you is also advisable. It does not only give a good image to the interviewer, it could also build bridges with the interviewer for when they have another job opening. Make sure to also include a note that saying thank you, your disappointment for not getting the job, and what you’ll do to improve yourself for future opportunities. This way, interviewers might give you free feedback and show you what’s wrong and right during your interview, but do not be too pushy in this matter. 

Reflect 

After going through an unpleasant experience, you might want to forget it soon and move on. However, this should not be the case with a job interview. After the interview is over, take a step back and think about the interview. Putting your thoughts on paper after the interview gives it the most validity. This could also help with your emotion and thoughts. 

After a couple of days, revisit what you wrote. Look at your entries completed in the heat of the moment. Reflecting on these thoughts with a clear head can help you focus on how to develop your interviewing skills in the future. 

Learn and strengthen your strength 

Although you might only remember the bad endings or wrong answer to your interviews, always remember that there is always ying in yang, and good in bad. Thus, think about what you did that went well. For example, you messed up the question about “your past experience”, but you are good at representing yourself as the best accountant. Or, you were so comfortable in demonstrating the answer by giving a story, but it was ineffective as you took so much of the interviewer’s time. This way, you can develop a better interview strategy and build a foundation that is your typical. 

Getting a job is about selling your value, just like how you would sell a product to customers. 

Read also: 3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE 

See also: Th3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE e Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

So you secure a job interview with your dream employer, what and how will you prepare next?

Preparing yourself for a job interview is surprisingly similar to preparing for a date. Sure, you want to get the best first impression to attract a “potential” partner. That being said, finding the perfect outfits, coming up with interesting stories, thinking about good questions to ask and following up with gratitude should be in your interview “date” list. 

Here’s how your interview could be like a first date: 

#1- You’re dressed to impress

Do: Put more effort into planning your outfit

Don’t: Whip out those false eyelashes or the tie with skull-and-crossbones on it 

Why: It’s great that you are putting in the effort to help your interviewer remember you better. But you want it to be for the right reasons. It’s not a fashion parade. Interviewers like personality but they don’t want your individuality shoved in their faces. Like a first date, it’s important to understand what the other party is like. If your company is a respected bank, going for the interview in a plunging, cleavage-bearing LBD might not be the best option. 

See also: The Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

#2- You celebrate your victory too early

Do: Decompress from the stress of the interview

Don’t: Make that call to your best friend while you’re still on the premises

Why: You don’t just make an impression when you walk into the interview room. You could be leaving one right until you exit the building. Just as how you’d wait until you’re out of earshot to gush about your date to your friend, the last thing you want is for someone from management overhearing you brag about “how you just nailed it” as you make the call in the office toilet. This will come across as extremely cocky and off-putting — and it’s a sure way of ensuring you won’t get called back.

#3- You go on and on … and on

Do: Mention about some of the more notable projects you worked on in your previous company

Don’t: Talk about how you led your rowing team to victory when you were 17

Why: You’ve done some wonderful things with your life. Great! But just as you don’t tell your date your entire life story during your first meeting with him or her, the same rule applies for a job interview. When you have just 15 minutes with your interviewer, the keyword here is “edit”. Talk about your role in the successful management of key projects with your previous companies and, more importantly, ask pertinent questions about the one you’re interviewing for throughout the interview (and not just at the end). That way, you’ll come across as plugged-in, engaged and sincere.

With a little bit of preparation and practice, job interviews and first dates don’t have to be nail-biting experiences. Just remember that, in either case, it’ll do you well not to celebrate any victories until you know for certain the other party is willing to make that crucial commitment to you.

Read also: 6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities

6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities

Recruiters admitted that an estimated 70 percent of job openings are not advertised online, meaning the majority of opportunities would never make it to the job boards. Based on this statistic, the more senior the position, the less likely the job is to be advertised. So, how do all these jobs come about? 

