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I interviewed for a position yesterday. I had researched about the role and the interviewers and was well prepared for the interview accordingly.

But my webcam refused to work in the beginning and that's where I got nervous. I could not properly answer many questions about my work experience. Only after the interview I realized I knew answer to every question and the ones that I answered, I could have answered them in a better way.

Is there any way I can email the interviewer and assure them that I am suitable for the role?

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5 Answers 5

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There's no harm in sending a follow-up, something along the lines of "As you probably noticed, the problems with my webcam threw me off and I don't think I gave an accurate picture of my skills". Maybe that will cause them to re-evaluate, maybe it didn't go as badly as you thought or maybe they are already moving forward with another candidate.

Regardless, chalk this up to experience and carry on with your job-search. We all have bad interviews and the best you can do is see if there is anything to learn (would testing your setup half-an-hour before have helped here?) and if not just move on.

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Is there any way I can email the interviewer...

Yes.

... and ensure them that I am suitable for the role?

No.

There is certainly no harm in reaching out and trying to get a second chance. Explain the situation and ask for second interview in this email. Be succinct though, there is no need to go into too many details. However, there is no way to ensure what the interviewer is going to think.

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    Polite followup is ok, but I would mentally chalk this one up as a write-off. Good luck with your job search @chrono_tachy .
    – Adam Burke
    Feb 18, 2022 at 8:52
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    I think "ensure" was a typo, and OP meant "assure".
    – AAM111
    Feb 18, 2022 at 17:16
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    @AAM111 I'm certain you're right about the typo. But the answer is still no. One can make an effort to assure the interviewer, but whether they are so assured is entirely up to them. Feb 18, 2022 at 21:18
  • @AAM111 you're right about the typo, the question has been edited. But I still think that the general idea is the same.
    – Wind652
    Feb 21, 2022 at 6:59
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Second chances are not often given, but it can't hurt to ask. Your chances of succeeding will depend on how much they originally liked you as a candidate, and how hard it has been to fill the role.

I once did a phone interview where I got mixed up about something and it threw me off for the rest of the interview. It finished somewhere between bad and awful. I've got 30 years experience in my field, including dozens of interviews along the way, so that shouldn't happen. But it did. I called the hiring manager afterward and left a message saying I can't explain what happened but I'm better than that, and I'd love another chance. The next day I was asked to come in for in-person interviews. Not only did I get a second chance, but I nailed those interview and they offered me the job. No one ever mentioned the bad first interview.

If you really want the job, then ask for another shot. Keep your expectations low.

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  1. Overall, never assume an interview went well or badly.

You don’t have to outrun the bear, just all the other runners.

If the interview was tough, it could have been tough for everyone else who applied. And if your issues were emotional, you never know when you just might have struck some connection with the interviewer, like reminding them of themselves five years ago. Feelings work in strange ways.

  1. An interview is a two-way street.

Your email is unlikely to change their mind about your abilities.

However, the interview is also about checking if you like the company. Some candidates are passed over because the interviewer figures they didn't like the interview or the position enough.

If you express continued interest in the company/position in your feedback email, that's the part you can affect.

  1. Be brief and ask for feedback.

A simple "Thank you for the interview! I liked what I heard about the company and the role, despite my initial technical difficulties. I'd appreciate any feedback!" would be suitable.

This is part of general keeping communication down to what the other side doesn't already know.

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  • While an interview is indeed a two-way street, your point 2 still talks about whether the company wants to hire the interviewee, which is still a one-way street. A two-way street means, the interviewee might decide not to take it any further - not that the company might consider the interviewee didn't show enough enthusiasm (aka. "yes of course I'll work hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime, and I'd be grateful for the opportunity!"). Feb 21, 2022 at 9:44
  • @BittermanAndy It's not always the case, but for many companies, and particularly for leadership, it's more important whether the candidate actually likes the position, including the duties and the partners, than how capable they are. "I don't like the job but I'll do it" isn't enough.
    – Therac
    Feb 21, 2022 at 9:55
  • Speaking as someone in a leadership position who hires other leaders, "I don't know what I'm doing but I'm excited about doing it" definitely isn't enough either. Mar 9, 2022 at 19:11
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Remember that not all hope is lost. I once interviewed someone for a programming position, and he bombed the practical test. This was something that should have been very simple. He had one small typo, and due to his unfamiliarity with the development environment, had trouble troubleshooting it.

The important thing though, was that I could see what he was doing, and all of his attempts to fix the problem. That was enough that we decided to hire him.

I'm not saying this happened in your case. I am suggesting that you should be careful what you say, because they might not think you did as badly as you think you did.

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