The Millennial Resume: How To Recover From Bombing A Job Interview

This past week I went on two job interviews. One went great but did not result in a job (more on that later), the other was bad in every way and also clearly did not result in a job offer.

One went great but did not result in a job (more on that later), the other was bad in every way possible and clearly did not result in a job offer.

So, how did I recover from the embarrassment of this disastrous interview? I cried for 24 hours straight.

I cried for 24 hours straight.

Now as the dust settles on that mini-breakdown and with my still swollen eyelids from yesterdays disappointment, I am going to tell you all about my most recent experience with interviews, hopefully with the intent of bringing some peace to all my fellow bad interviewers out there (and maybe you guys can even bring me some peace too… I need it).

Just look at that picture I took of myself before bombing my interview. I’m smiling, trying to get myself pumped up, practicing my small talk in the mirror, but as fate would have it this was all to no avail I’m afraid.

*A little background on my job hunt: I have been unemployed (except for a few odd jobs) for two years. After moving to Nashville with my sister 2 weeks ago my full-time job has been applying for jobs.*

I had my first interview in quite a long time about a week ago, and this is the interview I was talking about that actually went really well.

I was surprisingly really calm going into the interview and happened to get along with the three amazing girls who run the place I was interviewing at. The conversation flowed easily, I had experience, knew the software that they used, and could really see myself working there, but they were only hiring someone for one shift a week… What am I supposed to do with that?!

Although this interview went great, we mutually agreed that as I would be looking for another job, this one clearly wouldn’t be a priority and hopefully more hours would open up soon.

I left feeling confident and super happy, even though I didn’t get a job. I sent a thank you email and was grateful for the great first interview experience. But a recurring theme in my life was about to be realized during my second interview, the theme of beginners luck.

See I have always had incredible beginners luck.

Whatever I try, I do really well at the first time, and then everything soon after goes downhill fast.

I’m talking about sports, speeches, interviews, social interactions, basically any kind of anxiety-inducing activity I can take on with ease the first time, but the second time I just plain suck. For some reason I don’t get better with practice, rather I do my best when I have no clue what to expect the first time.

So this leads me to the terrible interview.

In all reality it wasn’t that terrible, it was just one of those situations where I knew it wasn’t good while it was happening. Is there anything worse?

Just pulling into the parking lot I felt weird for some reason and didn’t want to go in, but I knew if I didn’t I would be furious at myself the rest of the day. So I went in and waited about 5 minutes for the interviewer to come get me. When she came out I was immediately intimidated by this woman, but I made some small talk and tried to have an open heart.

That didn’t work.

The interviewer asked me to tell her about myself and almost immediately my throat started to get scratchy and hoarse, which happens when I get nervous. So here I was talking about myself but getting too distracted by my own voice that I couldn’t even concentrate, and then there was this lady staring at me with an expression of bewilderment. Not smiling. Not nodding. Just staring.

At this point, I was in full meltdown mode and just wanted to leave.

The interviewer asked if I had any questions. I said no. She said she would call me that afternoon. She never did.

I was so unbelievably disappointed in myself that I just cried and cried and cried some more. I wasn’t so much disappointed in the fact that I didn’t get the $12/hr job, I was disappointed that I let my anxieties get the best of me.

I know that I have a lot of work to do on my interviewing skills, and as my mom likes to remind me, “It only takes one person to hire you”, which is true.

I have to tell myself that that job wasn’t the right one and being discouraged will do nothing but continue to drain my bank account. I need a job, and I will get a job!

As hard as it is to continue to believe in yourself after constant failure and rejection, what other choice do you have? Give up? That is not an option and never should be. You might not be a great interviewer, but someone is going to believe in you and give you the chance that you deserve so just trust.

PS:  I actually am a little bitter that I’m 24 and can’t get a $12/hr job…

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