Interviews are just kind of awkward
. They’re overly formal and often not reflective, at all, of normal human life. Between the weird formatting and the awkward social imbalance of knowing this person could offer you a source of income or, you know, totally not, interviews are the perfect breeding grounds for embarrassing mistakes.
But interviewers often aren’t looking for perfection. These women have made mistakes in interviews and bounced back to get the role anyway. If you might find yourself in the anxiety
-ridden, awkward interview process anytime soon, it’s worth reading their takeaways:
"I told the interviewer I didn't need to work."
is now a real estate agent in Tampa, Florida. But during her law career, she said something totally cringeworthy in a phone interview
. She said:
My husband serves in the U.S. military and, as a result, I have had many jobs and careers over the last 19 years... I remember very early on in our marriage, we were stationed in a small town in Texas. I interviewed for a legal assistant position in a very small law firm (I have a law degree. but was not licensed to practice law in Texas. so I just wanted a job in the legal field to get my foot in the door). I told the attorney interviewing me that I didn't need to work. In my young mind, I thought I was conveying that I wasn't applying for the job just because I needed a paycheck, but because I wanted the position. The interviewer didn't ask me any follow-up questions, but I DID end up getting the job. I still cringe at how I haughty I must have sounded. And the truth was, I did need the paycheck.
"I accidentally dragged the chair across the room"
Ellen Mullarkey, Vice President of Business Development
at Messina Staffing
, had an awkward exit to an interview she had early in her career. However, she managed to turn it into a point of connection between herself and her manager. She told us:
"When I was in college, I interviewed for an administrative internship with a local manufacturing
company. The conversation itself went great. But when I was leaving at the end of the interview, my purse hooked around the chair and I dragged it across the room. I was already pretty nervous
, but that put me over the edge. I laughed and apologized, but I was convinced that I’d ruined my opportunity.
Luckily, I got the internship, but the manager didn’t let me forget about it. We worked in the same office, and every time I got up from my chair she’d say: 'Be careful! Don’t take the chair with you!' I still laugh about it to this day."
"I was late... twice."
Nina Semczuk, the Head of SEO Content here at Fairygodboss, may be a career content expert — but she's just as prone to interview accidents as the rest of us. She was late several times to interviews at the same company. Here's how she fixed it, according to her post in the FGB Community
I was late TWICE to both interviews I had at a company, but, I still got the job (thankfully!). Each time, I apologized and explained the situation, but then let it go. I think if I had made a big thing about it and apologized over and over, it may have made it worse. In the end, I tried my best at all of the other portions of the interview (and hiring test) and sent a hand-written thank you
to each person I met (I know there's controversy around this but I do love sending thank you notes. Who knows if it helped).
Overall, mistakes happen — even during the interview process. Owning up, being real and thanking your interviewer for their time can go a long way when the going gets tough.