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How To Erase a Negative Impression at a Job Interview

Posted on the 21 December 2011 by Classycareergirl @classycareer

Today’s edition of Ask Classy Career Girl is written is association with Adecco where you can find information on IT jobs, HR jobs and office jobs.

Dear Classy Career Girl, Thanks for all the great advice I get from your blog. Definitely a wealth of information for ladies working our way up the career ladder! Earlier this year, after a lot of networking, I finally landed an interview with my dream company. I was so nervous and excited, I completely blew it. Looking back, I can see exactly why they wouldn’t have taken me seriously. I followed up with thank you notes and received what I believe to be very accurate feedback on how the interview went. Within a couple of months I landed a great job with another company, which is serving me well. I know that someday down the road I will want to work with the dream company again – how can I start erasing the negative first impression?

Thanks, Second Chance Interviewer

We all make mistakes.  But, we don’t all learn from mistakes and become better women because of them.  Congrats on sending thank you letters and following up with the interviewer for feedback.  You are already off to a great start erasing that negative impression.  And you used that feedback to nail your next interview and land another great job.  Seriously, awesome!

First, my two cents. Over the years, recruiters and hiring managers will change.  When it comes time to apply and interview again, they may have absolutely no idea that you interviewed there before.  Also, over time your interests and dreams will change.  Maybe that company will not be so cool anymore in a few years.  Basically, this is me saying that you shouldn’t worry too much about it.  It’s really not the end of the world! :)  Also, you will be much less stressed and more confident at your next interview!  Why?  Because you know exactly what to expect!  You will be much more prepared than other people interviewing for the same position.

OK, so how can you go about erasing that negative first impression so that you can work at the initial dream company someday?

  1. Stay in touch.  Whatever you do, don’t lose their contact information.  Definitely, connect with the interviewer on Linkedin and try to figure out which professional events she/he attends.  Be there and run into her/him and tell them what you are up to now. Send them regular updates so that they can see how much you are improving and the knowledge that you are gaining.  They will see that you are putting their feedback into practice and they will be very happy to have helped you.  There is nothing wrong with keeping this contact. Be consistent and over time the bad impression will fade away.
  2. If you were lucky enough to receive feedback on what requirements you did not meet, get those experiences.  Take classes or find ways in your current job that you can obtain that experience.
  3. Follow the news of your dream company.  Follow them everywhere you can such as google news or Linkedin.  You want to become an expert at what is going on at the company and how you can help.  Start taking notes about the company and what you feel like they could be doing better or differently.
  4. Find people at that company or at a competing company that you can ask for an informational interview.  This is a great way to find out more about the company and the hiring process.  You can ask them what you have to do to get a job at the company and how you can improve your chances.  These people may not know about your previous interview so they may have different feedback for you.
  5. Don’t avoid the bad mistake.  Feel free to use it as a learning experience so the future interviewer can see how much you have improved.  And feel free to use humor as well if you would like which can often break the tension and provide you an opening for recovery.  But, make sure it does not increase the level of discomfort of anyone around you.  Don’t overindulge because you don’t want to over-apologize!

Readers, what is your advice for second chance interviewer?  How can she erase a negative impression?

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