I Messed Up My Job Interview – What Can I Do?

Dear Work Coach,

Boy oh boy. I think I really messed up an interview for a job I really wanted yesterday and was wondering what I could do to try and salvage my chances of getting that job.

This would have been a full time position with benefits and good pay. I got the interview through a friend, which in my experience is the best way to go.

Here’s what went wrong:

I forgot my resume on the way there. I got off the subway 30 minutes before my interview so I figured I had time to find a Kinkos to print one off. I finally found a Kinko’s 5 minutes before my interview.

With about 2 minutes before my interview, I discovered to my horror that 21st St all of a sudden turned into Grammercy Park. The place I was interviewing for is located on 21st St, so I was confused. Rather than wander around being lost, I called and confirmed that yes, I was going in the right direction. I finally arrived, but six minutes late.

Once in the interview, they asked me if I had experience with still photography (the job is at a computer lab where most of the students study photography) and I said no, but I do have a lot of video experience.

Then they asked me if I ever used the command line on macs, and I had to answer honestly, no.

The interview was short, about 20 minutes.

The people were nice and we seemed to get along, but I just don’t know if I made a good impression, and if I meet the requirements for the job.

Although I feel like they could see from my resume clearly that I had no still photography experience, so maybe that’s okay? I mean, why bring me in for an interview if that’s a requirement?

Anyway, my brother is a photographer and he said he could give me a crash course. I told him it was probably too late because I already told them I had no experience.

The interview ended with them walking me to the elevator. No mention of when I would hear back (I was too ashamed to ask) or anything like that.

What do you think? Should I just forget about it?

Thanks for your advice, anything would be helpful. I really want this job! The hours, benefits, work environment, and pay all seem great. If only I wasn’t such an idiot!

Ray

***

Hi Ray!

First of all, you are not an idiot. In fact, you sound like a really nice person!

I myself have gotten confused by that same section of Manhattan – especially hard to focus when you are already nervous about an interview! As for the resume…yes, from now on you need to make yourself a checklist before going to an interview so you don’t forget anything. (Part of that checklist should probably say “take 10 minutes to breathe in and out slowly and gently before you leave.”)

Luckily you left yourself enough time to get to Kinko’s. Not everyone would have been that smart. And you also called and confirmed rather than getting any more lost…a very good thing. But ok…enough of that. Now to the interview itself.

I can’t tell what really went on in their minds. But just from what I read in your comment, I wonder if you presented a strong image of yourself once you entered – or even on the phone. Being late isn’t good…but the trick is how you handle things. The fact that they focused on what you didn’t have – despite having your resume, doesn’t sound too hopeful. BUT…I sure would try to recover a little. Even if not for this job, if you can win them over maybe they will keep you in mind for another job.

So…write to them. I assume you have their e-mail? Let them know you enjoyed meeting with them. You might mention you were a little nervous and wish you had another chance to show them who you really are and what you can do for them. Let them know you are a fast learner and could even get a crash course from your brother who is a photographer. (That’s a useful fact just to show you understand and have a connection to the field.)

Since the job is at the computer lab, not having all the skills yet should not be a deal breaker. They are interested in you and how you present yourself.

Keep the note short and positive – let them know you are more interested than ever after having met them (since it’s true). And, if you think its ok, add a short sentence saying you’d be willing to work for them for a 2-week trial and let them decide if you have what it takes.

Not sure any of that will help, but it is worth a shot. Good luck! Please let us know what happens.

Ronnie Ann

***

In case you’re curious, skim through the comment section from How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well to see original Ray’s question and my response.

 

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Hi Coach,

    I went for an interview with a IT company, since i am a software engineer.
    It went on for about 40 mins, everything was going well, or it seems so.

    Because i thought i answered all the questions, or gently said no in case of any confusions.

    After the interview the Panel said that there company is going to do a background check on my profile.

    And also mentioned that their Manger would come to me to tell me further course of action.

    As i waited there for about half and hour, the Manager appeared and said they were done for the day and their HR would let me know the schedule for the second round of interview.

    As i didn’t hear from them for almost a week, so i sent out an email to the HR asking if the response was positive or not.

