It happens to the best of us: You’re in a job interview, and it starts going south. Maybe it’s because you got nervous and didn’t answer clearly, or you misspoke and need to go back and correct yourself. Whatever the cause, it’s important to make sure things don’t go off the rails completely. So, what can you do to save the interview? 

Here are three quick tips on turning a bad interview around: 

Don’t try to make an excuse.

One of your first instincts when you slip up and make a mistake during a job interview is to apologize and say you’re nervous. Even if this is true, it might just come across as an excuse to the hiring manager. Plus, you’re drawing direct attention to the fact that you’re nervous – why do that when you don’t have to? Avoid telling the interviewer that you’re nervous or making some other kind of excuse. 

Pivot when you don’t have a good answer.

In many cases, you’ll be able to pivot when you get stumped by an interview question, or when you’ve accidentally misspoke or mischaracterized your skills or experience. If the interview gets into a topic you’re unfamiliar with, or the interviewer asks about your knowledge in something you don’t know much about, you can admit that it’s not your strong suit. But you’ll want to pivot immediately after into a discussion of how you would go about learning more on the subject, or how you would ask for help from colleagues. Ending on a positive note in this manner can successfully turn things around in your favour.  

Take your time and rephrase.

The final rule when trying to turn around a bad interview: take your time. It’s okay to pause, take a breath, and tell the interviewer that you’d like to clarify a response you’ve just given. Rephrase your answer and focus on getting across what you need to say without stumbling or going off on a tangent. Most of the time, this will work to gloss over the initial mistake and move the interview forward without a problem. 

Line Up Your Next Interview 

Ready to put your interview skills to good use? Trust HCR Personnel Solutions to help you set up your next interview for a job you’ll love. Find out more about our job placement services by contacting our team. 

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