How to Fix a Bad First Impression at an Interview

Yikes…that was awkward…

So…now what?

Flubbing the first impression is one of a job seeker’s biggest fears. But like any obstacle, with the right approach it can also be one of the biggest opportunities!

First impressions are important, especially during job interviews. But let’s face it, we’ve all had that moment where we make a mistake or slip up and suddenly we’re worried that we’ve blown our chances of getting the job.

If you’ve made a bad first impression during an interview, don’t panic. Here are some steps you can take to recover and improve your chances of getting the job.

Figure out what went wrong

First, take a moment to assess the situation. What exactly went wrong? Did you stumble over your words or forget to bring important documents? Did you arrive late or come off as uninterested in the job? Identifying the specific problem can help you come up with a plan to fix it.

Own it

Next, apologize and acknowledge the mistake. Don’t try to downplay or make excuses for your mistake. Instead, take responsibility and apologize sincerely. This shows that you are aware of the problem and willing to take steps to fix it.

Keep going

Third, show that you’re still interested in the job. Even if you made a mistake, you can still demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position. Talk about why you’re interested in the job and what you can bring to the company. Highlight your relevant experience and skills, and express your commitment to the job.

Ask for a second chance

If you feel like the interview didn’t go well, it’s okay to ask for another chance to make a better impression. You can say something like, “I’m sorry that I didn’t do my best in the interview. I really appreciate the opportunity and would love to have another chance to show you what I can do.” This shows that you’re willing to put in the effort to make up for your mistake.

Learn and let go

If nothing else works, it may be time to move on to the next job opportunity. Even if you do set the record straight with your current recruiter, it’s important to take what you learned to heart so you can make an even better impression next time. And don’t forget to forgive yourself and let go of any embarrassment — you haven’t failed unless you haven’t learned from it!


In summary, if you’ve made a bad first impression during a job interview, don’t give up hope. Take responsibility, show enthusiasm, and ask for another chance. With a little effort, you can recover and improve your chances of getting the job.

Plus, META is here to help you hone your interview skills so your next impression is the best impression! We can help you formulate your answers to common interview questions, practice with mock interviews, and even help you apply for your next interview with convenient job matching services!

Book your free appointment today!

Belleville Office

META Services