    And after another week , to my dismay i got a response that ,” Sorry you couldn’t get through”.

    As this was the job i was banking upon too much.

    Do you think things could get messed up in the response from the HR.
    Well, i know that nothing more can be done, but i just can’t understand why was i rejected.

    Is it possible that i could ask them for more clarification about my weak areas?

    Thanks,
    Natwar

  2. Hi Natwar!

    So sorry about the turn down, but it’s extremely rare a mistake was made in transmitting the info. If you feel comfortable doing so, you might want to call HR and ask why you were turned down to help you with your next interviews. (It also gives another chance to make sure – but don’t say it that way. Just ask for helpful feedback.) It’s always good to get feedback since we can’t see how we come off, even if we do our best.

    Sometimes, however, you do great and it’s just that someone else was a better fit for this particular job. If you do call, when you speak to them let them know how much you enjoyed meeting them and that you’d be interested in being considered for other openings as they come up.

    Although I know it doesn’t help now, it’s so important not to put all our hope on one job. best to keep looking for jobs and interview as much as possible. Good for increasing chances and improving interview skills.

    Good luck, Natwar! Hope the next one is a perfect match. ;-)

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  3. Hi again Natwar!

    Not that I think this is going on with you, but I just found this post on Ask a Manager about HR and interviewer not being in synch.

    Thought folks might enjoy reading what happened here:

    HR rejected me, but interviewer said I’m still in play

    Maybe this will make some of you feel better! ;-)

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  4. Dear Work Coach:

        I had a interview 10 days ago and I thought it went well.Two person interviewed me, one is the HR manager and the other one is the accountant. Basically, they mostly explained what my job responsibility was , what they want from me for this job under certain situation, the salary and everything they expected me from this job. It lasted about an hour. At last , they said they will arrange me to meet with their CFO and asked my availability. They mentioned the CFO won’t work with me but he wants to meet the staffs who work in the accounting department.  They also kept asking do I have any question about the company and they even said if I have any question later,  I can come to their office and ask.They sounded like I was the one they want until then & they will contact me as soon as they contact the CFO.    

        However, I  made a huge mistake. I was supposed to call the job
     hunter after the interview but instead I called the  interviewer’s phone number . When she picked up the phone I felt like it doesn’t sounds  like the agent, so I said may I speak to ###(her name) and she said: yes,  speaking , so I told her I thought the interview went well but I am not sure about what is going to happen. She said :”ok, I will call them and let you know.” 

         I found out this later and called my agent , she said the interviewer called her already and told her my mistake but the interviewer thought I was funny and they will arrange me to meet the CFO. However, ten days later they did not contact me, so I called to follow up  and the interviewer said they still have another interview next Weds and they will make the decision after that if they will let me meet the CFO on Friday. 

         So I called my agent to ask for some feedback but the agent told me that she called few days ago before I called and they said they would possibly arrange me to meet the CFO on next Monday because they were busy on moving and meetings but she did not mention they would interview another person to her and she said this is a bad sign. My agent said she will contact me if she has any further information.  

       So my question is do you think I lost my job opportunity already  and do you have any suggestion for me? Thank you very much. 

        
         Best regards

         Polly
                      

  5. TO MY WONDERFUL READERS:

    I’m on a BLOGGING BREAK. But couldn’t leave without letting you know how much I appreciate your visits. I hope in the meantime you will help each other where possible.

    And if you’re wondering why the break:

    Blogging Overload: Do You Give Yourself a Break?

    ~ Ronnie Ann

  6. Marilyn says:

    Hello Ronnie,

    Today I had an interview at Abercrombie..
    The manager who interviewed me is around my age 19-23.
    I feel as if I messed up on one thing. She was reading a guide as the interview and it was mandated for us to rehearse the greeting to customers.
    She had me say ” Whats going on” and well I wasn’t really thinking but said it how she did, laidback and slow. So I did it the same. But now I’m asking myself was I supposed to be all cheerful and stuff lol?
    I mean for my questions, they were great.
    When she asked about my quality I said ” I’m optimistic, and up-beat”
    For the importance of diversity in a workplace question, i said” Diversity is important because a place needs different people to overcome an obstacle. Instead of everyone being the same”

    Anyways I feel i did great, i was kind of excited though haha.But my resume was great and I made good conversations with the employees since I showed up to my interview early.