While you can find plenty of job opportunities out there, the best one should be dug a little deeper. How to do that? Do find the below tips useful. Let’s Go for the Hidden Gem!

Friends, family and networking

It’s quite common to ask people how they got their job and receive the response, ‘I got it through someone I knew’. Though this might seem unfair on the surface, you’d be surprised by just how many contacts you and your friends and family actually have.

So, ask around! Talk about your job hunting to people and you’ll see that people are friendly and forthcoming. Family members especially won’t hesitate to help you out, and good friends will too. Try and find the ones that are well connected.

See also: Networking: How to Make Yourself Memorable

Volunteer work and shadowing

The idea of an unpaid job sounds quite unappealing, but the reality is far different. Volunteer work in your community can be very rewarding, give you important experience and teach you valuable skills. Even better, you can connect with new people and gain more contacts who could get you a paid job. 

Try and choose work that is either related to the field or industry you wish to be involved in or can give you relevant skills and experience. This could make quite a big difference when going to job interviews, and it also looks great on your CV.

Work at your university

Most graduates don’t think about going back to work at the place where they studied, but if you dig just a little you’ll find an array of jobs that are open for both students and graduates alike. They could be in a variety of fields including telemarketing, hospitality, IT services and teaching.

These jobs are also quite popular, so apply early and always be on the lookout for job advertisements around campus and within your university email account. If you’re not sure what jobs your university has on offer, then get in touch with the careers service.

Scour the newspaper

Searching the job listing sections on local paper is something that you’re doing already, but there’s more to be gained from the newspaper than that. Read about companies and businesses in your area that are expanding or investing and contact them directly. This will give you the upper-hand when it comes to getting a job from them in the first place, as you’ve already demonstrated your eagerness to work as well as your personal initiative.

Similarly, if you notice a new manager or director has just been hired by a company then you can assume that they will be recruiting a team. It takes a little confidence but why not call up and throw your hat in the ring. What’s the worst that can happen? 

Finally, sometimes in the paper they mention people who have moved on to another job. This is your chance to try and poach that job before they start recruiting and advertise the position. 

Career fairs

When you attend a career fair you need to realise that this is your chance to make yourself known among those who are looking to hire. It’s not just about picking up one application form after another, but instead you should converse, ask questions, and try to make yourself memorable so that when choices need to be made about who gets the job, your name will come up.

If you get pally with someone who turns out to be the HR manager, then you could be working your way into your dream job. It’s also a great place to generally gain more information about sectors you might want to enter. 

Travel

A common way to get a job abroad is to simply make friends with the right people – this means people who have contacts and have been in the area longer than you have.

You could work at a bar, restaurant or even at the hostel you are staying in. Hostel jobs are quite popular since guests and workers are usually changing frequently as people come and go over months and years. Once you’ve got a basic job, you might consider looking at building a career in another country.

Read also: 10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters

10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters 

If you are in the process of negotiation with a potential employer and have achieved some deals for salary, don’t stop there – you could be leaving a lot on the table.

Many job seekers – including you, maybe – are looking for a new job for a bigger paycheck. However, your salary might have a limit based on your industry and experience level. No amount of negotiation will raise the offer from the average market salary. 

While your salary could not go up from the maximum market salary, you could ask for more non-financial perks from your recruiters, such as a flexible schedule and higher education tuition help. All you have to do is to bravely ask. Do not be afraid to negotiate no matter what the position or level of the job you apply. Negotiating this during an interview will also make you feel better because there is a great chance you’ll receive something more and become an engaged employee when the deal is finally made. 

See also: What To Expect during a Job Interview?

Here are 10 hidden perks and benefits you should be asking during your interview: 

1- Paid time off 

Paid time off could give you both full salary and time to rest. This is a perk most job seekers often forget to ask as they only focus on a bigger number on paycheck. 

2- Professional training 

These days no job is guaranteed or stable. You need to think less about pension and more about training opportunities that will help you scale in your expertise. 

