9 Ways To Recover From A Mistake During An Interview

9 Ways To Recover From A Mistake During An Interview

You could spend hours preparing for an interview but still make a mistake. Unfortunately, no amount of preparation or confidence will ensure that you answer every interview question perfectly. With that said, there is good news. It’s possible and sometimes even easy to recover from an error without losing your chance at a job offer. Here are different mistakes you can make during an interview and the ways in which you can save face.

1. You Say, “I have no idea.”

If you respond to an interview question by saying, “I have no idea” or “I don’t have a clue,” you’ll come across as thoughtless and unprofessional. Although it’s acceptable to admit that you don’t know the answer to a question, you need to respond in a way that appears thoughtful.

After you make this mistake, recover by showing that you’re putting more thought into the question. For instance, you could say, “That’s a good question but I can’t answer it right now. Can I think about it and email you my response?”

2. You Say, “I spend my free time checking Facebook and Twitter.”

Telling an employer that you’re addicted to social media won’t help you get a job offer. Rather, it might worry the hiring manager and make them think you won’t focus on your job. To turn this mistake into an acceptable answer, you can pivot and explain that you spend time on social media because you have used it for marketing purposes and that you like to analyze how people connect with each other.

This explanation proves that you can add value to the company. Oftentimes, hiring managers look for job applicants with social media experience. Likewise, they want to hire an individual who can analyze the thoughts and feelings of others.

3. You Say, “I hate my current job and my boss.”

Obviously, you never want to speak about your position or your employer in this manner. It makes the hiring manager think that you’re bitter and confrontational. Furthermore, they may insinuate that you dislike your career path.

To remedy this error, you should first apologize. Then, explain that you meant to say you are underutilized in the workplace and wish you had an opportunity to be more productive. Further elaborate by stating that you shouldn’t have blamed your employer for the situation.

4. You Say, “I don’t know where I’d like to be five years from now.”

A hiring manager wants to know that you have clear goals for your future. If you tell a hiring manager that you don’t have a plan, they may not hire you. As soon as you make this mistake, explain that you’re passionate about your job and improving your skill set. Afterward, say something like this, “I can’t visualize where I’ll be in five years, but I am looking for a long-term position.

5. You Say, “I don’t like change.”

It’s not uncommon for people to dislike change. While you might fear change, you should never admit this to a hiring manager. In order to recover from admitting your fear of change, you should mention that you’re open to new things. Say, “I am comfortable working in a changing environment and am able to adapt as needed.”

6. You Say, “I’m not sure about the job, but I love your company culture.”

Sure, you might only want a job because you like the company. However, admitting this fact won’t play out well. If you accidentally tell the hiring manager this, you should quickly speak up. Explain that you love the company, the industry, and the culture. At this point, you should remain honest and admit that you’re happy to start out on the ground floor because you love the company so much.

By explaining your passion for the company, you show the hiring manager that you would be in it for the long haul. This fact alone could put you above other job candidates.

7. You Say, “I don’t know why my resume says that.”

As you apply for multiple jobs, you probably have several different resumes. It’s not impossible for you to send the wrong resume to an employer. If the hiring manager notices this error, you shouldn’t backtrack or act confused. Instead, admit to the mistake.

For instance, you could say “I customize my resume for employers and wasn’t aware that I left that in there. Although it’s not relevant to this job, it’s an interesting tidbit about me.”

8. You Say, “How much time off will I receive?”

As a job applicant, you probably have questions about the job benefits. But if you focus too much on vacation and sick time, you give the wrong impression. If you make the mistake of asking about time off, you can fix everything by elaborating on the question. Ask about the work-life balance of the employees.

Typically, employers are understanding of the importance of a work-life balance. They may even appreciate the fact that you realize how critical it is to balance your home and work situations.

9. You Say, “What does the company do?”

When the hiring manager asks you if you have any questions, don’t ask a question you should know the answer to. Before you go on a job interview, you should research the company. And if you didn’t and let this question slip out, be more specific. Ask the hiring manager, “What strategies does the company use to achieve goals?” You can also ask, “What have the results of the company been so far?”

If you prepare for an interview well, this shouldn’t be an issue. But life happens, and you never know when you could find yourself scrambling for an answer during an interview.

No One is Perfect

There’s not a single person in the world who aces every interview every time. Therefore, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. If you make a mistake during your interview, shake it off and find a way to recover. Sometimes, the way you recover could be why the hiring manager offers you a job.

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