    Oh yeah and one of my high school friends works there, that I just found out about, so i told her to give out a good word about me.

    What are your opinions?

  7. Hi Marilyn!

    Sounds like you did well. It’s easy to over-think these things afterward and worry about every single answer, but the important thing is the overall impression you leave with the interviewer.

    Who knows? They might have found a “What’s going on?” that was too bubbly not very Abercrombie. ;-)

    Good to have a friend on the inside. I wish you much luck. Would love to know what happens!

  8. Dear Work Coach,

    I had an interview today, which seemed to go well. I had well prepared answers to questions, asked good questions and did a presentation that seemed to be well received. All was going so well, then I was asked to do a work related ICT test with Excel, which I know I could have done better on, but I panicked a bit.

    I did say during the interview that Excel and Access were areas for improvement for me and, of course, I said I would be willing to undertake any required training. Have I completely messed it up? I suppose it depends how much they value the ICT test as part of the role, but I met and exceeded all the other requirements for the role, so I guess it comes down to whether or not they can see beyond my weaknesses and look at what skills and experience I can bring, What do you think?

    Thank you,
    Liz

    • chandlee says:

      Liz,

      Follow up with a thank you note and explain that — if hired, you’d want to find a way to complete additional training in Excel — and reiterate your interest in the position. (One strategy I recommend for learning is watching free YouTube training videos on how to use software applications — you might share that or something similar as a low cost way to learn.)

      Good luck and keep us posted,
      Chandlee

      • Hi Chandlee,

        Well, I didn’t get the job :-( Unfortunately, they are unable to provide individual feedback to candidates, but I have asked politely anyway. Since this interview, I have had a further three, 2 of which I didn’t get and I am waiting on the outcome of one I went to this week. Of the other 2, I have had feedback from one. They told me I interviewed well and was clearly knowledgable, but someone else had more experience than I did and, because they are required to get their project up and running really quickly, they needed someone with more experience. I asked if there was anything else I could have done/ what I needed to work on and she told me she felt I interviewed well and was otherwise a strong candidate, so there was nothing wrong with my answers or how I conducted myself.
        At this time, I only have one other interview which is in three weeks time. I really don’t know what I am doing wrong in interviews or what I need to change. I always research the company, ask questions, and answer questions concisely and I get lots of nods and smiles from the panel, but I wonder if I am coming across a bit desperate, as I am currently unemployed, due to redundancy. I wonder if this is a negative that they don’t want to bring up in an interview. I always talk positively about the things I have been doing since losing my job, but I wonder if they can sense the fear? If so, what can I do to come across less desperate?

        • chandlee says:

          Hi Liz,

          Sorry to hear about the job, but that’s great news that you have an interview lined up already.

          Recommend you work to brush up on your Microsoft Excel skills as well as any other software applications that are specified in the job directly. If you want some applied experience and aren’t working at present, you may want to consider a volunteer opportunity where you use computer skills as those can often help you within the context of a project — which gives you both experience as well as something to talk about in an interview.

          When you are in the interview, ask what the first project — or order of business in the job will be — and for an example of what may be involved in doing it. Then follow-up with a thank you note that includes ideas — or strategies you’d use to achieve the goal on the project…

          This may help you seal the deal — focus on understanding the nature of the job as if you were an outside consultant — this may help you for later.

          Good luck and all the best,
          Chandlee

  9. Thanks Chandlee, I will do that :-) and will let you know what happens
    Liz

  10. Hi Work Coach,

    Love the site, reading some of the blogs has helped me try to keep my sanity while playing the waiting game!

    I recently had a phone interview for a field management role with a national retailer, which isn’t my strong point as I do better in person than on the phone. It struck me as unusual, since usually most places have an initial phone screening, but this was straight from resume to group panel phone interview with 3 people who currently hold the position.