3- Continuing education and licensing 

If the position requires continuing education credits to maintain your professional license, you can ask whether  the company will cover the expenses incurred. This might include travel budget. 

4- Stock options 

If the employer you’ll work for offers stock options to employees, you might want to ask for some stock option when starting to compensate for an offer with a lower starting salary. But before you negotiate this, make sure you do your due diligence. 

5- Unpaid vacation days 

Many companies have moved to the unlimited vacation policy. In this case, you should ask for a guaranteed number of vacation days. 

6- Offer a choice to the recruiter 

“Or” is the best word to use when you are thinking about what will make you happy at your new job. For instance, I want a 10K more salary or work from home on Fridays and Thursdays. I want a more flexible work schedule or more unpaid vacation leave. A successful negotiation is when both sides win. 

7- Student loan repayment 

If you are a new grad and salary is not as high as anticipated, you might not be able to pay off that debt looming over your head. Ask your employer if they are willing to offer student loan repayment assistance. This could be a good negotiation because you might not only have to ask for extra dollars per month, rather than a bulk increase in your salary. 

8- Transportation stipend 

If you have a competing offer closer to your home, you might have the leverage to negotiate for some commuting funds. 

9- Work lunch and/or dinner 

Some companies offer daily or weekly food stipends. Other companies might offer lunch or dinner packages that will save you tons of money and time which would otherwise be spent on meal preparation. 

10- Exercise stipend 

Your employer satisfaction is important, but your wellbeing is also important. Therefore, ask for what is important for you to improve your wellbeing. For some, it might be flex hours, a stipend for exercise, or gym membership. These benefits could help you stay healthy which means less sick days and less risk of long-term injury for employers. It’s a win-win negotiation for both. 

Read also: 6 Reasons Why Recruiters Avoid Hiring Candidates with Employment Gap

6 Reasons Why Recruiters Avoid Hiring Candidates with Employment Gap 

Are you a dedicated job seeker but have an employment gap in your resume? Here’s what you need to know.

Job candidates with years of employment gap are often perceived as an inadequate candidate by recruiters. Difficulty of job placement is cited to be the number one reason why recruiters avoid employment gaps in resumes. Another reason is that individuals who work freelance or are out of work to pursue their own ventures are often seen as having a lack of responsibility. Here are some other reasons why employers avoid hiring candidates with years of employment gap in the resume. 

  • More training – Recruiters often avoid hiring a person with a gap in resume for a senior-level position because they might require training which could add more work for HR and teams. Higher position needs professionals to do the job, so talents with a gap might have a lower chance of getting hired here. 
  • Employment gap means a hard time to verify employment background and it will be an extra task for a hiring manager. 
  • Recruiters often perceive that when you are out of work, your skills might not be good enough. 
  • If you quit the job to build your own business and fail, a recruiter might think that you are not good enough on your own and it could be a weak point because an organisation would prefer hiring a reliable person. 
  • Hiring qualified talents with a gap in their resume is more costly than hiring freshers. Fresh graduates can be paid less because they have no work experience, while qualified individuals with gaps might demand higher pay.  
  • Recruiters often fear low performance, instability, or unreliability at work if they hire someone with years of an employment gap. 

See also: What To Expect during a Job Interview?

Don’t be discouraged just yet – how to handle employment gap 

There is a way for job seekers to get employed even when they stop working for years. One way to hide employment gaps without lying is to use a Functional Resume. Concentrate on your skills and accomplishments and downplay when and where you did them. However, there are times when employers or headhunters ask you for a chronological resume or a separate work history. If this is the case, jump to trick number two. 

If employers or recruiters ask for work history, the chance for you to showcase your skills on paper might be low. But you can always showcase it in realtime. Thus, make sure you complete a project or certification before applying for the new job. This will help sell your skills again after years of no career advancement in the workplace. But remember, with those years of gap, applying for senior-level might be tricky even when you have completed some of certifications. It will be wiser to apply at a lower level and scale through time when you are employed. 

