Follow-up e-mail to fix a botched job interview?
August 27, 2008 1:10 PM Subscribe
I totally botched a job interview today. I really want the job, and am just starting to write a follow-up / thank-you e-mail. Help me do it well!
posted by fogster to work & money (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had an interview today. (The first at this company.) I've had many over the past few months, and have been doing a little better, and staying a little calmer, each time. But for some reason, today I really fell apart. It was definitely quite clear that I was a nervous wreck, and I think I gave bad answers all around, alternating (in hindsight) between being unreasonable vague/terse and giving rambling answers.
What hurts the most, though, is that I think I'm actually well-qualified for the position, that I'd fit in well with the existing team, and that it's a job I'd really enjoy doing. I've had a couple interviews where I really was barely qualified and come across fairly well, and I've done well in some interviews for jobs I didn't even want. But now that I'm qualified for a job and excited about it, I totally, absolutely blew it.
I want to send a follow-up e-mail thanking them for meeting with me. In the past I've used these e-mails as a good way to chip in a little tidbit I forgot to mention in the interview, but this one will have to be a major damage control operation. I do write much more clearly than I speak, so whatever I send will be articulate and relevant, unlike the interview.
But how, exactly, do you proceed in this case? Should I acknowledge that I was nervous and that I felt I didn't do a good job explaining some things? (I normally wouldn't acknowledge nervousness, but they definitely noticed, and it was definitely handicapping.) Should I write a fairly long e-mail outlining a few of the things I could have answered better, or should I keep it short? And if I keep it short, how do I explain that I didn't have a lobotomy before the interview, and that I'm actually pretty qualified? I think just sending a generic "Thanks for your time, I'm excited about this position" will just make them think I'm a polite idiot, so my follow-up e-mail really needs to make amends for my poor performance in the interview.
(I'm aware this question is maybe a little vague. Part of it's that I don't want to reveal too much on the off-chance that any of them read Ask MeFi and think, "Hey, that loser is on Ask MeFi?!," but the position I interviewed for isn't relevant. It doesn't involve client contact, so someone who can't communicate clearly might not be a show-stopper if I can get them to see I'm smart. And sorry for not giving more specifics on exactly what went wrong, but the short answer is, "Everything.")