    Anyways, I felt like I was doing really well, coming up with good answers to all the “Tell me about a time when…” questions, although I did catch myself saying “um” a lot. Fast forward to the final question, “What do you think the biggest challenge facing this industry is today?”, and I blanked. I starting rambling about how I thought it was competition, but I feel like I totally blew it. On top of that, when they asked if I had any questions, rather than ask about training for the position or something that would come off as a good question, all I asked about was if the position required relocation. The lead interview told me no, that since I live in the current market it would not, I would just be traveling a lot, which I had already expected. They said they would have their interviews by this coming Friday, and that was it.

    So I’m left thinking I blew the interview, and playing the waiting game. I sent thank you emails to all 3 interviewers(each different of course), but since it wasn’t in person it is so hard to tell how I did just from their tone on the phone. Any tips on what clues I can think back to and try to figure out how it went?

    Thanks!
    Nick

    • chandlee says:

      Nick,

      The question you were asked about the industry is one you’d do well to prepare for in future interviews. It’s an important one for jobs that involve working deeply in a field — because it shows employers what you know about the field, gives them the opportunity to observe your level of engagement and time spent in keeping up with the field, and helps you share your expertise.

      That said, most candidates don’t answer every question perfectly — I once got hired after re-visiting a question in my mind 100 times — and not hearing anything back for over a month!

      In the future, you can always address the issue you feel that stumped you — in a cover letter. E.g. I read industry publications ___ and ___ and study the field enough that it was harder than it should have been to come up with a succinct answer to your question, “what is the biggest challenge facing our industry?” Based on _____ statistic, my answer would be _______. (Then explain your perspective with a sentence or two.)

      Good luck,
      Chandlee

  11. Sorry for the quick follow up post, I realized I meant to say they said they would have their final decisions by this coming Friday.

    Also to add, based on the job requirements, I met all their must haves as well as several of the “Preferred Qualifications”, so maybe that will help put me over the top despite my poor phone interview lol.

  12. hi there.. i messed up today i have guilt.. am feeling so low now. am really good at my current jpb and i keep getting appreciations but when it comes to impressin an interviewer.. i panic. i get intimidated by them. this guy who interviewed me is an architect. i looked for his name on FB and got all details. he is froma top school and too technical. i think am low on confidence. but u knw everytime i need something very bad, i do this. common how can i. what should i do . if i had got this i wud have been so happy. i dnt knw the results yet. but i knw i was not quite confident. i dnt want to pacify myself by saying try again. i feel there are too many things in me that needs to be changed. i felt good thinking i had an interview but after u read about the interviewer i went so low. i thought i dnt knw anything. what should i do

    • chandlee says:

      Hi Snea,

      It’s normal to doubt yourself and experience trouble with your confidence. It’s just not good for you. I recommend you try to find a job search club where you can practice your interviewing skills and connect with others in your situation. You can find a directory of them here.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  13. Chandra says:

    Hello Work Coach,

    I had an interview couple of days back in a start up IT company. Though I did face a minor hindrance as the bus broke down, I regularly kept the recruiter informed about my exact location and I think I just got there on time. The Interviewer, the Head of Customization department, introduced himself to me but didn’t give even the slightest clue about his position in the company( which I later found out on linkedln ;) ). He gave me a math puzzle to solve. Every time I got stuck I asked him for help. And he was helpful and quite friendly.

    He then asked me questions on technical stuffs, mostly on Java, close to, say, 10 questions, and I got almost 6 of them right( Including the easier ones :D ) in one shot, asked for his help to solve one question and failed to answer a couple of them. He would frequently warn me whenever I made a mistake while solving. Finally, he asked me If I had any queries. We talked about the latest product the company had developed and he explained about the technology used for developing the product. I even mentioned about company’s founders and their hardships in setting up the company was very motivating. At the start of the interview he seemed very jovial but at the end, his face looked dull. He opened the door for me and led my way out and here’s the big one!! He told me keep my resume with me and HR would inform me later. I felt devastated.

    I sent a thank you letter to the HR explaining her about my wonderful interview experience with them and her company’s good work. in the IT industry. I called her up the next day and she said she “loved” the thank you and felt it was truly original. However, she told me to wait for two more weeks as the interviewer hasn’t given her his feedback yet. I’m confused!! In my previous experience with some other company, I had aced the interview but didn’t get any call after being told that I was put on hold for 15 days. I’m worried!!! What next?

