By Clay Wyatt
Posted on 02/29/2016

Whether you spend hours preparing for a job interview or barely know the employer’s name before you get there, there’s no guarantee that it will go as planned. However, if you walk away wondering if there is any chance that you’ll receive anything other than a rejection email, there may still be hope. By following up appropriately, you might give yourself a better chance of remaining in contention for the job or possibly a different one in the future. With this in mind, here are some tips for following up after a poor job interview performance.

Send a Thank You Note

It’s generally helpful to send a thank you note regardless of how you performed on interview day. Send an email or letter to thank the employer for the interview.

Acknowledge Mistakes

Forbes advises acknowledging mistakes you may have made during the interview in your thank you note. But it recommends only mentioning those that you are sure the employer noticed. For example, if you addressed the interviewer by the wrong name 11 times, she probably noticed that. However, if you were a minute late, she may or may not have realized this and may not even care.

Don’t Apologize

Although you may wish to apologize for a specific problem, don’t apologize for a poor job interview performance as you can’t be sure that the employer shares that opinion. You might inadvertently lead the hiring manager to question her decision if she originally thought you performed well, for example.

Add Important Information

If you forgot to mention important information that could have improved your odds of landing the job, the thank you note is your second chance to do so. For example, if you performed well in relevant courses in college and didn’t mention it, you could do so in your thank you note.

Request Feedback

If you’re ultimately rejected for the job, you probably won’t enjoy getting that call or email. However, you may be able to gain something from this experience. Consider requesting feedback regarding why you didn’t get the job as doing so may help you improve your odds of landing a job elsewhere.

For example, suppose you learn that the interviewer was not impressed with your answer to a given question. You’d probably want to spend a lot of time preparing for that one before your next job interview.

Move On to Other Opportunities

If you’ve made a strong effort to correct errors you may have made during the interview and the employer doesn’t seem interested, it is probably best to focus on other opportunities. After all, if you’ve done your best to improve the situation and the employer hasn’t invited you in for a second interview or otherwise expressed further interest in considering you as a candidate, it may have simply decided to move forward with a different applicant. Move on to other opportunities and hopefully it won’t be necessary to repeat this process again after your next interview!