13 things you can do to restore your confidence after a failed interview

Your last interview was a flop and it’s taken a toll on your confidence. No worries. Here’s 13 things you can do to restore your confidence after a failed interview.

It’s normal for your confidence to take a dive after what feels like a failed interview but no interview is a failure if you extract lessons you can learn from it. Let’s look at what you can do to boost your confidence ahead of your next interview.

Tips to restore interview confidence and learning from a failed interview

  1. The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already done so, is to ask for feedback from your last interview. Tell the company that this is important to you as it will help you to prepare for future interviews. Then make a note of the lessons learnt and how you can apply them.
  2. Make a list of the things you have done that you are proud of. What have you achieved at college, university and in work, paid or unpaid? If your confidence is so dented nothing comes to mind, ask those who know you and who you have worked with in the past.
  3. Next, make sure you know your CV back to front. Job interviewers tend to use the CV as a guide to talk through your application and you will be asked to elaborate on various points. Be ready. Knowing your CV will help you to talk about your strengths, weaknesses and achievements with greater confidence and honesty.
  4. Take along with you any achievement evidence you can use to demonstrate what you have achieved. This can include published articles, artwork, awards or letters of commendations, perhaps from customers or clients at a previous job.
  5. Research the company you have applied to. Just a few important facts will do. Look at marketing materials, the website, company brochures, local newspapers and annual reports. Look at their LinkedIn company page, the profiles of CEOs, interviewers, if you have their names, and other key employees. Find out what the company’s strengths are. How do they describe their mission, goals and values? Take time to consider these. Where do they fit in with your own mission, goals and values – can you find a synergy?
  6. Prepare with a mock interview. There are lots of example interview questions online you can use to get an idea of what’s typically asked at an interview. These include: What do you think you can bring to the role? Why do you want this role? What are your strengths/weakness? What do you consider to be your major achievement? Why are you the best person for the job? How do you manage yourself/time? What steps would you take to handle an irate customer/client? Why should we hire you? Note: please don’t over prepare to the extent that your answers sound robotic – it’s simply about having a general idea of what you might say.
  7. Have some questions to hand you can ask the interviewer. You can find some examples online too, but others may come up simply through the research you do on the company.
  8. See yourself doing well at the interview. Seeing is believing, and by seeing yourself in a positive light during the interview it will trick your brain into believing you will do well. See yourself walk into the room, smile and give a firm handshake. Tell yourself, “I am looking forward to my interview at … Company.”
  9. Wear something smart but comfortable for you, and give yourself plenty of travel time. Better overly early than even a little late. Take a few deep breaths before going into the interview room to help you to relax. Make eye contact and hold your materials in your left hand so that you can easily shake hands with your right without it feeling awkward.
  10. It’s okay to take a few seconds to think before answering a question and, as long as you don’t do this after every question, to ask the interviewer to clarify or repeat anything you didn’t understand.
  11. When answering questions, try to find a story to illustrate each one. Give examples of yourself in the exact scenario the interviewer is asking about. This will help the interviewer to build a picture in his or her mind of your capabilities, and it will leave a positive impression.
  12. An important part of your communication is body language. People only hear 10 per cent of what you say and the rest they ‘hear’ visually. So, smile periodically. Speak in higher energetic, not dull and tired, tones. Be enthusiastic. Use words that paint a positive picture – bright, boost, overcome, thrilled – and which feel natural to you. Using active words to describe your achievements – ‘I completed the task’, ‘I boosted results’, ‘I jumped right in’, ‘I grabbed the opportunity’ – can also help.
  13. Finally, leave a lasting last impression with a hearty handshake, warm smile and a “Thank you for seeing me.” Together, these tips can help restore your confidence after a failed interview. Good luck.

Together, these tips can help restore your confidence after a failed interview. Good luck!

How we help

Nail That Interview Course: The 5 key reasons why people fail at job interviews with Chris Davies

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success. Chris Davies discusses the 5 key reasons why people fail at job interviews.

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If you’re a student or graduate looking for help, stage four of our one-to-one coaching: applying for jobs, how to find jobs, how to network, support on applications includes keeping your confidence up when you fail an interview / don’t hear back.

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Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book discusses the 9 Employability Skills, how to create a CV that highlights your achievements and things to consider before and during an interview.

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