    Regards,

    Chandra

    • chandlee says:

      Chandra,

      Sorry to hear that you haven’t heard back. Remember that the interviewing process is always a mutually selective process — you get to pick your employer, too. Some of the things you experienced — introductions without a sense of what the person does, a perfunctory goodbye, lack of follow-up, etc. — may be a sign that you would not be happy there even if you were hired.

      It sounds like you have tech and quantitative skills that are in high demand. I’d recommend you keep up your search, and move on. You have value to bring to an employer. Find one who can see that — and who will hire you. And in the meantime, you may want to look at — and find answers to any questions that did stump you in your last interview.

      Good luck,
      Chandlee

  14. I am quite puzzled by the role of Recruiting Specialist to “select candidates to be invited to interview”.

    If a job is highly specialized, the Recruiting Specialist without broad and deep knowledge of the field is certainly not in the right position to select right candidate.

    During a recent phone interview two weeks ago, I stupidly thought the Recruiting Specialist was an expert in Computational Chemistry and Materials Science or at least had some general knowledge of the field so I didn’t pay too much attention to the job description I applied. At the end, she asked me whether I have knowledge of solid state chemistry, and suddenly, I realized she might just check the keywords when I described my previous projects on the phone without knowing that some of my projects are actually about solid state chemistry. I love this position because it matches my expertise and experience exactly.

    I felt that I messed up with the phone interview from Recruiting Specialist because she didn’t get back to me as she mentioned on the phone and didn’t return my email. It would be really hard for me being turned down by an non-expert rather than by the hiring manager.

    My question are 1. “What should I do next after I messed up with the phone interview from Recruiting Specialist? 2. How can I get a chance to talk to the hiring manager?

    • chandlee says:

      David,

      I recommend searching LinkedIn to try to find the appropriate person who shares knowledge of your field.

      You need to make sure your resume has keywords related to your field in it…this helps recruiting specialists who don’t know the field gain an understanding of where you are working and what you are doing!

      Regardless of whether you think it’s fair or not for people without your background to be making decisions on your fit for a job, it is what happens sometimes. You need to be able to explain the technical as if you were explaining a situation to your grandmother!

      A good way to address the problem is also to circle back with the recruiter — and let her know you remain interested in the job, and that you don’t feel you presented your knowledge of solid state chemistry as well as you could have…and with that…

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

      • Hi Chandlee,

        Many thanks to your reply. I really appreciate it! You are right that I need to improve my communication skills but as being said, the chance seems gone … and the recruiter lady didn’t returned my three emails and the job was re-posted two days after she phone interviewed me. In the emails, I requested I be given a chance of talking to the hiring manager about the detailed research but no response from her so far…

        Best,
        David

        • chandlee says:

          David,

          Try doing an “Advanced Search” by keyword and company in LinkedIn, that may help you yield some employees who work in your area who you can follow-up with. If not, see if you can find any announcements of presentations made by the candidates. That could also be helpful.

          Good luck and all the best,
          Chandlee

  15. DIY Madam says:

    I think I have been sabotaging myself in interviews and that may be the reason I have not been hired. It’s not them, it’s me. DAMN.

    Some background: I had been unemployed for one year, then I got a job, but that only lasted for six months then another layoff. I had been interviewing the whole while, especially this time around and one would think that I would at least be good at the process. Granted there have been jobs that I did not see myself doing, ones that I was not going to get because I was too overqualified or it was less money than I was used to and employers felt that I would probably leave the instant I found a better gig.

    My point is that I have had so many interviews, both telephone and in-person, that I should be good at it. I prepare a lot, I dress in my best suits and smile unitl my cheeks hurt. I tend to jeopardize things when I get a question that I don’t know how to porperly answer. I get into a hopeless BS mode and ramble non-stop forgetting the concept of brevity and conciseness. It’s a problem that I have. Rather than taking the time to see how I might already be prepared to anwser the question, I just muck it up to the point of very little recovery. I am not a very good liar on top of all this so these interviews can go really bad really fast.

