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Disastrous Interviews Do Not Mean End

Disastrous Interviews Do Not Mean End

By Fangxue Zhao
Original article published in 21st Century Newspaper |

You have just blown a job interview with your dream company. What will you do next? Perhaps reflect on your performance and focus on other opportunities. But Jia Liwei, a graduate from the University of International Business and Economics, thought in a different way. She tried her best to get a do-over.

After the interview for a marketing position at, which she had craved for a long time, she knew she’d totally missed the mark as she misinterpreted an important question. Realizing she was eliminated, she went to the company again a week later with her resume and talked to the HR manager directly, asking for a second chance.

 “I just couldn’t bring myself to regret it,” she said. With more targeted preparation and a “fight to win or die” mentality, she finally got the offer.

Do-overs for fresh graduate job seekers are not rare, especially in the cases of multinational businesses, joint-venture enterprises and domestic internet companies, according to Feng Chen, a senior career consultant and trainer of a Beijing-based educational consulting company.

 “This happens more frequently during December and March of college hiring season, since giving this kind of do-over to passionate candidates would save HR some time to a certain degree,” Feng said. As a result, HR staffs don’t have to spend time choosing the candidates from the beginning of the process for the next few months.

But whether to get a do-over depends more on the concrete circumstances of the company, position and your performance during the first opportunity.

Applicants have to ensure first that the culture of the company is quite open through its career and recruitment talk, official website and word of mouth, noted Zong Shusheng, director of recruitment outsourcing at “That’s because this method will surely backfire if the corporate culture is conservative and traditional,” he said.

Zong also pointed out that if the position you applied for is technical or secretarial, it won’t suit either. “Only in the case that the position is highly achievement-oriented and acquires an outgoing, aggressive, ambitious spirit will you be more likely to succeed,” he said. “These positions include sales, marketing and customer services.”

In addition, figuring out the reason why you failed during the first interview is of vital importance. “As recruiters, we will have a general consideration and evaluation of each applicant,” said Zhu Junjie, China HR Manager of Spring Professional, an international recruitment firm.  

She elaborates that if you are totally out of form during the interview, you might want to try this method. “But if it’s merely about the mismatch between your soft skills and the company’s demands, do not waste time for both sides,” she said.

Second time’s a charm

Once you’ve settled on trying again, you can send an email, make a phone call to the recruiter, or visit the HR office in person, according to Zhu Junjie. “In your personal statements, conclude at least three aspects: Your strong motivation; the reason why you failed during the first interview; humbly asking for another chance,” she said.

During the second interview, make an argument that is both highly persuasive yet humble. “The key to the redo is illustrating in as little time as possible what you can do for the company,” said Zong Shusheng. “Rehearsal beforehand is of great necessity, or else you’ll be refused again within five minutes by the seasoned interviewers.”

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