Some interviews go bad. We have all been there at one time or another. The sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that tells you this interview has gone south. You silently wish for the interviewer to put you out of your misery and just call and end to it. After all your preparation, the hours of working on your resume, the time spent rehearsing interview questions all seem wasted. But do not despair. Instead take a lesson from the Great American Pastime, Baseball.
The mark of a great baseball hitter is to consistently hit 300. The greatest hitter of all time, Ted Williams, had a batting average of 404- once. This means even the best of hitter get out far more often than they get on base. Treat your interviews like a baseball game. You are not going to hit a home run at every at bat. You need to learn to perform well despite having a set back or two.
1. Sometimes you get beat by the pitcher. Even the best hitters from time to time will simply be bested by a great pitcher. When that happens all they can do is tip their cap and shrug it off. In a similar way, some interviews go poorly because the person, or persons, who are doing the interview are not very good at it. You may have prepared and polished your presentation, but if they don’t ask you quality questions or give you room to elaborate there isn’t a lot you can do.
Perhaps the interviewer is new at this, maybe he is a difficult personality, or maybe he is just having a bad day. The reason doesn’t matter. The fact remains that a good interview need two components: a good candidate and a good interviewer. You only have control over one of these.
2. The best hitters get out 70% of the time. You are not going to not going to hit a hr every time. Deal with it. No one is perfect. The batting title normally goes to a player hitting around 330,which means he doesn’t hit nearly 70% of the time and yet he is the best hitter of the year. You will inevitably do better than that, so learn to compartmentalize. Bad interviews will happen. Put them out of your mind and move on.
Once it is over there really isn’t anything you can do to correct them so do not waste time thinking about it. If you know you were prepared and it just didn’t go well, forget about it. Dwelling on a poor interview will serves no purpose and will spoil your attitude and performance in future interviews.
3. No one remembers Babe Ruth’s strike outs. The greatest hitter of all time is remembered for his heroics on the field, not the times he failed. The same applies to you. You are not defined by your misses but by your heroics. No one remembers Babe Ruth’s strike outs (1330) they remember him pointing out to center field and hitting a dramatic home run. remember who you are: a competent and successful person. A bad interview doesn’t change that. Just remember that you have a story to tell, and just because one person did not like it does not make it a bad story.
So when you strike out, just shake it off and get ready for your next at bat. Get help from others if you need some fine tuning, but do not dwell on it. Just prepare to do your best the next time up.