    Anyway, I have two interviews this coming week and I need to turn one if not both of those into a job offer because I have NO MORE MONEY. The funny thing is that with all of the interviews, I have a good amount of confidence in my existing abilities and I apply to jobs that I am excited about the prospect of doing. I just can’t seem to get the interview just right. I am impatient and I get annoyed with stupid questions and interviewers who use their smart phone while in a meeting with me. I have a smart mouth and sarcasm is readily available and sometimes I just can’t shut-the-@#$%-up. I think there might be something wrong with me. The longer I am out of work, the more the abovementioned makes me doubt myself and my chances of finding a job.

    So, between now and my two interviews in a few days, I need to straighten myself out becuase I don’t think I can recover if one of these two don’t pan out. Someone I am close to gave me some advise: he thought I was overdressing and perhaps giving off too authoritative a presentation especially for some of my potential employers who are younger than I am. Apparently I may not be liked simply because I dress too well in interviews (I am in the non-profit industry), so I am going to test that theory this week. Also, his suggestion was that I answer queestions giving very brief information and gauging whether the interviewer wants me to expand before doing so which will help me to NOT SAY TOO MUCH. I will try that as well. He says that I have to realize the ultimate goal, to be seen as nice and likable, sweet and NOT A THREAT IN ANY WAY. Mind you, I am sweet and I am nice, but I am serious about my work, my competencies and what I can do for a potential employer. It just seems that the qualities that I thought were the necessary ones for me to get the job are woking against me so I am gonna try things slightly different.

    Well, thank you so very much for allowing me to vent.

    • DIY,

      Here’s my recipe for success for an interview:

      1. Put your best, real self forward. The one that’s funny, serious, and smart. I can see all of these things from your comment alone.

      2. Write out a list of stories about yourself that show how you have specific competencies…example, what’s your biggest strength — think of a something you’ve done that demonstrates this. Define the challenge, say the action you took, demonstrate the result it had on the organization.

      3. Create a list of 5 – 7 stories than draw upon them in your interview.

      4. Be as interested as you are interesting. Research the company and get a feel for what they do. Show you have thought about what the job entails doing — and ask questions that show you have.

      5. If you’re not perfect in interviews, there’s no reason why you can’t present that in and of itself as a weakness! Offer up names of references who can attest to the fact that you make a great employee.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  16. I need to know how to address the following issue. I have an interview set for a few days from now. I was sent a skills assessment test to take prior to the interview. It was a timed test, which always makes me nervous. I completed it and sent it back to the company (by email).

    My nervous got the best of me and my results on the test were very disappointing. I printed the test out and reviewed it and in 20 minutes time I noticed, and corrected, the errors. Since the time limit of the test was over, the pressure was off, and I immediately saw my errors. Once I realized my errors I left a voice mail for the HR person that I am dealing with to let her know the situation-that I identified my errors on the assessment, corrected them on my copy, and hoped to discuss the results during my interview. This is all happening on Saturday and she will not see the assessment (and get my message) until Monday.

    I recently graduated (with honors) in the field that the assessment tested. I am qualified to perform the job. I have excellent past performance evaluations, along with excellent references that will state that I am qualified in this field.

    My issue – how do I address the disappointing result of the assessment and show the company that I do have the skills, knowledge and experience to perform the job?

    Thank you.

    • DAC,

      Based on the information you have shared with me below, it sounds like you are already being proactive about the results — and addressing the areas that matter. You’ve done all you can, now go out and rock the interview.

      Good luck and keep us posted.

      Best,
      Chandlee

  17. I think I’m going out of my mind. I went for a job interview last week and I seriously think I messed up on one interview question. Everything else seemed ok. The job I was going for was in customer service based role in the performing arts industry. I was asked whati I dislike about my current job? I answered that I dislike some of the customers, but if there is an issue that arrives, I use my well developed negotiation skills to come to a mutually beneficial rest for the customer and the company. I feel this was the most wrong answer ever, and am sure I screwd up.

    • Jade,

      It’s a common experience to think that you screwed up an interview in the time between when you interviewed and when you hear back. It may not be the best answer ever, but you gave an answer to demonstrate that you can separate the personal and the professional.

      Hang in there, apply for other positions as you wait to hear back, and keep looking in the interim. Good luck and all the very best.

