TL;DR - went for interview at place A, ended very badly, got referred to apply to place B instead. Turns out the most aggressive and unimpressed interviewer at place A is the chief director of place B, and will most likely be interviewing me again.
Preface note: these interviews are actually for an undergraduate scholarship (albeit one with a rather long employment bond), not for direct/immediate employment.
A few months ago I applied for a scholarship at a large government agency to fund my university education. There were several rounds of interviews and at the final round there was an interview panel consisting of three people.
The interview started off as a rather relaxed interview when two of them were asking questions, but for the last guy - not as great. He often refuted/rebutted at whatever I said either about myself or as answers to their technical questions - stuff like "Oh, really?" or "I'm not convinced at all, you need to convince me harder if you want this scholarship.". While I hesitate to call him "aggressive", I'm not sure how else to describe him when 80% of the interview went like that, especially after he said -
To be frank, your understanding of (field of study) is simply far from robust. I understand that you are still a self-taught student who's trying to learn, but what you think is not representative of what's going on in the industry.
And ended the interview right there and then. Needless to say I did not get the scholarship afterwards.
But, the agency also told me that one of the interviewers was actually the Director in Chief of a smaller but related government agency, albeit more research and military orientated, and that he suggested that I apply to his place instead. After some poking around with the secretary however, I found out that the director is the same person who was extremely dissatisfied with me at the interview, and will most likely be interviewing me again.
Now for the actual questions:
Should I attempt to establish some kind of bond at the start of the interview? (e.g. oh hi, I remember you from the previous interview at (place) and we had a lengthy chat about (specific subject) (we really did))
Or should I pretend that I have never seen him before, even if he asks?
Assuming he has a clear memory of what happened in the previous interview, is there anything I can do to improve his impression of me?