10 Interview Tips: How To Convert A Failed Interview Into A Job Offer

Livia Smith

1. Avoid Overthinking It

Rejection is humiliating, and we have a tendency to let it haunt us, just like any other embarrassing moment in our lives. We’ve all relived an interview by scrutinizing every single move that could have been the deciding factor: “Was there something I said? Was it something I did? Was it the awkward small talk at the start? What about the salary discussion? What about my eye contact?”


What’s done is done, and there’s no point in second-guessing yourself. Instead, take a closer look at the big picture and some key takeaways so you can get back up and adjust your strategy the next time.

2. Do Request Feedback

To avoid “overthinking it,” base your analysis on actual interviewer feedback. If you don’t ask for feedback after every interview, you’re passing up a huge opportunity to silence those negative voices in your head and learn from your mistakes. The interviewer should always provide some form of honest feedback as a courtesy, but it is not required (and some people are simply uncomfortable turning others down). As a result, if you are denied feedback, there isn’t much you can do (so don’t turn into a stalker over it). Just keep in mind that it doesn’t hurt to ask.

If your interview was arranged through a recruiter, you may be able to request and expect more brutally honest feedback because it is another person’s feedback they are passing along and they are slightly more comfortable delivering it. I would recommend getting as much feedback as possible as soon as you learn of the rejection so that your request is received by your interviewer/recruiter on time.

3. Do Not Interpret Between the Lines

Reading between the lines, like overthinking, can be a waste of time when it comes to understanding and learning from your interviewer feedback. All you have to go on is what you’re told (for better or worse), so try not to get too caught up in decoding the message further. If they said they found someone more qualified, that’s all there is to it. Is it possible that there are others who are more qualified? At the end of the day, interviewing isn’t a perfect formula for the interviewer, and it’s often more of a gut feeling than anything else. Allow the interviewer to make a decision based on their knowledge of the role and company.

4. Don’t Ignore Positive Reactions

Just as you should take constructive feedback at face value, you should also take advantage of any positive feedback you’ve received. You’ve made an impression on the interviewer in some way, and this is your strong suit. Make a mental note of this and start emphasizing it in future interviews. If you made a presentation that they liked, keep it and find a way to incorporate it into your next interview. If they liked your energy and personality, keep it up – chances are your next interviewer will too. Make your feedback a silver lining and rely on it to lead the next time.

5. Pay Attention to Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

It’s also true that unsuccessful interviews, when combined with natural interview nerves, can have an impact on your delivery (both verbal and non-verbal). As a result, the interviewer’s confidence in your abilities to do the job in question may suffer. Spend some time focusing on delivery because what you say and how you say it may affect your ability to close the interview.

Record yourself answering some of the most common interview questions aloud using your smartphone’s voice memo app. Then, with a critical ear, listen for “Ums” or shaky tone (both confidence killers). Try videotaping your interview responses as well, paying close attention to your posture and any unnecessary movements (hand-tapping, touching the face or hair, etc.). Because 93 percent of what we say is nonverbal, be aware that your presence has a significant impact on how you are perceived in the interview room.

6) Regain Your Self-Belief

If you’re feeling and looking defeated as a result of your failure to close, you might want to spend some time regaining your confidence. Attend networking events and places where others in your industry/space are discussing your area of expertise so that you can start to feel really comfortable talking about the topics most commonly discussed in your industry interview settings. The more natural you appear to be when discussing your interview topic, the more you will appear in command and well-suited to tackle the interviewer’s business problems with ease.

7) Exercise Your Nerves

Take about 5 minutes before you begin practicing for each interview to do some deep breathing to get centered and focused. Taking a moment to breathe can do wonders for calming nerves. Do this before entering an interview as well.

8) Put in the time to practice, practice, practice.

It’s a well-known fact that practice makes perfect! You should practice your responses every day (especially to the tricky interview questions). You know what’s coming, so rip off the band-aid and seize the opportunity to get ahead of the game. If you’re a visual learner, try outlining your answers on paper so you have a visual reference point in your mind.

9) Make an effort to get to know your interviewers.

Take the time to do some research and get a sense of who your interviewers are before you enter the room. Remember that they are people just like you, and they may even be nervous about the interview! It’s okay to break the ice and say, “sorry, I’m a little nervous,” if you feel it’s interfering with your interview, as it will show more of your human side and help the interviewer empathize, but be quick to recompose yourself and get back in the game because they want someone who can jump in and produce results.

10) Do Recognize and Reward Your Progress

Even if you did not receive a job offer, the interview was not a total failure. True, the role may not have been the best fit for you (but don’t you deserve the best fit)? This is your career, so it’s better to get it right the first time (even if it takes a few tries) than to accept the wrong offer. If you can view each interview as a learning experience rather than a failed attempt, you will be more likely to keep your spirits high and feel confident that something better awaits you.