      Chandlee

  18. I misunderstood what the interviewer was telling us about what hours to put down, and for the min hours I put 8, but for the max hours I put 8 (+). Someone told me afterwards that I should have put down 32 – 40, so they would know I would take whatever hours I could get. I am afraid if I call the interviewer and explain my mistake this would make me look like I could not follow simple directions (which I guess I could not.) Will they know what I meant, or just think a. I made a mistake, or b. I only want 8 hours a week? Thank you.

  19. Well i went for a job interview with target and they asked me what i need to change about myself and i accidentally said be on time they asked me twice i meant to say be confident i also said im nervous i for sure not getting this job what are your thoughts and to be honest i had 2interviews in one day i wasnt awate of that….

  20. I still can’t believe it. Yesterday, I got a screen phone interview with the manager of what I would consider is my dream job and company. We spent roughly 25 minutes on the phone and I thought I did well. But one day later, I still have not gotten a call yet for a face to face interview. I don’t know what else to think. I am sure he would have called by now if he was interested in me.
    My cell phone service provider might be to blame but I won’t know for sure. At the beginning of the interview, the connection cut off and he asked me if I could look for a landline phone instead for the interview but I said the phone was okay. I was so scared of going back to my cubicle to use another phone where everyone in the office would be able to listen to the conversation. So I stayed on the call and suddently at the end of the interview, the phone got disconnected again. I just could not believe it. What a hightmare. Now, I have been waiting and no phone calls. I have no idea of knowing what’s going on? Is it too early to be discouraged or should I just move on?

    Thx

    E.

    • chandlee says:

      Hi E.,

      Never expect immediate gratification and a call back within 24 hours of an interview. People need time to process. They also often have other interviews scheduled before you meet with them. I’d give it at least a week before you think too much.

      Follow-up with a thank you note, express your continued interest in the job opportunity — and apologize for the technical detail with the phone. Be specific about why you are interested in the job — and show you’ve thought it through.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  21. I just got out of an interview for a position in a health services Human Resources department, including a short Microsoft Excel test.

    I think I totally screwed up the test – it was a version of Excel I had never used before, and rather than being based on formulas etc. it was a graph/pivot chart – something I’ve never made before.

    I explained this in the interview which came immedietely afterwards, and the manager sympathised with me, saying it can be hard to use a different version of software, especially under pressure. I even said if I got the job I’d brush up on my skills on Excel, especially the area I had just taken the test in. He wrote this down and seemed positive.

    I think the interview went extremely well, I provided full examples of my knowledge, skills and experience and how they fit into the role to which I was applying. Both of my interviewers seemed to agree, and I got a very positive vibe from them.

    I don’t find out for another few days – but I’m no sure if I’m living on false hope, despite how well the interview went is the test the be-all-and-end-all?

    Thanks so much.

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Gary,

      Unfortunately, it’s very hard to tell how important the test is. It depends on so many things, including your competition.

      Pivot tables are a typical Excel requirement – I’ve even seen them specified in job descriptions – so you should probably take the time to learn how to do them in case you are tested again. If you can, check a search engine to find a tutorial so you can learn how to do them.

      You would have been in a better position if you had been able to say that you can do pivot tables, but in a different version of Excel than the one used for the test.

      If you do learn how to do pivot tables, contact the employer and let them know that you’d like to retake the test. That could be very impressive to them!

      Try not to obsess about it. And keep job hunting.

      Good luck with your job search!
      Susan

  22. shubhra says:

    Hi there,

    I believe I messed up on my 3rd interview for a Clinical Social Work job I really like. I have been interviewing for a job the past 3 weeks and last Friday (3rd interview) was the type of interview where I met with the clinic staff at the school where we discussed the setup. I arrived early and ended up waiting for the interviewer and while waiting I had a really nice chat with the PA, Social worker and assistant at the school. I almost forgot this was an interview since it was so informal.

