True, it is not always possible to recover from a really big blunder. Some things are definitely not recoverable (bad-mouthing a previous employer, answering your cell phone during the interview, dressing very inappropriately, etc.).
But, often recovery is possible for two reasons:
1.) You might not have been as bad as you thought you were, and/or
2.) No one else was better.
So, don’t count yourself out of contention unless you have been told that you aren’t being considered. Do your usual follow up as though everything was fine (because it might be).
5 Steps to Recovery
Because it may take a while to discover whether or not this particular situation really is doomed, do these 5 things:
1.) Launch damage control.
If you haven’t sent your thank you messages yet, send your thank you, as usual, and, if possible, use it to launch your recovery. If you didn’t answer a question well, answer it better in your thank you. If whatever mistake you made is fixable, try to fix it with the thank you. If you forgot to hand them your list of references, send it along with the thank you. If you call Mr. Smith by the wrong name, be sure to use his correct name in the thank you. (more…)