Common Interview Mistakes and How to Recuperate

Whether you stumbled on a tough question, shared way too much (or too little) information or slipped too far out of your professional persona, you’re certain that you’ve just blown any chance of landing your dream job. There are common interview mistakes that make many people feel like this.

Before you start doing your best to erase the entire experience from your mind and move on, consider the possibility that you might still be able to salvage your chances. Some of these corrections can be made mid-interview, while others can be applied after the fact.

UnAble To Think Of A Response

We’ve all been there: That well-rehearsed answer you delivered so confidently in the shower disappears from your mind when you’re seated across from an intimidating CEO.

If you find yourself facing one of these “brain freezes” common interview mistakes, all is not lost. Try this strategy to get your thoughts—and words—rolling again.

Ask the interviewer to clarify the question. This will give you some precious time to regroup.

Ask for time to think. There’s nothing wrong with requesting a few seconds to consider the question and formulate an answer. In fact, a good employer will respect that you’re taking the interview seriously and thinking before you speak.

Say something. Delivering a partial answer is better than nothing. And if you’re still drawing a blank, be honest and ask if you can come back to the question later.

Of course, a bit of extra preparation and practice will go a long way toward reducing your odds of going blank when it really counts.

Not Directly Answering A Question That Was Asked

This is often a result of the first common interview mistake we mentioned. When your mind goes blank, you might either evade a question completely or ramble on without providing a specific, relevant response.

If you realize the gaffe mid-interview, try to recover by steering the conversation back to the tricky question (see a strategy from the first mistake above).

If you cringe at the memory after you’ve already left, you can send a follow-up email with a more thorough answer.

Saying The Wrong Name of the Interviewer or Company

If you’re interviewing with multiple firms and people from various departments, this is an understandable flub. While it may seem mortifying at first, all may not be lost. Recover quickly by apologizing for the error, chalking it up to nervousness and excitement about the opportunity, and then moving on.

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