    When the interviewer arrived we spoke again about the clinic setup etc and then the last part I had to answer a clinical case vignette. I really like this job and I know what I’m doing but I think I messed up the case vignette part. The interviewer and the SW kept saying its not a big deal but I wonder now if they were just saying this to put me at ease. Anyway, I answered the case vignette in essay format and didn’t just put down the answer next to the question. While filling out the diagnosis part I left the last part out because they did not provide the checklist needed to fill it out. I for some reason thought they were going to provide me with the diagnosis list. but they didn’t and I guess I was nervous to finish quickly that I didn’t ask the interviewer. Then when I finished he came over to me I gave him my write-up and he walked me out. He then said he is try to move faster and speak to administration and then mentioned again what will happen next i.e. meeting administration. I have a feeling he likes me because in the previous interviewers I have had he has given me good feedback. Like he called me up to schedule the 3rd interview and said despite having other applicants he was hopeful and he got really good feedback from the team. I also spoke to one of the SW from the team interview (he gave me her number) and she said the 2nd interview was a really great interview. I just hope I haven’t messed my chances up in the 3rd interview where they will think I dont know how to do a mental health diagnosis etc. Truth is I have 7 yrs experience doing this and I guess i’m worried that I didn’t respond to the answers in the manner he which was expected of me. I ended up also doing a diagram.

    So the interview was on Friday and it’s Tuesday and I haven’t received a call yet. For the previous interviews, he has called me back on Monday and on Tuesday. This is why I’m nervous about messing up the interview as typically he calls back by Monday and Tuesday. It could also be that he is organizing 3rd interviews for the other applicants as well and is busy with that and that he is trying to speak to the other interviewers. I Just hope that this minor mistake won’t take away my chances. Some ppl have said they wouldn’t invite to you to 3 interviews if he didn’t like you.

    Any suggestions? what do you think I should do in the mean time so that I don’t lose out on my chances for the job? I was wondering if I should email him a copy of a questionnaire I created while running a group. I showed it in the interview 2 and the team all seemed to like it. aah, yes this interview process is driving me nuts :(

  23. Hi All,

    I just got a job interview this week in this order:

    1st call(Monday) – headhunter called me for initial screening for about 20mins, was informed in the end that their client’s (the would be employer) IT Manager will talk to me over the phone(since he’s currently in Hong Kong and I’m in Singapore) for a technical inteview the next day.

    2nd call(Tuesday) – as promised, the IT Manager called me up, we discussed on my professional experience and a few personal details about me; he also explained the job scope and asked me how soon can I start with them, I mentioned them I can join them in less than a month as my contract with my current employer will expire soon. In the end, the interview went well, IT Manager informed me that he will arrange me with their company director(who is in Singapore) for face to face interview.

    3rd call(Tuesday) – headhunter called me again to confirm that I am scheduled for a final face to face interview of the company director on Wednesday and provided me the location and time of the interview over the phone, and on the email. He was also kind enough to provide me interview tips on pdf file for me to read about to prepare.

    Face to face interview (Wednesday) – scheduled interview is at 430PM though I was I unexpectedly arrived too early (330PM – first I haven’t been to the location so I gave myself 1.5 hours headstart to head down to the place for interview). The headhunter was also there and ushered me to the waiting area so that I could relax and get ready; we made a small talk, just running over things about the interviews. Then my time came for the interview, we started 30mins early (4PM) since the director is also there and ready. We talked for about 30mins plus, he asked me about my job experiences, also asked if I was able to talk to his IT Manager, which I told him that his IT Manager called me up the day prior and talked for about 30mins. The director was friendly enough and was smiling when I was giving my share of answers from his questions. In the end, I can say the interview was ‘somewhat’ okay, the interview I had with the IT Manager was way better compared to my interview w/ the company director; seemed that I can’t just read through him that’s why I’m having this feeling. In fairness, the director said that he appreciate my attitude to learn more and eagerness for the job that I was applying, also adding that they are actually looking for more people as they are going to hie 3-5 people for the position and that feedback may take within two weeks. From there, he thanked me for my time and I also thanked him for seeing me on that day, he walked me out to their door and I shaked his hand once again to thank him.

    After I got out, I send an email to the headhunter thanking him and the director for the time and opportunity to be interviewed. He replied with “…we are considering your profile while we interview other candidates. Will update you later.”

    I would like to know if this could be positive, negative or 50-50? Hope someone could enlighten me.

    Thanks and more power!

    Jules

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