How to Save an Interview Gone Terribly Wrong

Your interview is falling apart! Despite your best preparation and practice, and despite your best effort to wear the right clothes, show up on time, and offer the firmest, most confident handshake in the world, something is going wrong. The connection you established with your interviewer seems to be slipping away, and if you don't rescue the situation fast, this job may slide out of your reach. What next? How can you reverse course and bring the process back on track before it's too late? Try these moves.

Problem 1: The interviewer doubts your qualifications.

If you suspect your interviewer is comparing you to your competition and the results aren't reflecting well on you, change gears. Take control of the conversation.

Start by recognizing your limitations. If your interviewer glazed over right after you announced that you only have three years of experience, change the focus from "experience" to another one of your talents, skills, and potential contributions.

You may not have years in the field, but you learn fast. And you never make the same mistake twice. Take a moment to discuss and emphasize these other qualities.

Problem 2: The interviewer suspects you may not be a cultural fit.

If your interviewer asks how you feel about tough competition, a highly collaborative environment, tight deadlines and late nights, etc., your answer may suggest that you aren't a cultural match for this workplace. If you see signs of this, pause before you jump to the rescue, and consider responding with a question rather than a statement.

Instead of saying "Oh, don't worry, I can stay late every single night! I promise!" try something like this: "I do have responsibilities outside of the office, but flexibility is one of my strengths. Exactly what kinds of hours are standard here?" If you truly aren't a match, recognize this fact and don't try to force your way into a job that will make you miserable.

Problem 3: The interviewer suspects you may not be happy here and you might leave as soon as you find something better.

If your interviewer suspects that you may be overqualified, too expensive, or restless, don't just tell her that her suspicions are wrong. Leaping to convince her that you'll stay forever and work for free won't do the trick, because she won't buy this. (You wouldn't either if you were in her shoes.)

Instead, explain that there are many positive things about this job and this workplace that are attracting you in spite of her legitimate concerns. Let her know that you admire this company, you respect this position, and you intend to take it seriously. Then tell her why.

A Strong Interview Starts with a Great Resume

A winning interview can push you past dozens of competitors, even those who may technically have stronger qualifications than you do. But in order to land an interview and make your case in person, you'll have to start by creating a winning resume. Visit MyPerfectResume for templates and tools that can help you survive the first challenge.

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MyPerfectResume Staff Writer

MyPerfectResume Staff Writer

At MyPerfectResume, we are passionate about two things: sharing our knowledge about the workforce and providing exceptional tools to help jobseekers get ahead. Thanks to our well-rounded assemblage of experts, we offer industry-specific resume and cover letter writing tips and career advice for almost every job. MyPerfectResume culls detailed advice…

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