Once you have addressed the gap and explained what you did during that time but the conversation continues in a direction you are not comfortable with, you have the option of saying, “I’d prefer not to go into more detail. I am very interested in sharing details of my work experience, however.” From there, you can supply another anecdote from your work history that makes you qualified for the position. 

If the conversation continues to make you feel uncomfortable, you might want to consider ending the interview by saying, “I’m not comfortable with where our conversation is headed so this might not be the right fit. Thank you for your time.” This will not only show that you appreciate recruiter’s opportunity given to you for an interview but also show that you respect both of your time and recruiter’s. 

Ending a job interview unilaterally might decrease your chance to be hired. But it is better than explaining yourself in a way that the recruiter could not understand. If you are looking for a job that fits you best, check here and you might find a better employment opportunity than the one you are applying for now. 

Read also: 5 Things Recruiters Know that Job Seekers Don’t 

The Most Common Reasons Why Recruiters Don't Call You After a Job Application

“Hey Alex, how’s your job application? Do you get an interview offer?” 

‘Nah, it has been a week and there is no call from the company. I feel bad about this. I really want to get into that company.’

__

For many of us, getting no call after submitting a job application feels so much worse than a breakup. You might spend days or weeks wondering why your dream employer does not reach back to you. You already have a professionally crafted resume and still no response. Waiting is painful, so here you go, the most common reasons why recruiters do not call you back. 

You are not qualified for the job 

The most simple reason for not getting a call back from a recruiter is that you are not qualified enough for the position you are applying. It can be that skills written in your resume are not enough. This is especially true if you are applying for a senior position. 

For example, you are applying for a “key accounts manager” with a past work history as an accountant. You also cited that you are a graduate with marketing experience. Albeit it sounds great for you, don’t expect a call back from the recruiter. Why? Because “key account manager” is a senior position that requires a lot of relevant skills and experiences.   

The job ad does not hire external candidates  

Job openings on some platforms that you know are probably there only for formality. This is the reason why recruiter does not call you after your application. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, an executive resume writer at Career Trend, said that employers often have policies that require them to post job openings to the public. In reality, there is not effectively a position available because that job openings will be filled by internal employees. 

You apply to an old job ad

One of the most common mistake job seekers does is that they do not review the job posting date before applying. Some employers do not take down their job postings after being posted. The reason is simple because employers have posted many job ads and do not remember where their old job postings are. So, it is advisable for job seekers to see job ads date before applying. 

ATS does not recognise you 

Nowadays, hiring managers rely on robot ATS (application tracking system) to easily shortlist candidate’s resumes and CVs. And ATS is tricky for job seekers. You need to perfectly write your resume in order to get shortlisted by the machine. You need to mind your keywords richness and resume format. Read here for tips to pass this robot ATS. 

Unprofessionalism in your resume 

Another common thing recruiter prefers to hold the call is that you do not write your resume professionally. To illustrate, you are in need of a job and you apply for several jobs with the same resume. You forgot to change the employer’s name and you do not proofread your resume. What do you think recruiter’s think when they see this? There are 2 possibilities. First, recruiters might think that you are not serious applying. Second, recruiters might disqualify you for your fatal mistake like spelling wrong company name. 

That said, it is always good to write some resumes for different application, especially if you are applying for different roles. Second, always proofread your resume and ask someone to proofread it after you. 

Multiple applications 

You have applied to X company in the last three months but they did not hire you. X company puts a job opening again in a different role. Because you really want to work for the company, you apply for the second time. This time you are extra careful with your resume as to not make a mistake. However, they do not even call you for your second application. Why is that? 

The reason is your interview feedback from past applications is likely to be considered to determine whether you should be contacted or not. If you are flooding the same company with your resume, the employer will think that you are not serious in a specific role, leading to disqualification for your application. 

