What to Do if You Think You Bombed the Interview?

Failed Interview

If you’ve ever walked out of an in-person interview or hung up following a phone interview feeling like you’ve dropped the ball, you’re not alone. Most hiring managers expect you to be nervous. In fact, the odds are pretty good that you didn’t perform as terribly as you might think. However, if it’s really bothering you then there are a few things you can do to counteract any interview mistakes. As a travel professional, you interview much more frequently than the typical healthcare worker, so these tips will help you become even more of a pro.

Write a thank-you note that knocks their socks off

Even if you gave the perfect answer to every question and not a thing went amiss during your interview, you should always write a thank you note. However, if you said anything that may have missed the mark and hurt your chances of getting an offer, the thank you note is the perfect place to re-address that question and provide a better answer. Since you likely had a phone interview and don’t know the exact mailing address to send a note, make sure to ask for the hiring manager’s email address so you can send a follow up that way.

Don’t harp on the perceived negatives of the interview

What you don’t want to do in the thank you note is to draw attention to a mistake. It’s very possible that the hiring manager didn’t notice as much as you did. The thank you note should primarily serve as genuine show of appreciation for the interview, and follow up on anything you may have left unsaid or would like to rephrase. It’s not a place to write “I’m sorry I answered ____________ question so poorly, here’s what I meant to say.” Keep it positive!

Consider how you can learn from it

Kicking yourself for blanking on the answer to a question that you can usually recite in your sleep? Think about why this might have happened. You might have been distracted, or maybe you didn’t study your pre-interview notes and decided to coast on this one. A bad interview, even if you do get the offer, can always be a learning experience so you can do better the next time. But you’ll have to turn your attention inward and evaluate areas you can improve.

Talk to your recruiter about it

The great thing about working with a recruiter is that they can advocate on your behalf to the interviewing employer. If you’re honest with them about a mistake you made during the interview, they might be able to help smooth things over with the hiring manager. Addressing these things honestly is the best policy when trying to land a job.

Try, try again

Don’t dwell on the negatives from your interview – it’s just one interview! Instead, take the steps above and move on. You might get a call for a second interview, get the offer to go on assignment, or find out it wasn’t a fit anyway. Whatever happens, sometimes a bad interview can make you a stronger candidate in the long-run.


On the lookout for your next travel assignment? Check out our job postings or give us a call to discuss your options! Speaking of interviews, we offer free interview coaching and resume review to help you stand the best chance of getting your dream job. What are you waiting for?