Interview mistakes are embarrassing and can also be costly if you don't recover from them. Since there is no way to turn back time, your only option is to go into damage control mode. Consider the following the tips when you are attempting to recover from a big mistake during your job interview:
- Apologize: To quote Elton John, sorry seems to be the hardest word to say but, if you are going to have a shot at the job, you're going to need to say it anyway. Hiring managers can be very forgiving so long as you come across as genuine when you ask for forgiveness.
- Don't be too hard on yourself: You need to move on from your mistake once you apologize. Don't spend the rest of the interview beating yourself up, as this will only distract you and make it clear to the interviewer that he does not have your undivided attention.
- Think fast: Are you sensing you are going to be late to the interview? Get ahead of the situation and phone the office to tell them you are running late and when they should expect you to arrive. Whatever the situation, remaining calm in the face of potential disaster is the best way to handle mistakes.
- It's never too late: Sometimes you don't realize you've made an error until you have left the interview. You might think it's too late to correct your mistakes, but this couldn't be further from the truth. When you send your follow-up e-mail later in the day, make a note of your mistake and correct it.