Changing of the hiring plan 

In the game of business, everything changes pretty fast. Projects get rebooted. Teams get cut. Or, recruitment gets postponed for the later date. When this happens and you apply from a recruitment agency, they might tell you about the cancellation. But oftentimes, an employer does not inform this to job applicants. 

To conclude, it is always better to move on after a week without a call from a recruiter. There might be many reasons and you cannot know which exactly why the employer you are applying doesn’t call you back. Another way, you can call the recruiter for clarification. Or, if you know that the company uses ATS, you better understand how their ATS works and create better resumes for the next application. 

Read also: How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview

Should You Bring Notes to An Interview? Dos and Don’ts

Feeling anxious about your next interview? Well, it is okay to bring that note with you.

Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert, said that it is totally fine to bring notes in your interview session. If it is your first job interview where the sense of anxiousness can be higher and at the same time, you need to show your professionalism, taking notes with you will demonstrate your readiness.

Moreover, bringing notes will also show the recruiter that you are genuinely interested in getting the job offered. It could be seen as a sign that you have done your homework and are ready to lead a meaningful discussion with a prospective employer.  

See also: STAR Principle to Overcome Interview Anxiety

Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions if you truly want to carry that little book with you, added Amanda. It is good to bring note but this action might turn into a nightmare if you bring notes that contain a key point of your response or how you plan to respond to certain questions. Some of you probably have prepared an answer of behavioural-based interview questions – questions that are asked to describe past behaviour in order to determine your suitable ability for a position. While it is good to prepare beforehand, bringing the “answer” note with you will totally mess up your chance to be accepted.

To such worst case happens, read these dos and don’ts guidelines before bringing notes to a job interview.

Do:

  • Ask permission before you take out your notes
  • Bring note of questions you want to ask regarding the company’s profile, your job description, or responsibility
  • Bring a note about research or work you have done to showcase or defend your answer 
  • Bring notes and pen to jot down any important information your interviewer tells you
  • Write interviewers’ name and email or phone number to send a thank you email to show how appreciative you are

Don’t:

  • Spend too much time looking at your notes. You are talking to the interviewer, not the note.
  • Bring a list of talking points or other snippets you have prepared for the interview
  • Bring too many notes about the company or question list. Remember! It will be more delighted in the eyes of an interviewer if you make preparation and practice rather than reading through pages. 

Read also: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

So you have applied successfully for your dream job. After few weeks, you find an email in your inbox with the subject ‘Interview Invitation’. You open it up immediately with a happy feeling, only to be shocked reading those dreaded words: Group Interview. The solo interview can be quite unnerving in itself, how do you prepare to survive the group rounds?

Different from traditional kinds of interviews (conducted especially when there are many applicants for a job role that requires working in groups and public speaking skills), group interviews require applicants to gather in a single room at the same point in time.

While candidates often find this as an unsettling experience, employers view this kind of job interview setting as an effective method to screen out promising talents. Group interviews are highly efficient when a company is keen on hiring in large numbers, for many vacant positions, in a single time-frame thus reducing costs incurred on recruitment efforts.

The main goal of conducting group interviews is to test candidates’ demonstrative abilities of being able to work well in a team, be self-driven to take responsibilities for incorrect executions of the team, how they respond to each other, and if they are able to perform under pressure. By putting everyone in the same boat, employers are keen on understanding potentials of key talent and interpersonal skills.

In these few allocated hours on a single working day, hiring managers are able to decide if you are a thoughtful leader, a goal-driven worker, or an ambitious employee who is willing to throw someone under the bus.

During group interviews, applicants are posed with particular case scenarios to test their engagement levels with other members in a team to address certain issues and resolve the problem at hand in minimal time effectively. Here are some tips for applicants to stand out in a group interview:

First, dress up distinctively. Wearing something different will help the interviewer notice and remember you. This doesn’t mean you sport casuals for a formal setting or wear something too daring or extremes. Stick to simplicity and elegant dressing, this works well in most cases.

