How to Save an Interview After It’s Gone Downhill


When you’re interviewing for your ideal job, it’s easy to get a bit rattled. You may be anxious, increasing the odds that you’ll make a mistake. Maybe you misunderstood what the hiring manager asked and gave a wrong answer. Maybe you forgot to tell the hiring manager something important that you bring to the table.

Whatever happened, the interview is now going downhill, and you might begin to think that it’s too late to get it back on target. Luckily, that isn’t the case. There are things you can do to try and save the interview. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some options to consider.

Circle Back at the End of the Interview

If you realize you made a misstep before the interview is over, you might be able to circle back around. When the hiring manager asks if you have any questions, you can request a chance to clarify a past answer or to share something you didn’t get to discuss earlier.

When your goal is to fix a response that was wrong, it’s best to be humble if they let you proceed. Explain that you now realize that you didn’t answer their question properly, and you’d like to provide them with new information.

For the second scenario, try to position it as a question. For example, you can let them know that you have a particular skill and ask if you’ll get to use it in the role. This allows you to share the detail without altering the flow of the interview.

Address It in the Thank You Email

If you only realized that you made a mistake after the interview was over or didn’t have a chance to address it before the meeting ended, you can try to take corrective action in your thank you email. However, only do so if you can discuss it in a quick and concise manner.

After thanking the hiring manager for meeting with you, do a quick pivot. Bring up a point that you both talked about in the interview and then share the piece of additional information.

Just make sure that you keep your email brief. In most cases, a thank you note is only a couple of paragraphs long, so brevity is your friend.

Additionally, avoid apologizing for the mistake, if you made one. Since it’s possible the hiring manager doesn’t specifically recall the misstep, saying you’re sorry might hurt you instead of help. Instead, focus on sharing new information, as that’s more likely to save your interview.

Ultimately, an interview that’s gone downhill isn’t always unsalvageable. Just follow the tips above, and you may be able to recover, increasing the odds that the hiring manager will look past the error and focus on the positives you have to offer.

Find a New Job Quickly with Bayside Solutions!

If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to land a new job, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today and see how our interviewing expertise can benefit you.