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How To Remain Positive After An Unsuccessful Interview?

Our Top Tips

Leigh Gillatt  •  Careers Advice

How To Remain Positive After An Unsuccessful Interview?


Anyone that’s been to an interview and then received a call saying you’ve been unsuccessful this time, will know how disheartening it feels.

Being unsuccessful in an interview can put a dent in your confidence, robbing you of the drive to proceed with your job hunting.

So what can you do to bounce back?

The most important thing to remember is that you should at least try not to let a bad interview affect your job searching activities… shrug it off, it was only one interview. No matter how great the job looked on the surface of things and despite the fact you really want it, there will always be more opportunities out there.


We know that in reality, after a knock back like this, it can be harder than you think to stay motivated and keep on searching. So, in true Diverse Employment style, here are our top tips to help you keep motivated after an unsuccessful interview:

1. Get Some Honest Feedback

Sounds simple, right?

But surprisingly we often see candidates ignoring our emails and follow up calls regarding them being unsuccessful in an interview; to be fair I’ve spoken to friends that even regularly do this.

OK we know it’s easy to just ignore and dismiss these emails or calls, but it’s actually the last thing you should be doing.

Even if you don’t handle negative / constructive comments well, you should ask for some honest feedback from our consultants regarding the interview, if they haven’t already done so in their email to you.

Its likely that you’ll find out that your skills perhaps aren’t quite as aligned with the job as the employer requires, or that they have opted to employ a more experienced candidate. This will allow you to reassess your job search criteria, or even pursue the option of gaining the skills where a gap has been highlighted to you.

For example, you may have been unsuccessful interviewing for an admin job because the employer was looking for you to have slightly more advanced MS Excel skills such as VLOOKUP. There are quick courses available online to allow you to gain those skills, further enhancing your chances next time.

If on the other hand it was more to do with the way you conducted yourself during the interview, then those areas of Interview Preparation can be brushed up on prior to your next opportunity.

2. Don’t Let It Dent Your Confidence

While it’s easy to tell yourself to not let the news affect your confidence, it can be quite difficult to stay positive if the interview didn’t go well.

Don’t knock yourself down like this, after all there could have been a lot of people interviewed for the job and only one position available; it does happen, regularly.

It could be a case of perfect job, wrong time. There will, and are, plenty of other opportunities out there for you to pursue. So don’t let an unsuccessful interview ruin your chances of securing your dream job in the future.

Despite for some it being the immediate thing to do, don’t take any of it personally, you just weren’t the right fit for what the employer was looking for on this occasion. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be for the next job opportunity!

3. Don’t Burn Your Bridges

At the same time, it’s important to keep level-headed, remain cool, and to not burn any bridges. More often than not, employers keep the CVs of unsuccessful candidates that they deemed to have potential, just in case they’re a good fit for any future vacancies that become available within their organisations.

If it’s a place you’d really like to work someday, then it could prove beneficial to keep in touch. One easy way to achieve this is by connecting with the hiring manager(s) on LinkedIn, this way they can also keep a track of any further experience you’re gaining whilst working elsewhere.

You just never know, while you were unsuccessful this time, you may be given a nice opportunity with them further down the line!

It’s good practice to thank the recruiter or hiring manager for their time and for inviting you to interview in the first place. If it feels appropriate, ask to be considered for any future roles they may have.

This will show not only that you have good manners, but that despite being unsuccessful you were able to remain professional. It’s a way of expressing your desire towards working for their company; something all employers value.

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