Second, make friends with other candidates. Make sure that you come early such that you can prepare yourself. Before entering the interview room, look around and greet other candidates. Introduce yourself and have a nice chat with them. Not only will this help you relax, but it will also help build positive vibes and perhaps derive more information about the competition and competitors.

Third, be a volunteer. In a large group interview, it could be difficult for interviewers to pick candidates one by one to speak up. So, they would like to see initiatives through volunteering to answer first. Use this as a chance to get noticed by the interviewer. This could be done either by raising your hand and leading the answer.

Fourth, involve everyone. Remember that it is not your own interview. Even if you do know a lot about the issue discussed, draw cautious restraints from talking too much, while allowing others the opportunity to speak.

Do not go overboard and overly aggressive because this can make you look like, you are putting everyone else down. Instead, showcase your good leadership and interpersonal skills, by inviting the most silent participant in the room to share their thoughts and voice their opinions on an issue.

Fifth, stay focused. In a group interview when everyone is keen to express and talk fast, it becomes extremely important for you to listen carefully to what others have to say. While it is important to deliver purposeful statements, do not get too busy with your own thoughts.

Rather, engage in the conversation and pay attention to minute details that others divulge. Write down the ideas you choose to convey for clarity in expression. So when your turn comes to speak up, you have lot more to say in brief using appropriate words.

Sixth, prepare questions. There could be a point when the interviewer invites questions from candidates. Make sure that you have done your research well about the company, before coming for an interview. This could help you bring many meaningful insights and relevant questions to be posed to the interviewer for discussion.

Most important advice to stand out in a group interview is practice. Be prepared for any possible situation that might arise during a group discussion, such as sometimes you might speak out of turn or the discussion might take a whole new direction leading to verbal debate. Do remember to always hold onto your stance on the issue and never let your guard down.

Article first appeared in Talentvis.

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Fifteen minutes before a job interview could be the longest fifteen minutes ever in someone’s life. Job seekers frequently prepare the needed documents at home and generally, you will be there early for the interview. (You won’t want to be late!)

So, you have arrived 15 minutes before the interview appointment and wondering what you should do? That 15 minutes would be the most crucial for you and make it to your advantage!

Don’t be too nervous, stay calm!

Keep calm while waiting for your turn is one thing to remember if you do not want your body to release stress hormones. Stress hormones could affect your ability to think clearly, and that will be bad, isn’t it? When you already in the interview room, maintain the calmness and focus on the interviewer. Not only can this help you give the best answers as you have prepared, but it also helps to project confidence too.

Always arrive early, but don’t go straight in yet!

Lateness frequently gives a negative impression of the interviewee. Always go early but on time! Yes, you have reached 15 minutes earlier, but you can wait for about 10 minutes before entering the company. Too long a wait could increase your anxiety and nervousness. Use the 10 minutes to calm yourself and revise what you need in your mind.

Be friendly to everybody that you meet in the office!

Friendly greetings are always a good start! This action increases the comfort feeling, your confidence and significantly leaves a good impression too. Some of the people you have greeted in the office might just play a part in your interview process!

Too much rehearsing

Rehearsing over and over again would make your answers seem to be scripted, so keep in mind that the interview is a conversation and believe in yourself that you could answer those questions smoothly. Let it flow!

Don’t check your email, social media accounts, and voice mail

Turn those off and put your mobile phone away! Young job seekers often do the same thing before doing something important in their lives: posting a status on social media accounts. Yes, you can do that but not within just minutes away from the interview! Set your smartphones to silent so that it don’t disrupt your interview session.

Last but not least, Check out www.jobiness.com and land yourself a great career! Remember these five top tips to perform your best in front of the interviewers!

See also : How to Answer These 4 Most Common Interview Questions